Season Passes: How to Ski More and Spend Less

Season Passes: How to Ski More and Spend Less

If you’re thinking about doing a lot of skiing this season, you might want to consider getting a season pass. For a reasonable price, you’ll get access to the best resorts in America as well as a few around the world.

With several passes to choose from, which one should you pick? Perhaps we can help you with that.

What is a Season Pass?

Back in the day, season passes were most commonly offered by resorts for the most avid of local skiers. A pass would provide things like access to their facilities for the entire season as well as other perks and privileges. Today, things have changed a bit.

When people talk about a season pass, they’re probably referring to a multi-resort pass. It offers similar (if not better) benefits but you’re not tied down to a single resort. In fact, a single season pass can give you unlimited access to dozens of ski resorts from coast to coast.

What Are Your Options?

Epic Pass

Cost: $969 (prices are set to go up on Oct. 13, 2019)

Destinations: Over 30 U.S. resorts, more than 30 international destinations, and with even more on the way

Offered by Vail Resorts since 2008, the Epic Pass is what started the trend of multi-resort season passes. It can give you unlimited and unrestricted access to resorts owned by Vail. With the company’s recent acquisition of Peak Resorts, their list of destinations just keeps getting longer. This includes big names such as Hunter Mountain in New York and Mount Snow in Vermont as well as local favorites like Snow Creek in Missouri and Paoli Peaks in Indiana.

Many top destinations that aren’t under Vail’s banner are also included in the Epic Pass. One of them is Colorado’s Telluride Ski Resort where you can enjoy the slopes for up to seven days in the upcoming season.

All in all, you’ll have more than 60 resorts to choose from (and counting).

Ikon Pass

Cost: $1,049

Destinations: 29 U.S. resorts, 12 international destinations

The Ikon Pass was introduced by the Alterra Mountain Company in January 2018. It gives you unlimited access to iconic destinations such as Steamboat in Colorado, Mammoth Mountain in California, and Deer Valley Resort in Utah. Other popular destinations include Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming and the Arapahoe Ski Basin Ski Area in Colorado, but they come with some restrictions.

For the 2019/2020 season, you’re looking at 41 destinations in total—14 of which offer unlimited access. That’s not bad considering the Ikon Pass hasn’t even been around for two years.

Mountain Collective

Cost: $489

Destinations: 10 U.S. resorts, 8 international destinations

The Mountain Collective Pass does things a little differently. Instead of non-stop use of the slopes, it provides two-day access to participating resorts and 50% off for succeeding days. As of this writing, there are 18 destinations available.

This pass is the most inexpensive and perfect for the weekend getaway for a taste of the mountains. If you’re the type that likes to do quick trips to different destinations, this could be for you.

Do You Even Need A Season Pass?  

If you want to go skiing at a different place every weekend, a season pass can definitely be worth it. You may have to adjust your plans according to the destinations available, but that’s nothing compared to the benefits.

If you live in a place surrounded by resorts (or plan to visit one), getting a pass is a no-brainer. For example, Colorado and Utah have some of the top skiing destinations in the country and most of them are included in the passes above. Which one to pick would be a matter of which slopes you want to experience.

But what if you’re not going to different resorts? A season pass can also work for skiers going on a long vacation in a single destination.

Whether you’re spending a week in an old ski town or you’re off to explore the best mountains in the country, you don’t have to haul half your closet every step of the way. Kit Lender can hook you up with a fresh set of gear at each of your destinations.

For as little as $150 for an entire week, you can rent a premium kit that includes a jacket, pants, gloves, and goggles. Get kitted out and enjoy the season in style.

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