We are entering the final period for discounts on multi-resort passes in the West, so let's take a look at what's new for the five nationwide players in the multiple mountain game.
The roster for the two-days-at-each Indy Pass continued to grow domestically this summer, with an eye for close-by pairings. The latest to join up are California's Mountain High -- creating a pairing with nearby Snow Valley above L.A. -- and Dodge Ridge in the Central Sierra, close to Indy partner China Peak.
Earlier this summer, Mt. Hood Meadows became the fourth Indy resort in Oregon. With five in Washington, the road-trippin' Indy Pass now boasts 28 full-on partners in the Rockies, Sierra and Cascades. Just show your pass at the ticket window, and head to the lift.
The unlimited-access Ikon Pass now covers 24 resorts in the West. Last spring, Utah's Snowbasin and Idaho's Sun Valley joined up and later, Panorama on Canadian Rockies' Powder Highway -- bringing Ikon's international presence to 10 countries. The pass also added 2- and 3-day options to its short-term Session Pass.
The Powder Alliance requires showing a season pass from any of its 21 resorts to get three free days at Alliance partners. The pass beefed up its international portfolio this summer with the addition of two New Zealand resorts on the flanks of the nation's largest volcano: Tūroa Ski Area and Wakapappa Ski Area. The rest of the Alliance's roster, including 17 in the West, remains the same.
Mountain Collective passholders now have Snowbasin and Sun Valley in the U.S., and Canada's Marmot Basin and Massif de Charlevois to put on their itinerary. Skiers and riders get two days at each of 11 resorts in the West, seven in Canada, and six others around the globe. Just show proof of purchase of the Mountain Collective pass and head to the hill.
After a decade of frenetic acquisitions, Vail Resorts only added Andermatt-Sedrun in Switzerland to its Epic Pass. Now, the industry's first multi-mountain pass has 37 resorts in the U.S., including six resorts in the Rockies (plus limited-days partner Tellluride), four on the West Coast, and western Canada's Whistler-Blackcomb.
Epic and Ikon passes also offer a variety of more restrictive passes for local areas or regions, limited number of days or late season, and special groups such as seniors, college or military.
With prices for 2022-23 comparable to recent seasons, the two-days-each Mountain Collective ski and snowboard pass returns with a shuffled resort lineup that includes two big mountains in the West coming back to the fold.
Here's a Rocky Mountain trip for Mountain Collective pass holders to get as much skiing and riding as they can -- without wasting time on the road or in the airport.
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.
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.
Epic and Ikon mega season passes may get a lot of attention, as they provide the ability to ski at dozens of popular ski resorts across North America, but they’re not the only passes in town. Two other passes worthy of consideration include the Mountain Collective pass and the Indy Pass. In particular, these passes are good for skiers and snowboarders who wish to sample a wide variety of ski areas.
Amidst the hoopla of Epic and Ikon pass marketing battles, the Mountain Collective -- the original multi-resort pass -- is still alive and thriving for skiers and snowboarders who can be on the move.
New this season, Sugarbush passholders will receive a limited number of “Ski with Me Tickets” allowing their friends and family to receive a 25 percent discount on window rate tickets. The lowest rates are available through May 8.
With a boffo snow year all across the nation, the multi-resort season passes earned their keep in 2018-2019 as skiers and riders hop-scotched around. Now, those same passes are up for sale for next season.
Those in the market for 2018-19 season passes at Vermont resorts still have time to save big, thanks to fall deadlines on some of the best deals in the business.
Multi-mountain pass options are growing as the Mountain Collective heads into the 2018-19 season welcoming Montana’s Big Sky and Northern Japan-based Niseko United to its roster. Previously a global affiliate, Niseko United will join the Mountain Collective as a full partner for the 2018-19 season, expanding the breadth of the Collective with full partner destinations in five countries, and affiliates in two more.
Big Sky adds more "big" to Mountain Collective. (Big Sky/Facebook)
Sunny riding ahead for Stowe. (Stowe/Facebook)
On the heels of the news that Vail Resorts will be buying Stowe, buyers of the Epic Pass can now count Vermont as one of their destinations next winter. Vermont and the Northeast will be watching how this new pass offering will play out amidst the many other options for skiers and riders looking to maximize their time on the snow.
More rides at Winter Park with Rocky Mountain Super Pass (Winter Park/Facebook)
Consolidation is the byword for the winter resort industry these days, and means plenty of multi-resort passes to fit to your habits when the snow flies.
Here’s SnoCountry’s survey of some of the most popular:
M.A.X. Pass. Stands for “max alpine experience” with five days at any of 44 North American resorts. Costs $629 for adults, or $329 if you already have a season pass at one of the resorts. Pay off before May 1 with $49 down payment. Ideal for wandering powder hounds or retirees with time on their hands.
Mountain Collective, Get two days each at 16 resorts – from Revelstoke to Sugarbush – for $399 while supply lasts ($1 under 13). Half price for additional days plus one third day free.
Epic Pass. From flagship Vail Mountain, skiers and riders pay $859 for unlimited time at 13 Vail-owned resorts (plus once-owned Arapahoe Basin) around the world. A half-dozen machinations go more local in Colorado and Tahoe or limit the time.
The Peak Pass. Unlimited time at seven mountains in the Northeast included for $599 (till April 30). Other varieties accommodate youths, have blackouts or limit to midweek. Discounts too across Midwest.
Cali4nia Pass. SoCal buddies Mammoth and June, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain charge $849 until April 3 for unlimited skiing and riding. Show the pass at Mountain Collective resorts and get half off.
Rocky Mountain Super Pass. Unlimited at Winter Park, Copper and Eldora for early $529 price, with multiple days at Crested Butte, Steamboat and Alyeska. Tons of discounts accompany the pass.
Ski Utah Passes. Pay $4,000 and ski or ride 50 days total at any of Utah’s 14 resorts. For less, get 30 days or a single day on each mountain.
New England Pass. For $1,099 through April 30, get all you want at Sunday River, Loon Mountain and Sugarloaf. Less costly deals cut cost for collegians or midweek-ers, or include blackouts.
Scenes like this one at Mammoth make combo passes enticing. (Sean Engie)
Thanks to ski-resort consolidations and new partnerships, there are so many combo or multi-area season passes now that it can be delightfully difficult to decide which pass to get.
Bargains abound for skiers and riders who can hit the road to get on the slopes at a variety of resorts next season. Also for those with itchy feet, a trio of multi-resort, multi-day passes give riders and skiers up to five days at a variety of resorts in both the East and the West.