The first deadline for savings on season pass prices for the 2020-2021 season is coming, and skiers and snowboarders will have to decide whether the low cost or the uncertainty of COVID-19 virus carries more weight.
The major multi-resort pass players -- Vail Resorts' Epic Pass and Alterra's Ikon Pass -- have already extended spring price point deadlines, and have detailed the money that can be credited toward a 2020-2021 pass due to early closures.
Plus, both companies have pushed back decision dates for skiers and riders who choose not to take the risk for the upcoming season and wish to earn credit for the 2021-2022 season.
Regional and independent season passes also have the so-called "assurance" policies in place. The southwest Rockies Power Pass -- good at Purgatory, Arizona Snowbowl and a cadre of day-trip resorts in New Mexico, Colorado and Utah -- has insurance options.
The small-mountain nationwide Indy Pass mimics the Epic Pass in its stair-stepped credit plan for this season's ticket holders in 2020-2021. Use the Indy Pass less than four days during this upcoming season and get between 20 and 80% off next season.
The preseason price for the "bucket list" Mountain Collective pass has been dropped, and any passholder queazy about next season can get a full refund by Oct. 16 if contact the Collective before that.
Big, small or in-between, most U.S. resorts have a COVID update notice on their websites to explain restrictions and other issues related to reducing the chance of infection. SnoCountry took a look at resorts unaffiliated with Epic, Ikon or other multi-resort passes, and came up with this sampling:
California's China Peak has pushed back the deadline for a decision on using this season's pass to Dec. 4, typically before the Tahoe-area mountain opens.
One of a few to do so, Taos Ski Valley, has shut down preseason pass sales and has not said when they will be available nor how much they will cost.
Up in the Pacific Northwest, Summit at Snoqualmie has extended it lowest price to June 30 with an insurance/assurance plan that must be activated by Dec. 10 for full credit. A pro-rated credit will be available if the Washington state resort is not open for at least 105 days.
Colorado's Loveland Ski Area is selling 2020/21 season passes at last year’s rates and upped renewal discount for pass holders from last season. In addition, all-season pass holders that purchased their 2019/20 season pass between February 15, 2020, and March 14, 2020, will have their season pass extended to the 2020/21 season.