Vail’s Epic Pass is the big player among multi-mountain passes. Priced at $809 with an early season purchase (read: April for the next season) there are no black out dates and tons of skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood in California, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Perisher Australia. next season the Epic Pass will also include Vail’s latest ski resort additions – Whistler and Stowe Vermont.
Vail’s Epic Local Pass for $609 with an early season purchase has some peak holiday black outs (when you may prefer not to ski anyway and you save $200). The Epic Local Pass includes skiing at all Vail Resorts but limits you to 10 days each at Vail and Beaver Creek, and no skiing on peak Christmas to NYE, MLK and Feb vacation dates. Figure that a day ticket at Vail is $149, Beaver Creek is $165 – so this pass amortizes quickly with one trip out west. Now that Park City including the Canyons, that Utah resort is huge, and a trip to Vail you can ski Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and A Basin all in one trip. Then plan a ski trip to Lake Tahoe, and you are all set with skiing at Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood. Yes the Epic Pass is an epic ski deal, and this season it includes Buddy Tickets at discounts for friends and family.
The MAX Pass is the alpine acronym for “Multi-Alpine Experience” pass which is a ideal if you ski both the East & West Coast, with five days at each of 44 participating resorts, a total of 220 days with no blackout dates. It’s pretty much a mountain conglomerate of Boyne, Intrawest and Powdr ski resorts.
The Max Pass is $629, or $349 as an add on if you are pass holder at one of their participating resorts, is good at 7 major New England ski resorts Killington, Pico, and Stratton in Vermont, Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine, Wachusett in Massachusetts, Snowshoe West Virginia, then 14 out west - Big Sky, Montana, Brighton and Solitude in Utah, Crested butte, Copper, Steamboat, and Winter Park in Colorado, plus in the Pac North West – Boreal and Mountain High in California, Crystal and Snoqualmie in Washington, Mt. Bachelor Oregon, Lee Canyon in Nevada, Alyeska Alaska, Cypress, Nakiska, Kicking Horse, Kimberly, Fernie in Western Canada, plus Mont Sainte Anne, Stoneham, Mont Tremblant Quebec and Blue Mountain Ontario, and the midwest Boyne resorts .
You could easily Max out with a ski trip to Colorado by skiing Copper, Winter Park and Steamboat in one swoop - up to 5 days at each since they’re within two hours. Also you could fly to Salt Lake City Utah and ski neighboring Solitude and Brighton for 5 days each. The MAX pass is ideal for East coasters looking to make a trip or two out west to Oregon, Washington, Colorado or Utah. You can also ski over the border at Tremblant, and think about a beautiful big mountain skiing trip to at Big Sky. Lift tickets at many of these ski resorts are well over $100 so it pays for itself in your first six days of skiing, and you have the bonus of great skiing on the East Coast, Sunday River and Sugarloaf, Loon, Stratton and Killington, with the obvious incentive to take a trip out west.
The Rocky Mountain Super Pass is $499 if you buy early and it gets you unlimited access to Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain, and Eldora Mountain Resort plus 6 Days at Steamboat, 3 Days at Crested Butte and Alyeska Resort, and 7 Days in New Zealand’s Mt. Ruapehu & Cardrona Alpine Resort, 7 Days at Tomamu, Alts Bandai and Alts Bandai in Japan. So the Rocky Mountain Super Pass is a better deal for frequent skiers to the Front Range of Colorado given its unlimited status at three ski areas, with the bonus of a few days each at Steamboat and Crested Butte and some far off skiing in Alaska, New Zealand and Japan – which our powder skiing friends are raving about (They all it Japow).
So there are your 2017 season pass deals, for multiple mountains at a discount with pre-season purchase. Yep, the ski resorts want your money now, but that gives you something to hold on to, to hope for, to clutch in your hand, and dream about, during the snowless summer months.
See you on the slopes!
Heather Burke, 2017 Copyright, Photos by Greg Burke, property of LuxurySkiTrips.com