Eldora season pass rates

College students under 26: $159

College students 26 and older renewing their season pass: $259

Adult: $399

Last year, University of Colorado law student Harmon Zuckerman jetted up to Eldora Mountain Resort after each of his finals for some fresh air and a few quick runs before he started studying again.

This year, Zuckerman said he'll most likely ski elsewhere because of changes to Eldora's college season pass rate.

The resort, which traditionally has offered all college students a season pass for $149, changed its policies for the upcoming ski season to limit the college rate to students under the age of 26

Now, in addition to showing a valid student identification card, students must prove they were born after Dec. 26, 1987, to get the college rate -- which the resort also raised to $159 this season.

Some students, including the 41-year-old Zuckerman, are working with the CU Student Government to change Eldora's new policy.

"It's a real cool locals' mountain and a place I used to keep me sane after every single final," said second-year law student Zuckerman, who has a 3-year-old son. "At $150, it's a no-brainer. But when you start talking about $260, it sounds like a little bit of money.

"But it's also the principle. They took something that was a no-brainer and made us think about it."

Students over the age of 26 who have purchased college season passes in the past can renew their passes for $259. The adult price for a season pass is $399.

The CU Student Government's Legislative Council passed a resolution last week urging the resort to make student rates available to all enrolled and degree-seeking students, no matter their age. The resolution invites Eldora officials to meet with student groups and discuss changing the new policy.

Environmental studies graduate student Kelsey Cody, who authored the resolution, said Eldora's new policy is unfair and discriminates against students such as veterans, students with religious obligations after high school, junior college transfers and students who take longer than four years to finish their degrees.

"These groups and non-traditional students in general are more likely to be supporting themselves," Cody said. "It's an added burden and squeezes students."

Eldora spokesman Rob Linde said the policy change was a business decision.

Ski resorts, including Eldora, face higher insurance, labor and energy costs each year, Linde said, and too many people were taking advantage of the college season pass. Linde said more than half of all college season pass holders were older than 25, and that's not what the resort had in mind.

"It's not our intent to lose customers over $100, but, on the other hand, our costs continue to rise and we're trying to operate the business," he said. "There are some very undervalued pass prices."

The resort also eliminated the senior mid-week pass, which offered adults between the ages of 65 and 74 discounted rates to ski Monday through Friday.

Eldora instituted the lower college season pass rate about 10 years ago, Linde said, in an attempt to market the resort to incoming freshmen.

"We have no brand recognition for incoming freshmen," Linde said. "The whole idea was to introduce incoming freshmen to Eldora with a very aggressive, can't-say-no price. People would buy that as a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior -- and then continue to buy it. And they never jumped into an adult season pass, and at some point, the correction needs to be made that, as a business, we can't keep offering that price forever."

Contact Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106, kutas@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/sarahkuta.