For the upcoming ski season, there are a number of great money-saving deals for skiers and riders of all ages. With a variety of season passes and multi-day tickets, it can be confusing to sort out all of them. But whether you just want to ski in New England or have continental or global travel on your agenda, you can find a season pass that suits your needs.
Steals & Deals
The Epic Pass, for use at all Vailowned resorts, has three resorts in New England. Vail acquired Stowe prior to last season and has just added Okemo and Mount Sunapee to its list of areas across the country and internationally. The pass has many options, with the most comprehensive one giving access to 65 resorts in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Of interest to New England skiers is that the pass offers unlimited skiing and riding at Mount Sunapee, Okemo and Stowe as well as at many Western resorts. Jeff Wise, communications director at Stowe, said, “We’re very happy to be welcoming new and returning Epic Pass holders to Stowe. The pass was very well-received here last season and we look forward to adding even more value to Northeastern residents by adding Okemo in Vermont and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire.” For a complete list of the various types of passes, go to www.epicpass.com.
The Ikon Pass and the Ikon Base Pass, offered by Alterra Mountain Company, includes 36 destination resorts across North America, Australia and Japan. Both passes have access to the same destinations, but the Ikon Pass has unlimited skiing and riding at 14 resorts and seven days of access at the others. In the Northeast, skiers and riders can enjoy seven-day privileges at Killington and Sugarbush in Vermont, New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain, and Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine. Stratton Mountain in Vermont is the only New England area with unlimited access. The Base Pass operates the same way except that the New England resorts, including Stratton, have just five days of skiing, and there are certain blackout dates. However, if you like to ski different areas in northern New England and maybe take a week’s vacation out west, or in Japan or Australia, one of these might be the pass for you. For more detailed information, visit www.ikonpass.com.
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Viewable Image – Magic Mountain
Savoring packed powder at Vermont’s Magic Mountain
For those of you who like to travel, check out the Mountain Collective Pass. This pass gives two days of skiing at each of 11 resorts in the United States, three in Canada, and one each in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. There are no blackout dates and additional days at any area may be purchased for 50 percent off single-day prices. At just $469, the Mountain Collective is a great choice for anyone who wants to travel. Some of the Western areas are within a day’s drive, or less, of each other, so a weeklong trip could be put together for far less than the standard ticket rates. For New England readers, however, be aware that the only resort in your area included in this pass is Sugarbush.
Closer to home, the Peak Pass offers unlimited skiing and riding at 10 Northeast resorts, including four in New England — Mount Snow in Vermont and Crotched Mountain, Attitash and Wildcat in New Hampshire. There are five different types of passes for various age groups, with different price points, availability and blackout dates. In addition to making it affordable to ski a number of areas close to home, the passes serve up multiple other benefits. Though they vary slightly from resort to resort, benefits include discounts on lodging, tubing, retail, lift tickets for friends, summer attractions and free summer scenic chairlift rides. “We believe our Peak Pass, the industry’s most popular East Coast multi-mountain season pass product, delivers an unbeatable value for our guests, particularly with our ongoing improvements at Mount Snow, including the soon-to-open Carinthia base lodge,” said Jesse Boyd, vice president of operations at Mount Snow.
In addition to these multi-resort passes, many smaller and/or independent areas have reasonably priced season passes that have reciprocal agreements with other areas to offer a few days of free skiing or other discounts. Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire is selling its Mission Affordable season pass for $359. It’s good every day of the season, with no blackout dates, and you can ski or ride for six additional days at the area’s sister resorts — Wisp (Maryland), Wintergreen (Virginia) and Mount Washington (British Columbia).
Magic Mountain in southern Vermont introduces its innovative White Out pass. It’s valid only on dates blacked out at most other resorts. Here’s an opportunity to escape the crowds at the big resorts, when you pay a premium anyway or when your pass isn’t good, and spend the vacation week or weeks skiing at a smaller family-friendly area that still provides challenging skiing for everyone and has a laid-back, retro vibe. The pass, now selling for $279, is valid Dec. 26–Jan. 1, Jan. 14-16, and Feb. 18-26. The $279 price point represents 19 days of skiing for about $14 a day. Another great deal at Magic is the Throwback Card. With a purchase price of $149, it allows you to buy daily lift tickets at just $29 per day, any day, even holidays. It only takes three days of skiing to make this deal pay for itself and start saving money.
Do your research, find the deal that best suits you and your family and get out and savor new experiences.