U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today expressed concerns in a letter to the parent company of Mt. Bachelor that the introduction of the "Fast Tracks" pass at the Central Oregon ski resort will result in inequitable access to public lands.
"Given the serious concerns this policy raises about equitable access to the public lands on which Mt. Bachelor operates under its U.S. Forest Service Special Use permit, I request that POWDR abandon its plans to adopt this new pass system," Wyden wrote POWDR Chair and Founder John Cumming. "At a minimum, POWDR must delay implementation until it adequately explains to the public how the Fast Tracks policy will not exacerbate equity issues that already exist in outdoor recreation."
Earlier this week, Mt. Bachelor ski area parent company POWDR announced its intention to implement a day-of pass upgrade system at several of its resorts for the upcoming 2021/22 season that offers "fast lane" access to chairlifts. Fast Tracks pass prices will start at $49-a-day per person. Wyden said this new policy raises serious concerns about equitable access to the public lands on which Mt. Bachelor operates under its U.S. Forest Service Special Use permit.
“Snow sports are already expensive enough that equity issues have been persistent, and financially disadvantaged families have long been unfairly priced out of access -- something a Fast Tracks policy is sure to only make worse,” Wyden continued in his letter. “My concerns with this policy...are rooted in the understanding that a two-tiered system of access to public lands based on financial ability is antithetical to equity in the outdoors, leaving those who cannot afford to pay for the pass being literally sent to the back of the line.”
Source: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden