USSA’s gold pass goes high tech for 40th anniversary


America’s ultimate ski and snowboarding lift ticket, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s (USSA) Gold Pass, is going high tech to celebrate its 40th anniversary this coming 2012-13 season.

The unique pass, which provides unlimited, transferable access to National Ski Areas Association resorts coast-to-coast, will become the first pass globally to fully integrate each of the industry’s RFID, scanning and other lift access technologies into one pass.

“Our resorts are making huge strides to enhance the experience of skiers and snowboarders through technology,” said National Ski Areas Association president Michael Berry. “This year’s Gold Pass is an amazing demonstration of how far we’ve come by integrating multiple systems into one pass offering not only direct to lift access for passholders but also the premium tracking services being put into place at leading resorts.”

The innovative Gold Pass will debut at the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Convention and Tradeshow May 6-9 in San Antonio and is now available for sale through the USSA with proceeds going to support America’s Olympic skiers and snowboarders.

The innovative new technology will fully integrate barcode, RFID UHF and RFID HF into one pass allowing Gold Pass holders to go direct to lift at 65% of NSAA resorts.

“Our National Ski Areas Association resorts and the Gold Pass have been vital to the success of our athletes as a Team for 40 years,” said Bill Marolt, President and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “We’re proud to be able to showcase our resort industry’s emerging new technology through integration of direct to lift access into the Gold Pass.”

The Gold Pass first started in the 1972-73 season as a fundraiser for the U.S. Ski Team in a unique partnership with resorts. It has continued to grow in its 40-year history to become one of the largest single fundraising tools to support Olympic skiers and snowboarders, generating more than $3 million annually for athletic programs.

The pass is accepted for unlimited use at any NSAA resort nationwide and is fully transferable.

A limited number of Gold Passes are minted each year and are provided to donors who contribute $10,000 or more. A portion of the donation is tax deductible as a contribution to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation.

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