For Midwestern skiers that like to get in a lot of slope time around the country outside the Heartland, a few new options are available for this season.
There are Vail’s Epic Pass and the Boyne Gold Pass that allow you to ski and ride locally in the Midwest and take advantage of options to visit their mountain resorts located both west and east. If you skied or snowboarded around 50 days this coming season you could keep your daily lift ticket cost around $15 with access across the nation.
The Epic Pass is good at Vail’s Midwest ski areas, which now include all Peak Resort’s Heartland ski areas as well as adding their eastern resorts into the mix. In the Midwest are Ohio’s Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River; Missouri’s Hidden Valley, Snow Creek; and Indiana’s Paoli Peaks. They join Minnesota’s Afton Alps, Michigan’s Mt. Brighton, and Wisconsin’s Wilmot.
The Epic Local Pass is currently $719 and scheduled to go up in price. It allows you unrestricted skiing and riding at all Midwest ski areas, all Peak Resorts, Vail’s popular western resort’s Breckenridge, Keystone, and Crested Butte. Other Vail resorts have limited slope time and some restrictions as outlined on their webpage.
The Boyne Gold Pass is $780 and good for daily use all season at both Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands with no blackout dates. It also gives you three days' slope time at their mountain resorts Big Sky, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Brighton, and Summit at Snoqualmie.
A new multi-resort ski and ride pass made its debut for this season. It’s called the Indy Pass and allows for 72 days of skiing at 36. The new pass is good for two days of skiing in the Midwest at 14 ski areas; South Dakota's Terry Peak; Michigan’s Shanty Creek, Swiss Valley, Cannonsburg, Big Powderhorn, Caberfae Peaks and Pine Mountain; Minnesota’s Giants Ridge Powder Ridge, and Spirit Mountain; Wisconsin’s Little Switzerland, Nordic Mountain, Trollhaugen and Tyrol Basin. There are 15 ski areas in the west and 15 more in the east also good on the new pass.
Several Midwest ski areas also have reciprocal agreements with each other allowing pass holders at one ski area a discount at another by just showing their season pass.
There’s plenty of opportunities to hit as many slopes as you want this coming season. Make your choice and pray for snow.