Multi-Resort Passes: Sales Are On, Changes Announced For West Skiers, Riders
The first round of 2021-22 multi-mountain season pass sales is underway, with a few changes from this past season in the works and price competition that continues to heat up.
The Epic Pass began its 13th season with a bang: Cutting its price of all its options by 20%. Also, the Vail-based management eliminated -- at least for now -- the reservation system installed this past season to control Covid crowds. And, they backed off a partial credit offer and will give full credit to pass holders who did not use their pass in the 2020-2021 season.
The full-on Epic Pass ($783) gets unlimited skiing and riding at 37 U.S. resorts, including 13 in the West. In addition, the pass goes for seven days at three U.S. resorts, six in the Canadian Rockies; five days at seven Japanese resorts, and varying benefits at 10 European destinations.
The price reduction also applies to local pass options in Colorado and California, and single- or multi-day advance purchases.
The top-tier Ikon Pass ($999) gives unlimited access to 15 U.S. resorts -- 10 in the West -- with seven days at 17 others and 11 beyond our borders. The Ikon Base ($729) has blackouts at 13 unlimited North American resorts and 17 others for five days of skiing and riding.
And, the Ikon Session Pass ($399) gives you four days total at any of 37 destinations but took Jackson Hole, Alta, Aspen, Snowbird, and Deer Valley off the list.
Ikon did some tweaking: Parent company Alterra Mountain now offers a payment plan, $100/$70 off top-tier or base pass renewals, respectively, and pro-rated credit for Covid-related closures. And, it moves Crystal Mountain from unlimited Base Pass status to five days, a move prompted by crowding this season.
The Mountain Collective ($499) works for skiers and riders on long weekend or short-stay vacations. There are 17 U.S. mountains in its portfolio that pass holders have two free days at each. After that, a full-day ticket is half the rack rate.
Several destinations are lumped as one under the Mountain Collective, meaning two days at either Squaw-Alpine Meadows, the Aspen-Snowmass-Buttermilk-Highlands complex, and Mt. Norquay-Lake Louise-Sunshine Village in Canada. Others include B.C.'s Revelstoke, Utah tandem Alta and Snowbird, and steep-and-deep Taos.
Each season, the number of Mountain Collective passes sold is limited, so it pays to make your purchase as soon as you can because the price goes up, too.
Designed for pass holders at a home hill who want to head out, the Powder Alliance gets you off the beaten track to mountains known for catching big dumps with little glamor.
With a season pass at one of 18 member mountains and ID in hand, show up at the ticket window of any other Powder Alliance resort and receive a full-day ticket. Any combination of three days at each resort works, for a possible 51 days in total. Some resorts have discounts beyond three days.
This season, the reciprocal-season pass Powder Alliance added Alaska's Eaglecrest and Idaho's Silver Mountain to its U.S. portfolio of 14 resorts -- from Angel Fire in the south to White Pass up north, and powder stashes of Monarch, Sugar Bowl, Schweitzer, and Mt. Hood Ski Bowl.