Archive for April, 2011

Vail Resorts Drops Prices on 2011-2012 Season Passes

Vail Resorts Drops Prices on 2011-2012 Season Passes with a Limited-Time Only Special Discount Beginning Friday, April 15 Through May 8, 2011

14 April 2011

  • Prices are dropping $20 on Adult Season Passes and $10 for Child/Teen/Senior Season Passes April 15 through May 8, 2011.
  • Anyone who has already purchased a pass for the 2011-2012 season will also receive the benefit of this new lower price, including a refund, if applicable.
  • $49 Locks in the Best Deals Now for Winter Ski and Snowboard Vacations with the Epic Pass, Epic 7-Day, New Epic Local Pass, Summit Value Pass and New Tahoe Value Pass.
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – April 14, 2011 – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced today in celebration of the record-setting snowfall in Colorado and Lake Tahoe this season, it is reducing the prices on 2011-2012 season passes in a special, limited-time offer. Beginning Friday, April 15 through May 8, 2011, the Company is dropping the price by $20 for adults and $10 for children, teens and seniors on the Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Epic 7-Day, Summit Value Pass and Tahoe Value Pass. Those who have already purchased their 2011-2012 season pass will automatically receive this new promotional price, including receiving a refund, if applicable.
“The 2010-2011 ski and snowboard season was truly one for the record books. Both Colorado and Lake Tahoe received so much snow that our guests have been able to ski and ride phenomenal powder conditions all-season long,” said Heidi Kercher-Pratt, vice president and chief marketing officer for Vail Resorts. “We wanted to carry the excitement from this season into the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season by offering our guests a limited-time, special discount on our most popular season pass products, giving skiers and riders an even greater ‘epic’ value at our six iconic resorts.”
All passes are available for purchase at and the new prices, valid from April 15 through May 8, are listed below. A $49 down payment now guarantees the lowest price with the remaining balance due in mid-September.
  • The Epic Pass™, the best season pass deal in the ski industry offering unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Arapahoe Basin is now available at $629 (previously $649) for adults.
  • The new Epic Local Pass™ (formerly the Colorado Pass), now at $479 (previously $499) for adults is perfect for locals who can navigate a few more restrictions. The Epic Local Pass offers unlimited and unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin and includes 10 restricted days at Vail or Beaver Creek. New this year, it also includes skiing or riding at Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe, with limited restricted days.  Pass holders can purchase access to Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe on restricted days for $50 per day.
  • Epic 7-Day™ is ideal for people who don’t plan to ski more than seven days. The Epic 7-Day gives skiers and snowboarders a total of seven unrestricted days of skiing and riding at any one of Vail Resorts’ six mountain resorts plus Arapahoe Basin anytime during the season, now at $479 (previously $499) for adults.
  • Summit Value Pass™ is a great option for people who only plan to ski Summit County. The Summit Value Pass is now available at $389 (previously $409) for adults and provides unlimited and unrestricted lift access to Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, as well as access to Breckenridge with limited restrictions. Pass holders can purchase access to Breckenridge on restricted days for $50 per day.
  • New for 2011-2012, the Tahoe Value Pass™, now available at $359 (previously at $379), is ideal for people who plan to ski or ride seven days a week at Heavenly and six days a week at Northstar. The Tahoe Value Pass™ offers limited access to Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe with Saturdays excluded at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Pass holders can purchase access to either resort on restricted days for $50 per day.
Season Pass Insurance Option
Vail Resorts encourages its guests to purchase pass insurance. All of its pass products are non-refundable. However, pass insurance covers pass holders in the event of unexpected events including sickness, injuries and job loss. Pass insurance is $20 for adults and $10 for children (ages 5-12). Coverage applies for all season passes and the Epic 7-Day valid for the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season. For more information, visit

Pass Holder Benefits
All Epic Season Pass, Epic 7-Day, Epic Local Pass, Summit Value Pass and Tahoe Value Pass purchasers will receive exclusive offers and promotions on lodging, dining, ski rentals, equipment, ski school and special events for the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season.
Skiers and snowboarders who purchase their passes this spring will also receive special benefits for this summer 2011, including access for scenic chairlift and gondola rides. All season pass products are non-transferable and non-refundable.
For more information about Vail Resorts season passes or to purchase a pass online, visit


Kate Lessman
phone: (303) 404-1871

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New Eagle County Property Appraisals Due Out May 1, 2011

 Don’t forget that the Eagle County Assessor will be sending out new property values on May 1, 2011.  I understand the new appraisals will also be available online on May 2 at the Assessor website shown below:

 The new valuations are based on property values as of June 30, 2010.  The Assessor has stated that overall property values in the Valley have decreased an average of 30% from the last appraisals.  Remember though that the actual percentage change will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.  

 It is my understanding that if you want to protest your assessed valuation, you have until May 31, 2011 to file the initial appeal with the Assessor’s Office.  Most private appraisers in the Valley offer tax appeal services if you would like to appeal your valuation.  

Contact me and I can give you some names of local appraisers that can help with an appeal.

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‘Tis the Season for Tax Breaks

By Terry Nolan

            With April 15 rapidly approaching many are scrambling to complete their taxes. For those who have recently bought or sold a home, there are a number of tax deductions that may be available to them.

            Real estate broker’s commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs, and inspection fees are all considered selling costs and may be used to reduce one’s taxable capital gain by the amount of the selling costs. That could result in a big savings depending on the final sale price.

            Interest that is paid on a mortgage is also tax-deductible, within limits. A married couple filing jointly can deduct all their interest payments on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home.

            Buyers may also be able to deduct some of the interest they paid on a home equity loan or similar line of credit.

            One deduction that many buyers often overlook is points. Points or origination fees on a home loan that were paid during the purchase of a home are generally tax-deductible in full for the year in which they were paid.

            Refinanced mortgage points are also deductible but only over the life of the loan – not all at once. Homeowners who refinance can immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new.

            If your lender required private mortgage insurance, the PMI premiums are tax-deductible for mortgages taken out from 2007 through 2011.

            Making improvements to property prior to the sale or once one moves in might qualify for an interest deduction on your home-improvement loan. Qualifying capital improvements are those that increase your home’s value, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses, such as adding a porch or installing energy-efficient windows.

            Many times during a sale, the seller will send the local tax collector’s office a check for real estate taxes prior to the closing. In many circumstances, however, the buyer will pay a pro-rated portion of the taxes for the year at closing. This tax deduction also gets overlooked.

            For those working from their new home: If a room is used exclusively for business purposes, they may be able to deduct home costs related to that portion, such as a percentage of your insurance and repair costs, and depreciation.

            In some instances, if you have moved because of a new job, moving costs may be deducted. These can include travel or transportation costs, expenses for lodging, and fees for storing your household goods.

            Every year the tax laws change and certain tax deductions become available while others phase out. If you have recently bought or sold a home, it’s probably a good idea to seek out a professional tax consultant to do your taxes as missing deductions that you can legally claim can add up to quite a bit of money.

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A Contrarian View of the Housing Market From Fortune Magazine

 The cover story on Fortune Magazine this week talks real estate coming back.  The author makes a compelling case for the return of the real estate market.  If there is a chance the author might be right, I believe the Vail Valley will trail other areas in the nation in its real estate recovery because it will take longer for jobs to return to the Valley. 

The article is title:

“The Return of Real Estate” – Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing.
By Shawn Tully  
Click on the link to read the article:

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Epicmix – A Fun Addition from Vail Resorts

This year Vail Resorts offered season pass and Peaks pass holders the ability to track the lifts they rode during a day of skiing as well as the vertical feet they tallied.  This information was captured by scanners that read the RF chip on the pass as the skier passed under a gantry as they boarded a lift. 

The information is accessed by logging into the Epicmix homepage at .  Once the skier creates a login and password, they can see the daily and season totals. 

Vail Resorts awarded digital “Pins” for accomplishing a particular feat, such as skiing 100,000 vertical feet, the “Wingardium Leviosa” pin.  They also awarded points based on a rather obscure system that I never could figure out. 

It has been fun seeing how much I skied over the course of a season and how I compared to other skiers.  I even set at goal – 1,000,000 vertical feet before the end of the season.  I’m within 75,000 feet and expect to complete it this week or next. 

The system still has a few bugs.  It occasionally misses a chairlift ride and I think the sorting system needs additional refinement.  But it has improved over the season and is a program that I highly recommend to guests.

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