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Free Pico pass is great incentive for students

By Chris Oettinger
On March 7, 2018

Many students at Castleton University have been enjoying a great ski season at a great value at Pico Mountain this winter.

Pico ticket sales coordinator Rebecca Greenley said 578 students have redeemed their free pass and 160 of those students upgraded to The Beast pass, which allows skiing and riding at Killington, the most popular mountain in the Northeast.

Pico is the closest ski resort to the university, located just 23 miles away. Students can get there via a 30-minute car ride or take the Beast Shuttle on the weekends.

A 2017-18 season pass at Pico ranges from $189-$479, depending on how late you wait to buy it. An adult season pass at Killington goes for as much as $1,179.

“Pico has a history of being a great beginner mountain while also possessing some more difficult terrain to progress up to,” said Castleton senior and Rutland local Nick Boles. “There is definitely enough terrain to keep even the most experienced skiers and riders entertained.”

Currently, about 25 percent of the Castleton student population has a Pico pass. If this partnership between Pico and Castleton continues, it makes sense that as awareness of this deal increases Castleton can turnout hundreds of new snowboarders and skiers every year.

“I may have never picked up skiing again if it weren’t for the free pass,” said Castleton Senior Jakob Trautwein. “If this wasn’t my last year at Castleton I would definitely upgrade to the Beast Pass next year.”

According to the Castleton website, the $160 fee to upgrade to the Beast Pass includes unlimited lift access at Killington and Pico along with other perks such as a free lesson including equipment rental, discounted future equipment rentals, other non-skier perks such as a gondola ride to the top of Killington and a mountain bike trail ticket and lesson.

“The pass gives me much more to do over break now. I like to make fun of all my friends who flew south in search of warmer weather,” said Castleton Sophomore Madison Langey. “I’ve always enjoyed the mountain over the beach. I definitely prefer windburn over break instead of sunburn.”

The free pass is also a great incentive for prospective students, according to Student Government Association  President Isabel Gogarty. The SGAhad a major role in this partnership with Pico.

“Overall, the Student Government Association thought that this was a wonderful opportunity to utilize a portion of the Student Activity Fee in a way that benefited a huge portion of our student population!  We are happy to see the high number of student that have applied for passes and look forward to seeing the usage report from Killington and Pico at the end of the season,” she said. “We believe that programs like this show the unique character of Castleton University.”

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