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Mt. Bachelor Announces Price Increase/Improvements 

Mt. Bachelor has increased the prices this year so it's best to purchase early.

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Mt. Bachelor made its annual announcement as to the prices for the upcoming winter's season passes last week.

The price has yo-yoed over the years, but has remained stable over the past few seasons with just a few minor tweaks. This year, season passes are $829 for adults if you buy by September 30 and $1,029 if you wait until later in the fall or winter.

There are some other new additions to the ticketing process, including an opportunity for season-pass holders to buy discounted single-day lift tickets for $58. There's also a refund option in the event of injury, relocation or sickness.

In other Bachelor news, the ski resort is quietly having a busy off-season and on Thursday it let the proverbial cat out of the bag when it announced a bevy of upgrades at the resort, including expanded seating and amenities at nearly all of the mountain's lodges.

Perhaps most intriguing is the announcement of a new "umbrella bar" at the Sunrise Lodge, a three-season outdoor bar that features a retractable umbrella, and movable glass walls. The new indoor-outdoor bar will allow the resort to remake the indoor bar at Sunrise into a 90-seat café, according to a Mt. Bachelor press release issued Thursday.

The Sunrise upgrades are just some of a host of off-season improvements across the mountain totaling $3.5 million, according to Mt. Bachelor. The resort is also upgrading its snow grooming equipment, its rental fleet and bus fleet. Bachelor is also going green with a newly installed solar panel at its Bend bus barn that will generate enough electricity to offset the operation of the Carousel lift, according to the release. Other changes, include expanded operations of the upper deck dining area at West Village, which will increase from 2-5 days per week and a new salad bar at Cocoa's Café to go with a new beer and wine bar there. (EF)

MadHappy on the Move

According to MadHappy Lounge's bartender/marketing manager, the MadHappy is moving into the Innovation Theatre Works space off of Reed Market Road at the south end of Bend. The MadHappy will operate more as an art collective. Other details about the move aren't yet known -- including when they'll actually close down the Brooks St. spot, which was previously the home of the Bendistillery Martini Bar.

For Bend's nightlife contingent, this is a major bummer, especially considering the awesome slate of shows that have been rolling through the MadHappy as of late. Also, this has always been a reliable middle-of-the-week party spot, thanks to the constant innovation from owner Reggie Martinez, who bought the space last spring.

But knowing Martinez, you shouldn't expect the MadHappy crew to be quiet for long. We'll keep you posted on their move. (MB)

Tire Tax That Drew Schwab's Ire is Upheld

A steep tariff on imported tires from China that was opposed by local tire retailing giant Les Schwab has survived a challenge at the World Trade Organization. The WTO announced on Monday that it would uphold the tax on imported Chinese tires that President Obama implemented over Beijing's objections in 2009. The tariff increased tire taxes by 35 percent in the first year and has raised them again in each subsequent year.

According to labor groups, the higher tariffs have stemmed the tide of cheap Chinese tires coming into the United States allowing domestic manufacturers to regain a larger share of the market and add jobs.

However, that means higher costs for tire retailers like Les Schwab, which imports a significant amount of its inventory from China. The company has declined in the past to say how much of its stock originates in China. However, it said that the higher tariffs would result in higher costs for its customers. The tire manufacturer won the support of Oregon's congressional delegation, including Senators Merkley and Wyden who lobbied against the tire tax. U.S. imports of Chinese tires fell by almost 24 percent last year.


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