DMR pass price increase not ‘senior-friendly’

Upon leaving the morning session of the Second Annual Community Challenge: Meeting the Needs of Seniors, Providers and Caregivers on March 28, I reflected on the outstanding, informative and inspiring presentations to nearly 150 participants. It was truly a gift to the community by the co-sponsors La Plata County Senior Services, Mercy Regional Medical Center, Alpine Hospice, La Plata Council on Aging and the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

As I sat down for lunch, I picked up that day’s Durango Herald and saw the front page article, “Blame it on active lifestyle.” It said, “Seniors, there’s a downside to living longer: paying more to ski.” Well, I had just learned that there are many other downsides to living longer! Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort will increase its season ski pass prices for seniors.

I am astounded by the contrast between supportive pro-senior organizations in Durango and DMR. Purgatory chooses to diminish and reduce favorable rate structures for season passes for the most senior age group (70 years and older). The season ski passes prices were increased from $149 to $399 (268 percent). I have been a Golden season ski pass (age 70 or older) holder for two years, and my new pass will increase $250. Because of this huge increase, I very likely will lose this therapeutic outlet.

Current silver pass holders (ages 62-64) can be “grandfathered” into the senior price structure and pay only $50 more. It appears to me that there is a $200 penalty for those older than 70. This age discrimination is shocking and an affront to senior skiers.

I am very disappointed and surprised in DMR’s decision to withdraw a wonderful benefit to the most senior population in order to make a profit. This is certainly not “senior-friendly.”

David F. Ellisor