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  • Mt. Ashland Ski Area weighs options for season pass holders

    Many are seeking refunds after an unprecedented, nonexistent ski season
  • Mt. Ashland Ski Area officials said they will announce by Friday what they will do for skiers and snowboarders who purchased season passes that they were never able to use this winter.
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  • Mt. Ashland Ski Area officials said they will announce by Friday what they will do for skiers and snowboarders who purchased season passes that they were never able to use this winter.
    Daffodils and fruit trees are already blooming in the valley, and the ski area still has not been able to open because of a lack of snow.
    A U.S. Forest Service snow survey on Tuesday confirmed this winter produced the least amount of snow on the mountain since the surveys began in 1963.
    The ski area is not obligated to issue refunds or partial refunds on season passes, according to the terms of sale. But ski area officials said they have been fielding many questions from anxious pass holders who are wondering what is going to happen.
    "Our staff and board are in the process of answering those questions. We've heard various recommendations ... and all options are under consideration," ski area officials said in a statement earlier this week.
    A storm system dropped 10 inches of snow on the ski area last week, but the snow failed to accumulate.
    The base snow depth remained stubbornly stuck at 16 inches on Friday, while the upper snow depth was at 20 inches. The area needs a minimum of 24 to 30 inches to open.
    A National Weather Service is predicting rain today and continuing warming weather this week.
    The ski area has canceled its annual Bavarian Night celebration, which was scheduled for Saturday, March 15.
    Mount Shasta Ski Park in Northern California, which is also closed due to a lack of snow, is allowing season pass holders to roll over their passes to next winter for a small administrative fee.
    Meanwhile, the Hoodoo Ski Area near Sisters in Central Oregon is offering free skiing to all Mt. Ashland Ski Area season pass holders until the Mt. Ashland Ski Area opens, if it does.
    Mt. Ashland officials sent a list of all season pass holders to the Hoodoo management team. To receive a free ticket at Hoodoo, Ashland season pass holders should tell people operating the Hoodoo ticket window they are pass holders and show a valid picture identification.
    For more information about Hoodoo, see www.hoodoo.com or call 541-822-3799. The Hoodoo snow conditions phone number is 541-822-3337.
    Reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.
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