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Gold Pass Goes High Tech To Celebrate 40th

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
May, 8 2012

PARK CITY, UT (May 8) – America’s ultimate ski and snowboarding lift ticket, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s 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. 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 40th anniversary U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Gold Pass, provided in partnership with the National Ski Areas Association, will be the first pass ever to fully integrate all current direct-to-lift access technologies into one pass.
  • The USSA and NSAA have teamed with ski industry leaders including RTP, part of Active Network, SKIDATA, Siriusware, Axess / North America and ExtenData, to produce a single Gold Pass integrating HF, UHF and barcode technologies for access control.
  • 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.
  • At resorts that have premium tracking programs in place, such as Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, the Gold Pass will offer the same tracking capability.
  • SKIDATA AG will produce the new non-metallic medallion incorporating all three technologies.
  • 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 over $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.

Bill Marolt, President and CEO, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
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. 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.

Michael Berry, President, National Ski Areas Association
Our resorts are making huge strides to enhance the experience of skiers and snowboarders through technology. 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.

Ram Krishnan, SVP and senior general manager of Communities at Active Network
As a technology leader, we are excited to join forces with members of the ski industry to debut the next generation Gold Pass technology for the 2012/2013 winter season. It has always been our passion to drive innovation and to help create the ultimate ski experience for skiers and operators.

Since its inception in 1972-73, the partnership between the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the National Ski Areas Association has been a vital link in providing the funds to support Best in the World athletes. Over four decades the pass has supported 216 Olympic or World Championship medals by over 100 athletes.

1972 – As one of its first fundraising projects, the U.S. Ski Educational Foundation (U.S. Ski Team) partnered with the National Ski Areas Association to create the Gold Pass.
1976 – Bill Koch stunned the world taking a silver medal in cross country at the Innsbruck Olympics while Cindy Nelson won downhill bronze.
1980 – Coming back from injury, Phil Mahre defied the odds and won slalom silver on the final day of the Lake Placid Olympics.
1984 – Bill Johnson literally called his downhill win while Phil Mahre fought back tears with his closing day slalom gold medal at the Sarajevo Olympics.
1992 – Freestyle became a full medal event with Donna Weinbrecht capturing the hearts of America with her moguls gold.
1994 – Golden boy Tommy Moe opened the Lillehammer Olympics with a downhill title leading the USA to a then-record six medals.
1998 – Picabo Street took gold while Americans dominated freestyle with wins by Jonny Moseley, Nikki Stone and Eric Bergoust.
2002 – A record 10 medals were collected by U.S. skiers and snowboarders with halfpipe gold from Kelly Clark and Ross Powers, who led a medals sweep for the American men in Salt Lake City.
2010 – U.S. skiers and snowboarders took Best in the World honors as 17 athletes won 21 medals in the Vancouver Olympics.
2012 – Led by amazing seasons from Lindsey Vonn, Kikkan Randall, Kelly Clark and Hannah Kearney, eight U.S. athletes took a dozen season titles.