A letter from RED CEO, Howard Katkov, Regarding 2020/21 Season Passes and COVID-19
To our Passholder families and those who simply love to ski at RED Mountain,
I have been fortunate enough to be your CEO of RED Mountain for nearly 17 years. In my tenure, we have encountered a variety of challenges, including the recession of 2008, challenging snow years and our normal growing pains. In spite of all that has been thrown our way, we have maintained what we all love: our mountains, our staff, and our community of Rossland, the backbone of what makes RED great.
Today is radically different, and the culprit is COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic that no one can ignore or take lightly. The virus is contagious and lethal, and therefore, it is a time that all of us have to protect the health and well-being of our partners, our children, our parents, our grandchildren and our close friends. Nothing is more important. I know that it is tough for everyone, especially for those who have lost their jobs or have been forced to shut down their businesses. However, staying healthy and complying with the advice of our medical and governmental leaders is paramount in beating COVID-19, and I am proud to say that our resort and the community of Rossland is doing just that. But it is not without a price for our resort, our businesses, and individuals who have lost their jobs. I am sure each and every one of you says on a daily basis, “I am done with this”. I do! This is tough for all of us to endure, some much worse than others. It is an event that most of us have never experienced before, and I am sure that all of you have a new perspective on the things that we have always taken for granted. The simple things in life, the freedom to be yourself with your family and friends.
For RED Mountain Resort – our playground, our mountain therapy, our emotional connection to the alpine – we have to assume and believe that this shall pass, and in a little over eight months, we will all be doing what we love the most: Skiing and boarding with our family, friends, or by oneself in a place that means so much to all of us.
Now, the tough and awkward part of this letter, the business of RED.
There is a saying, “The show must go on”.
For RED, our “Show” is our mountain, and our future is next winter. We have to look forward to a time when we get our lives back, socializing at Ferraro’s, having a beer at The Rossland Beer Company, picking up amazing bread at Hooper’s Bakery, having a coffee at The Grind, or enjoying a chocolate from Mountain Nugget Chocolate with friends. Let’s not forget Rafters, The Josie, The Shovel, Clancy’s, Mook Thai, Idgie’s, Gabriella’s, and many more. These businesses are all important to our community and to the livelihoods of those who own these precious establishments. They are the lifeblood of our community.
As all of you know, we have our season pass campaign that has been going on for decades with different price levels, depending upon when you buy your pass. It unfortunately started on March 15, 2020, but is worth noting that we froze our prices on all passes and tickets for the 2020/2021 season prior to the arrival of the pandemic. We are presently in the “Early Bird” discount stage of the season pass sale that ends on April 30th, 2020. There is a reason that I am bringing this up now.
RED, in partnership with Nelson District Credit Union (NDCU), has provided an interest-free loan program for the purchase of Early Bird Season Passes for over 20 years. It has been tremendously successful, and despite the challenges that NDCU is currently facing, they have agreed to continue the program again this year. We can’t thank Tom Murray, NDCU CEO, and his fantastic team enough for continuing the program. Last year over 500 people took advantage of the program. For this year though, only those who currently have an account with NDCU can participate, as NDCU does not have the ability to take on more members due to social distancing policies that we are all now practicing.
- The NDCU interest-free loan program will run from Tuesday, April 14th to Thursday April 30th.
- The 2020/2021 pass program will only be available to current NDCU members.
- All applications will be processed electronically.
By going to www.nelsoncu.com/ski/, you can find all the information needed to apply for the NDCU interest-free loan season pass program.
What about those who don’t have an account with NDCU but still need some assistance?
We get it, and this is what can do. For those who need a little time but do not have an account with NDCU, we are working with our current season pass e-commerce platform to provide the ability to purchase a season pass in five equal installment payments directly through RED Mountain. Guests would purchase their RED Season Pass online as usual, but also select the option to include a Payment Plan during the checkout process. The terms are as follows:
- Five equal payments, interest-free, commencing with the first payment on or before April 30th (the Early Bird Season Pass deadline) and equal installments due at end of May, June, July, and August, 2020.
- A $25.00 administration fee will be added to the entire transaction (not to each pass or other product purchased).
- You will be notified by email a few days prior to the due date of each installment with a link provided to make your online payment.
- Guests will be able to take advantage of this program shortly after the start of the NDCU loan program start date of April 14th. When our program is ready to go, we will send you an email with a link. As with NDCU, our program will end on April 30th, 2020.
You can also still buy your 2020/21 season pass online here, by phone (250-362-7384 ext. 201) or by mail using a cheque or credit card number. (Please don’t mail cash.) If your only method of payment is by debit card or cash, RED’s Guest Services will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday until April 30th. Please observe all social distancing and hand sanitizing protocols if you must buy in person. You can download the application online here.
Finally, “The show must go on”, certainly does not downplay or trivialize the challenges that all of you are facing. It is why it pains me to even reach out to you at this time of crisis, but we have to run our business and make sure RED Mountain is here for another winter, and the next 100 winters.
Take Care, Stay Safe, and Stay Healthy,
CEO, Red Mountain Resort