There's a good news and bad news situation at Mt. Ashland.

First, the bad: In order to help reduce the resort's operating costs, Mt. Ashland recently announced it would move to a five-day schedule next season, closing its doors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

General manager Kim Clark said the resort is making this move because low average attendance on weekdays often does not cover operating expenses. "We have developed a business model that will sustain the long-term financial health of the ski area."

Now, for the good: Mt. Ashland will reduce the cost of season passes for the 2009-10 season by $50 for adults and $35 for juniors and seniors. That means skiers and snowboarders between the ages of 25 and 64 will pay $575 for next year's passes, riders 13 to 17 will pay $430 and those 65 to 69 will have to fork over $480.

Mt. Ashland, in an effort to help those feeling the pinch of difficult economic times, is offering the option of pass-holders to pay for their passes via automatic withdrawal over a five-month period.

Another bit of good news: Mt. Ashland, which generally has night riding only on Thursdays and Fridays, is considering adding Saturdays evenings, "if there is enough group business to sustain the additional shift."