Bargain-hunting Swiss skiers can breathe a sigh of relief — for now.
The future of Switzerland’s Magic Pass, an annual ski-ticket for 30 resorts that has been a boon to a struggling ski industry and a wildly popular hit with locals, has been secured after the two sides in a pricing dispute reached an agreement on Wednesday.
Remontees Mecaniques Crans-Montana Aminona SA (CMA), the resort which operates the lifts in Crans-Montana where late James Bond actor Roger Moore lived, and pass operator Magic Mountains Cooperation struck a deal to allow skiers at Crans-Montana to pay a “Fastlane” supplement to jump the lift lines. The feature was added in response to complaints from CMA’s president Philippe Magistrett that the Magic Pass had led to overcrowding at Crans-Montana, widely seen as the crown-jewel of the resorts in the network.
The deal secures the Magic Pass’s existence for a third year after two years that have seen the project provide a welcome shot in the arm for smaller ski resorts struggling with a strong Swiss franc and unreliable snow at lower altitudes. Sales of the pass, which cost as little as 399 francs ($395), have jumped nearly 25 percent this winter to 105,000.
Both sides, who gathered Thursday for the Magic Mountains Cooperation annual meeting, said they are also studying options to introduce varied pricing for peak-season skiing and for access to high-altitude areas like Crans-Montana’s Plaine Morte glacier.
Details on pricing for next year’s pass may be announced later Thursday after the meeting, according to a spokeswoman.
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