I think it safe to say that all resorts sell some form of season pass, and most of them work very hard to drive sales before the season starts. A small group, however, seem to grab this task by the horns and host their very own season pass sales event. Usually, it’s a rail jam.
I still haven’t been able to work out an interview with one of these resorts who hosts an early-season rail jam, but for now, let me share a few links to events to get the wheels turning. Maybe this is a great investment, maybe it’s fluff. Here are some ideas:
1) Hot Dogs and Hand Rails (Bear Mtn, CA)
Perhaps the most famous of the lot, I’ll place it first. Big prizes ($7.5k for the winner), tons of snow and features, and exclusive season pass discounts available only at the event bring out huge crowds each September. Giants blocks of ice are shaved to make the snow for the event.http://www.bearmountain.com/snowboard/tag/hot-dogs-and-hand-rails/
2) Early Season Pleasin’ (Timberline, OR)
Not much mention of season passes in their promotional materials, but the fact that if you have a pass entry is free tells the story. Simple and casual, Early Season Pleasin’ is all about getting the jibbers excited for the season and adding an extra incentive to buy their pass at the same time.http://www.timberlinelodge.com/early-season-pleasin-rail-jam/
3) Labor of Love Rail Jam (Bolton Valley, VT)
For snow, Bolton Valley does what dozens of snow-holics do each summer, they borrow it from behind their local ice rink. Simple setup (just a box or two) and not much snow, but with an extra 5% discount on passes available the day of the jam, it definitely draws a crowd.http://www.boltonvalley.com/news_events/whats_new/page759/
4) The Snowshoe Open at Snowflex (Snowshoe Mtn, WV)
Snowshoe Mtn doesn’t even worry about snow for their rail jam. Held at the nearby Liberty Mountain Snowflex center, they seem to have a good idea of attendance demographics as only college season passes are on sale during this event.
Any others I missed?