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Ski area to host party March 28

The Mt. Ashland Ski Area will hold its Big Mountain Bash party Saturday, March 28, and kick off its season pass sale for next winter.

The party was originally scheduled for this Saturday but was pushed forward a week. Ski area runs and chairlifts are currently shut down but could start up again if a storm this weekend and early next week brings enough snow to the slopes.

The Big Mountain Bash will go forward March 28 whether the ski runs are open or closed, managers said.

Festivities will run from 2 to 4 p.m. with live music in the main lodge by Matt Faurot.

The party also marks the kick-off of the Mt. Ashland spring season pass sale, when prices for next winter's passes will be at their lowest of the year. The sale runs through April.

Adult season passes cost $299, junior passes for teens ages 13-17 cost $249, and youth passes for kids 7 to 12 cost $149. Children 6 and younger and seniors 70 or older pay $30. Five-month interest-free financing is available, and an adult season pass can be purchased for as little as $60 per month, managers said.

“We decided it makes sense to keep pricing the same as last season, but bring back the junior pass to make skiing even more affordable for families,” said Hiram Towle, ski area general manager.

As a bonus, new pass holders purchasing next winter’s pass at the Big Mountain Bash can receive a lift ticket to ski free that day if runs are open. Lifts operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The ski area had to close for a month during mid-season due to low snow. It reopened and then closed again last weekend.

“We are very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to provide so many ski days this season, despite receiving less than 20 percent of our normal snowpack,” Towle said. “We want our Mt. Ashland family to be able to get together one more time and celebrate this season and say their goodbyes until next year.”

Spring season pass sales are very important to ski areas, as they generate revenue to support the ongoing business and required off-season maintenance, managers said.

“We are confident the community will support Mt. Ashland while securing the best price for a season pass,” Towle said. “A robust spring sale helps ensure we can keep providing local mountain fun to the Rogue Valley.”

The ski area was unable to open during the winter of 2013-2014 due to a lack of snow. It took out a $750,000 Small Business Administration disaster loan to stay afloat.

Under the terms of season pass sales, the ski area was not obligated to give out refunds. But the Mt. Ashland Association board of directors decided on two options for pass holders to help alleviate their financial loss. Pass holders were able to return their passes to the ski area as a tax-deductible donation or get a 50-percent discount on a season pass for the 2014-15 season.

For information on season passes for next season, see www.mtashland.com.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.