I have heard from more members than ever this season who opted to purchase season passes. Ski areas continue to make season passes more attractive. The most noticeable trend has been the “arms race” to offer passes with benefits at multiple resorts, including overseas resorts. I’ll be very interested to hear from members how many places they were able to use the passes at this winter.
Below are some examples just to show how extensive some of the benefits can be. (These can be complicated products and may have restrictions or benefits beyond what is listed here. While not intentional, this list may contain incorrect or out of date information.)
Some passes offer unlimited ski days at multiple resorts. Maybe the best known of these passes, is Vail’s Epic Pass which many members have. It basically offers unlimited skiing at all of their ski Resorts and some benefits overseas.
Unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Perisher (2017 access) and Arapahoe Basin – Plus 5 days at Whistler Blackcomb with holiday restrictions. Vail Resorts announced it will add benefits at Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France, Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta in Italy, 4 Vallees in Switzerland, and Arlberg in Austria to the 2016-2017 lineup of the Epic Pass
(Vail does offer other options, including a senior pass good at their Tahoe resorts with some restrictions.)
There has been a lot of interest generated in the new IKON Pass. Modeled after Vail’s Epic Pass, it offers access at 12 Alterra Company destinations and 15 partner resorts. The destinations include big names like Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley, and Steamboat. Unfortunately, this pass replaces many passes offered last season, including discounted senior passes. My understanding is 80+ will still ski free at Mammoth this winter, but will have to go to ticket window every day instead receiving a pass.
Other passes offer limited ski days at multiple resorts.
The Mountain Collective has been around for several years now and currently includes around 14 destinations in the US and Canada (plus some overseas benefits). The pass provides 2 free days at each destination and then you can buy additional days at 50% off.
For the 2016/17 winter season destinations include: AltaSnowbird (Utah), Aspen Snowmass (Colorado), Ski Banff/Lake Louise/Sunshine (Alberta, Canada), Jackson Hole (Wyoming), Mammoth Resorts (Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain in Eastern California; Bear Mountain Resort and Snow Summit Resort in Southern California), Revelstoke (British Columbia, Canada), Ski Queenstown-Coronet Peak-The Remarkables (New Zealand), Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (California), Stowe (Vermont), Sun Valley (Idaho), Taos (New Mexico), Telluride (Colorado), Thredbo (Australia), and Whistler Blackcomb (British Columbia, Canada) and areas outside the US.
Powder Alliance: Purchase a season pass to any participating Powder Alliance resort and visit the rest for FREE up to three times.
Angel Fire Resort New Mexico China Peak California Mountain High California Sierra-at-Tahoe California Stevens Pass Washington Arizona Snowbowl Arizona Crested Butte Colorado Mt. Hood Skibowl Oregon SilverStar BC, Canada Timberline Oregon Bridger Bowl Montana Kiroro Japan Schweitzer Idaho Snowbasin Resort Utah Whitewater BC, Canada and Now Including Kiroro Japan!
Freedom Pass: Pass holders at participating mountains are now able to get three complimentary lift tickets at each partner mountain this season.
Mountains currently include Black Mountain (NH), Bolton Valley (VT), , Dartmouth Skiway (NH), Eaglecrest (AK), Granite Gorge (NH), Lost Valley (ME), Magic (VT), McIntyre (NH), Mount Bohemia (MI), Pajarito (NM), Plattekill (NY), Sipapu (NM), and Ski Cooper (CO).