Season Passes – Did you get your money’s worth? 

THIS IS PART OF AN ONGOING SERIES ABOUT SKI PASSES.  While not intentional, this list may contain incorrect or out of date information. Ski areas may change prices or benefits at any time, so please defer to the ski areas posted pricing.  

Update July 2021 :  In March, Vail announced “Epic for Everyone” lowering the price of passes by 20% across the board.  This was welcome news after a tough year.  These discounted passes are an undeniable value for anyone skiing more than a few days this winter.  80+ Northeast skiers should definitely consider the  80+ Northeast Value pass for $39 -call Vail at 970-754-0004 to purchase (limited time offer).  There are other great options are available for skiers 65+.  IKON did not match this price reduction, but announced a new first tracks benefit available one designated morning per month in January, February and March of 2022 at each participating destination during the 21-22 winter season.  Powder Mountain joined INDY PASS now offering benefits at 66 resorts.

Based on the crowds they generate, skiers and boarders seem to be getting their money’s worth from their IKON, EPIC, INDY and other multi-resort passes.  IKON especially has been making headlines for driving tons of traffic to areas often to the dismay of some local snow enthusiasts.  Ski areas have been pressed to deal with the record crowds.  In one case, Crystal Mountain (WA), announced they will stop selling walk-up full day tickets on weekends and holidays to alleviate parking problems.  With all the hype, I bought an IKON pass last season.  I used it 12 days (at 6 resorts) which worked out to about $65/day. That is probably about half what I would have paid for walk up tickets at the window and even a little less than the group discounted lift tickets on our club trips.  I just renewed my pass with the goal of using it at least 25 days next season which would bring my average cost to about $30/day.  One 80 plusser boasted that he used his $29 80+ pass at Purgatory 35 days which worked out to about 80 cents a day – so I have room to improve.  I was not worried about COVID when renewing my pass.  I received some credit toward the purchase because of the abrupt end to last season and there is some protection if COVID is still a problem.  I think this is the case with other pass offers.  Don’t worry if you don’t purchase a pass, I’ve arranged discounted group pricing for all our trips.

Epic Northeast Value Pass

I think conventional wisdom would say consolidation in any industry is not good for the consumer.  My biggest concern since the introduction of the “big conglomerate passes” was that seniors would lose affordable options at their local mountain.  Vail has introduced a new Northeast Value Pass that alleviates some of that concern.  The new pass for the 2020-21 season with benefits at 16 resorts ($599 for adults and $449 for seniors 65-79) has an 80+ option for $49.  Limited time offer.