One of the benefits of the mega-passes is that their uses stretch from coast to coast and beyond. New England clearly drew the short straw when it came to good conditions to start the season, and based on some chatter while riding lifts, it appears that more people are taking advantage of going long distances to get prime conditions by using their passes at faraway destinations.
While New England enjoyed a lengthy stick season — hiking 4,000-footers in November without seeing a patch of snow or ice — resorts in California, Colorado and Utah were buried by early season snowfall. While most of my idle chitchat was done during midweek skiing (which figures to be a group more able to get up and go), Utah was a popular destination for people who already had been out West or booked a trip later in the season.
It simply could be who you talk to. Ski Utah’s Alison Palmintere said the website traffic on skiutah.com has been “pretty flat year-over-year. Anecdotally, I think Easterners are definitely considering booking trips out here given the snow, but unfortunately don’t have a ton of data to back that up.”
Neither Ikon Pass, owned by Alterra Mountain Company, nor Vail Resorts Management Company’s Epic Pass representatives responded when asked about any increases in redemptions or bookings from New Englanders. But it’s still nice to dream about far-off places with fresh refills coming on a seemingly daily basis.