Is This New Express Lane Service the Solution to Long Lift Lines?

A Fast Tracks pass will allow skiers to skip long lines via an express lane at four ski resorts this season.

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There’s Global Entry, PreCheck, and CLEAR for travelers who don’t want to deal with lines at airports, and now there’s Fast Tracks for skiers who don’t want to deal with lines at crowded resorts.

POWDR, the corporation that owns and operates 10 mountain resorts across North America, is introducing Fast Tracks, an express lift access program, at Copper Mountain, Colo., Snowbird, Utah, Killington, Vt., and Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor this season.

Beginning Nov. 1, skiers will be able to purchase a Fast Tracks pass as a daily upgrade to their seasons pass or daily lift ticket and use the pass to load popular (read: often crowded) lifts via dedicated express lanes.

Related: Steamboat Explains No Reservation Policy After Lift Line Photo Goes Viral

Fast Track passes will start at $49 per day but the pricing will vary by resort and be dynamic based on peak periods. Guests will be able to purchase a Fast Tracks pass in advance of their ski day via the resort’s website, at the resort the day of their visit, or via their smartphone by scanning QR codes that will be placed throughout the resort. Once purchased, the pass will be added to the skier’s day ticket, season pass, or multi-day pass product.

Fast Tracks will be an optional, upgradeable service for all skiers, whether they are Ikon Pass holders or season pass holders at the resort, and will not be automatically available via season pass products.

POWDR says that access to the express lift lanes will be limited each day, “so that Fast Tracks remains a seamless and expedited experience for skiers and riders.”

“We know our guests’ number one priority is to spend more time skiing or riding,’ says Wade Martin, co-president at POWDR. “We are exploring the opportunity to solve for our guests’ greatest pain points by becoming one of the first adventure lifestyle companies to provide upgrades that maximize the on-mountain experience … That’s what it’s all about.”

The new program is undoubtedly a response to the exceptionally long lift lines at resorts across the country that made headlines last season. But is this the answer? Skiers taking to social media aren’t so sure.

“This is not solving a problem, it’s just letting rich skiers get preferential treatment,” wrote one Twitter user. “Very unfortunately and short sighted. I’m sure it will satisfy a very small group of customers but it will also really turn off the majority of customers,” tweeted another.

But others point out the potential upside to the availability of Fast Tracks: “The more people that buy the express ticket is one less person I have to wait behind in the slow lane. Have at it, everybody should upgrade.”

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