Multi-Mountain Season Pass Options Explode Across U.S.
You want season pass choices this season? American ski and snowboard resorts, state associations and resort-to-resort partnerships have burst out all over -- all designed to get you on the slopes more often, and at discounted prices.
Ever since Vail introduced the multi-mountain Epic Pass in 2008, resorts across the U.S. have created dozens of ways for skiers and snowboarders to get on more than one mountain in a single season.
Stuart Winchester, of The Storm Skiing Journal & Podcast, has done yeoman's work to compile a spread sheet of all (or all he could find) U.S. resorts and what season pass works at each. SnoCountry.com took a long look at his list and came up with this preview.
Starting with the big boys, king-of-the-mountain Epic Pass opens up 37 of its U.S. resorts anytime. There's an Epic Local Pass for 26 resorts anytime. Seven local versions can be had, along with new option Epic Day Pass at 29 hills.
A full-on Ikon Pass give unlimited skiing and riding at Alterra's 15 North American resorts -- from Quebec to California, West Virginia to Washington -- and up to seven days at 31 resorts worldwide.
True to its name, the Indy Pass favors some 71 smaller resorts across U.S.-- plus guided tours in Japan. Two days are free at any of its member resorts, with additional day at 25% off.
And, a Mountain Collective pass scores two free days at 23 slopes in U.S., Canada, Japan -- plus Chile, Australia and New Zealand. Additional days cost 50% off rack rate.
King of the regional passes is the Power Pass, which originated at Colorado's Purgatory and now covers seven mountains in the Four Corners states.
Some dozen U.S. resorts coupled their season tickets with all access on one or more nearby resorts. Alta and Snowbird share a ticket. The White Mountain SuperPass gets you on Cannon, Waterville Valley, Bretton Woods and Cranmore all season. Or the Silver Mountain-49 Degrees North combo pass.
A number of states sell full-season yet pricey passes for their resorts. The North Carolina Gold Card covers all six mountains within state boundaries, Ski California Gold Card gets you on 32 mountains, and Ski Utah Gold and Silver passes are good -- and transferable -- at 15 resorts and Woodward Park City.
The "gold standard" is the National Ski Areas Association's Ski and Snowboard Gold Pass ($12,500) or more than 90 resorts, anytime up to 50 days. And, it's transferable.
Other states offer limited days at its resorts, like the Skiing Wisconsin Passport for one day at 18 mountains, and the Michigan Snowsports Industry Association's pass for one day at the state's 31 resorts.
Most individual resort season passes include some form of cost-cutting partnership with others. The leader in the clubhouse is Ski Cooper, which has enlisted 46 resorts across the continent to honor its pass for three free days.