After the 2019-20 skiing and riding season ended with a whimper of immediacy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a certain hesitancy in making plans for the 2020-21 season. After all, there are no guarantees that coronavirus won’t interrupt another winter campaign, which may lead to plenty of uncertainty when it comes to purchasing a season pass.
Many resorts are already offering refund and credit assurances and have extended deadlines for purchase.
Here’s a rundown of how some of the region’s most popular season passes are planning for next season, with another interruption remaining a possibility.
Epic Pass — After handing out credits to users who were only able to use their season pass on a limited basis prior to Vail Resorts’ shutdown of all operations mid-March, Epic Pass is offering free insurance for all pass holders during the 2020-21 season. The Epic Coverage will provide a full or prorated refund should the user lose a job, suffer an injury or sickness, or receive a stay-at-home order. The coverage also further protects purchasers in the case of natural disaster or more restrictions due to COVID-19, or other diseases. Epic Pass without restrictions is $979 for the 2020-21 season. The Epic Local, with restrictions, is $729.
New this season is the Northeast Value Pass ($599, $449 midweek), good at 16 resorts. The pass provides unlimited, unrestricted access at New Hampshire locations Wildcat, Attitash, Mount Sunapee, and Crotched. There is limited access (holiday-restricted) at Okemo and Mount Snow, and 10 holiday-restricted days at Stowe. — www.epicpass.com
Ikon Pass — In the wake of COVID-19, Ikon introduced “Adventure Assurance,” with which pass holders may elect to defer the purchase price paid for their unused pass to the 2021-22 season. If passes are used and there is an eligible COVID-19-related closure at any North American Ikon Pass destination, Ikon Pass holders will receive a credit toward a 2021-22 Ikon Pass based on the percentage of days closed. Pass holders can decide to take full credit for their unused pass at any point between Sept. 10, 2020 and April 11, 2021. No questions asked.
The Ikon Pass ($999, $799 renewal price) offers unlimited access at 15 destinations across North America. In New England, that includes Sugarbush and Stratton. It also includes up to seven days at other New England locations including Killington-Pico, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Loon. The Ikon Base Pass ($799, $699 renewal) has blackout dates at Sugarbush, and only provides five blackout dates at the other New England locations. — www.ikonpass.com
New England Pass — You only had until June 15 to purchase the New England Pass, which provides access to Sunday River, Loon, and Sugarloaf. All passes have gone off-sale until the Boyne resorts can better understand how COVID-19 might impact another skiing and riding season.
With this year’s pass comes “Worry-Free Winter Assurance,” which ensures the value of a full winter season. The properties are committed to being open for 150 days of skiing and riding next season. If they fail to hit that mark, pass holders will receive credit for a 2021-22 pass. The resorts are also giving the option to roll over the value of an unused 2020-21 pass to 2021-22, for any reason, through Dec.10.
The Platinum New England Pass, which includes the Ikon Base Pass, is $1,549 for adults. The Gold Pass ($1,169, includes 50 percent off tickets at Mountain Collective resorts). The Silver Pass ($759) has 12 blackout dates. — www.newenglandpass.com
Indy Pass — Entering its second season, the popular Indy Pass has added seven new ski areas to its list of offerings for the 2020-21 season, including Cannon Mountain. The pass ($199, $299 for the Indy+ with no blackouts, both on sale Sept. 1) provides access to more than 50 resorts, allowing users two days at each destination. New England participants include Bolton Valley, Berkshire East, Black Mountain (NH), Magic Mountain, Mt. Abram, Mohawk Mountain, Pats Peak, and Suicide Six.
Indy Pass is also promising credits if users are able to use their pass fewer than four times. Zero days will receive an 80 percent credit. Three days will receive a 20 percent credit. One day is 60 percent; two days 40 percent. — www.indyskipass.com
Mountain Collective — For only $469 ($99 children 12 and under), Mountain Collective users receive two days each at 23 different locations. In New England, this includes only Sugarbush and Sugarloaf. But the Mountain Collective can also be used at such premier destinations as Chamonix, Aspen Snowmass, Grand Targhee, Squaw Valley, and Jackson Hole. There are no blackout dates, and users can also choose a bonus third day at the resort of his or her choice (while supplies last). — mountaincollective.com
White Mountain Super Pass — Valid every day of the 2020-21 season, this pass offers unlimited skiing at New Hampshire resorts Bretton Woods, Cannon, Cranmore, and Waterville Valley ($1,159 adults, $709 teens, $609 children ages 6-12). The cost for the pass goes down to $999, $579, and $479, respectively if purchased through Waterville Valley Cannon, or Cranmore by June 30. — www.skinh.com/deals/season-pass-deals