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2019-20 Major multi-resort passes: Epic, MCP, Ikon
69 posts from 14 users
Updated 28 days ago
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marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

I know it’s early to be thinking about next season, but since Vail Resorts has already started up their marketing machine and it’s clear that the MCP will continue, might as well start the discussion.

The big change announced last week is that Sun Valley and Snowbasin are leaving the MCP to join Telluride as a partner on the Epic passes.  4/7 days with additional days for 50% discount.

The MCP for 2019-20 is being marketed in New Zealand for the 2019 season.  Sales for the 2018-19 MCP started in early March 2018.

The Ikon website opens with the opportunity to get on the elist for 2019-20.

For last year’s thread:

http://www.dcski.com/forum/view_message.php?message_id=93356

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

Article about Epic vs Ikon from a business perspective.  Not much that I haven’t read before but a good introduction that includes some sense of the men in charge of Vail Resorts and Alterra, in particular Katz and Gregory.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-03-01/epic-vs-ikon-battle-for-the-best-ski-pass

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

Epic pass sales are starting March 5 too.

I expect that the MCP will be available starting next week as well.

Peak Pass already available.  Guess that started March 1?

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

Vail Resorts made changes for Colorado for 2019-20.  With A-Basin off Epic, and Crested Butte owned by VR, there is a new option for locals who use Epic to ski Keystone.  Notice the mention of checking out Idaho (Sun Valley) and the Northeast (Stowe, Okemo, Sunapee).

VAIL RESORTS ANNOUNCES 2019-20 PASS PARTNER CHANGE AND NEW KEYSTONE PLUS PASS 

  • The Company’s pass partnership with Arapahoe Basin will end after the 2018-19 ski season
  • The Keystone Plus Pass will replace the Keystone A-Basin Pass, and provide unlimited access to Keystone with holiday restrictions, unlimited late spring skiing at Breckenridge starting April 1, 2020 and five days at Crested Butte, with holiday restrictions, at a starting price of $369 for adults and $259 for kids
  • With Keystone’s plan to be the first resort open in the U.S. and Breckenridge planning to stay open until Memorial Day, the two Summit County resorts will offer one of the longest ski seasons in the country
  • Also new for the 2019-20 season is the inclusion of 10 buddy tickets on all unlimited season pass products, a 67 percent increase from the six previously offered on the Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Summit Value Pass and included now with the Keystone Plus Pass, Tahoe Local Pass, and Tahoe Value Pass when purchased before the customary April deadline
  • The Epic Pass offers more access to Colorado than any other pass product including world-class skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte and Telluride, while also providing the flexibility to sample Utah, Idaho, Lake Tahoe and the Northeast
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

Ikon is going after the family market.  I’ve heard that the $1 MCP for kids during the spring won’t be offered for 2019-20.  The renewal discount is $30 if buy before April 24, 2019.

Child Pass Promotion
To provide additional value for families looking to ski and ride together, Ikon Pass holders can now purchase up to two discounted Child Ikon Passes or Child Ikon Base Passes for children ages 5-12 with the purchase of an Adult Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass. The Child Pass Promotion is available until Wednesday, April 24. This upcoming season’s offer doubles the number of Child passes available compared to last season, (in 2018/2019, only one Child Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass was available for the purchase of an Adult Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass).

one year ago

marzNC wrote:

Ikon is going after the family market.  I’ve heard that the $1 MCP for kids during the spring won’t be offered for 2019-20.  The renewal discount is $30 if buy before April 24, 2019.

Child Pass Promotion
To provide additional value for families looking to ski and ride together, Ikon Pass holders can now purchase up to two discounted Child Ikon Passes or Child Ikon Base Passes for children ages 5-12 with the purchase of an Adult Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass. The Child Pass Promotion is available until Wednesday, April 24. This upcoming season’s offer doubles the number of Child passes available compared to last season, (in 2018/2019, only one Child Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass was available for the purchase of an Adult Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass).

I love the fact that Alterra is building a compelling family value proposition.  We will likely get Ikon passes again next season for our family of 4.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

While there are a few other multi-resort passes or reciprocal agreements for New England, NY State, North Carolina, and out west, the only other multi-resort pass that anyone living in the DC/VA/PA is likely to consider is the Peak Pass.  At least now that Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop are owned by Peak.  Apparently that went on sale for in-person purchases on March 1.  Online info is still not available but supposedly March 5 is the start date.

Here’s info from another DCSki thread.  The Traveler is for M-F. 

http://www.dcski.com/forum/96778

Here are Peak Pass prices for 2019-20.  Check online for details.  Explorer Adult 629, Explorer Youth 399, Drifter 399, Ranger 529, Traveler 329, Scout 60.  Payment plan available.  No local passes or senior rates.

one year ago

marzNC wrote:

While there are a few other multi-resort passes or reciprocal agreements for New England, NY State, North Carolina, and out west…

What passes cover any NC resorts?  I feel like I maybe saw one that had Beech (maybe MCP?) - are there others?

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

marzNC wrote:

While there are a few other multi-resort passes or reciprocal agreements for New England, NY State, North Carolina, and out west…

What passes cover any NC resorts?  I feel like I maybe saw one that had Beech (maybe MCP?) - are there others?

 

You probably haven’t heard of it.  There are a limited number of NC Gold passes sold every year.  For $775, it’s a season pass to all six ski areas in NC.

http://www.goskinc.com/goldcard/

I doubt any of the NC or VA ski areas/resorts will ever be on a multi-resort pass the includes destination resorts in the northeast and out west.  At least not until Vail or Alterra figure out how big the potential market is in Altanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh.  As well as the Floridians who make the drive to NC for ski vacations.  But I figure they should work on the mid-Atlantic first.  Alterra got Snowshoe since it was part of Intrawest.  Peak got Snowtime so that’s not available any more.  Wonder if Vail Resorts or Alterra are considering any of the ski areas/resorts in PA.  As a timeshare resort, Massanutten is not an option.  As for Wintergreen …

one year ago

FWIW I think it was Powder Alliance, although I don’t see Beech on any current lists that compare any of the various multi-resort passes.  I know I saw it at least once in the past because it was the only resort south of Snowshoe and as such caught my attention.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

FWIW I think it was Powder Alliance, although I don’t see Beech on any current lists that compare any of the various multi-resort passes.  I know I saw it at least once in the past because it was the only resort south of Snowshoe and as such caught my attention.

Hmm … I’ve watched the Powder Alliance in recent years and don’t remember any ski area in the east being included.  That started in CA and is different since it’s a reciprocal arrangement that requires buying a full season pass for one of the participants.  I pay attention because it includes Bridger (non-profit), Loveland, and Schweitzer.

https://www.powderalliance.com

one year ago

I agree with marzki, don’t think any of the discussed passes have done that

 

However I do remember that a few years ago when it was marketed as the one world pass Monarch had reciprical days at Cataloochee.

I heard repeatedly that the Loveland and A-basin pass will have free days to the other next year, that’s a lot of terrain within a 15 min. drive

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one year ago

Tuesday, March 5 is not only the day that Ikon passes for 2019-20 will be available for purchase, also the date for Epic.  The Epic tag line on the website is “Epic for Everyone, Coming March 5.”

Anyone get an email notification for 2019-20 for the MCP?

Prices for Ikon already available for all categories:

https://www.ikonpass.com/en/2019-2020-ikon-pass-on-sale

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

For 2019-20 the MCP list is back down to 12 destinations in US/Canada, with 5 on other continents that also provide 2 days plus 50% discount for additional days.  The 2 included days are per resort. Chamonix in France is included but only 2 days, no 50% discount.

Squaw/Alpine Meadows, CA
Mammoth, CA
Big Sky, MT
Jackson Hole, WY
Aspen/Snowmass, CO
Alta, UT
Snowbird, UT
Taos, NM
Sugarbush, VT

Revelstoke, BC, Canada
Banff Sunshine, BC, Canada
Lake Louise, BC, Canada

Niseko United, Japan

Valle Nevado, Chile (2019)
Thredbo, Australia (2019)
Mt. Buller, Australia (2019)
Coronet/Remarkables, New Zealand (2019)

The $449 iniital price and bonus day (1 pre-selected resort) probably won’t last much longer.  Usually the MCP goes off sale by June 1.  Then sales open again mid-August at a slightly higher price and no bonus day.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

marzNC wrote:

The $449 iniital price and bonus day (1 pre-selected resort) probably won’t last much longer.  Usually the MCP goes off sale by June 1.  Then sales open again mid-August at a slightly higher price and no bonus day.

MCP went to $469 for adults and $149 for children.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

The overlap between Ikon and MCP locations can be a bit confusing.  The differences are mainly for the “destinations” that have more than one resort.  For instance, using Ikon for Alta and Snowbird means having the equivalent of a combo Alta/Snowbird ticket (5/7 days) but they are completely separate using the MCP (2 days each included, 50% additional days).  The good news for people who ski Alta with the MCP for more than 2 days is the 50% discount is for an Alta-only ticket instead of the combo.  If staying at a lodge at Alta, can easily get a free ride to start at Snowbird and then ski back if Mineral Basin is open.  The deal is that you can cross over and ski down after 3pm without triggering an Alta day on the MCP pass.  Similar deal in reverse for people staying at Snowbird.  They don’t check lift tickets for either lift in Mineral.

Ikon/MCP Pass Destinations by Location for 2019-20, as of May 2019

bold - 14 Alterra resorts;  * Alta/Snowbird is combo access with Ikon;  ** Boyne Resorts

Crystal Mountain, WA

**The Summit at Snoqualmie, WA

Squaw/Alpine, CA - MCP

Mammoth, CA - MCP

June Mountain, CA

Big Bear, CA

**Big Sky, MT - MCP

Jackson Hole, WY - MCP

Deer Valley, UT

Solitude, UT

**Brighton, UT

*Alta, UT - MCP

*Snowbird, UT - MCP

Aspen/Snowmass, CO - MCP

Steamboat, CO

Winter Park, CO

Copper, CO

Eldora, CO

Taos Ski Valley, NM - MCP

**Boyne Highlands, MI

**Boyne Mountain, MI

**Sugarloaf, ME

**Sunday River, ME

**Loon Mountain, NH

Stratton, VT

Killington/Pico, VT

Sugarbush, VT - MCP

Snowshoe, WV

 

CANADA

Alberta, Canada: SkiBig3

Banff Sunshine (SkiBig3), AB - MCP

Lake Louise, (SkiBig3), AB - MCP

Norquay (SkiBig3), AB

Revelstoke, BC - MCP

Cypress Mountain, BC

CMH Heli-Skiing, BC

Blue Mountain, ONT

Tremblant, QUE

 

Thredbo (2020), New South Wales, Australia - MCP (2019)

Mt. Buller (2020), New South Wales, Australia - MCP (2019)

Coronet Peak (2020), South Island, New Zealand - MCP (2019)

The Remarkables (2020), South Island, New Zealand - MCP (2019)

Mt Hutt (2020), South Island, New Zealand

Niseko United, Hokkaido, Japan

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

FWIW I think it was Powder Alliance, although I don’t see Beech on any current lists that compare any of the various multi-resort passes.  I know I saw it at least once in the past because it was the only resort south of Snowshoe and as such caught my attention.

Found Beech on a list.  Not Powder Alliance, but one of the resorts on the Power Pass.  But not listed for 2019-20.  The main players for the Power Pass are Purgatory and AZ Snowbowl.  Also connected to the Freedom Pass, which includes several smaller mountains in the northeast.  Magic in VT and Plattekill in NY are on the Freedom Pass.

10 months ago

marzNC wrote:

Keith_Moon wrote:

FWIW I think it was Powder Alliance, although I don’t see Beech on any current lists that compare any of the various multi-resort passes.  I know I saw it at least once in the past because it was the only resort south of Snowshoe and as such caught my attention.

Found Beech on a list.  Not Powder Alliance, but one of the resorts on the Power Pass.  But not listed for 2019-20.  The main players for the Power Pass are Purgatory and AZ Snowbowl.  Also connected to the Freedom Pass, which includes several smaller mountains in the northeast.  Magic in VT and Plattekill in NY are on the Freedom Pass.

 

You must have really had to work to find that one lol.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

marzNC wrote:

Keith_Moon wrote:

FWIW I think it was Powder Alliance, although I don’t see Beech on any current lists that compare any of the various multi-resort passes.  I know I saw it at least once in the past because it was the only resort south of Snowshoe and as such caught my attention.

Found Beech on a list.  Not Powder Alliance, but one of the resorts on the Power Pass.  But not listed for 2019-20.  The main players for the Power Pass are Purgatory and AZ Snowbowl.  Also connected to the Freedom Pass, which includes several smaller mountains in the northeast.  Magic in VT and Plattekill in NY are on the Freedom Pass.

 

You must have really had to work to find that one lol.

Wasn’t really looking, but as you noted when any southeast ski resort pops up on a list, then it’s easy to notice.  I’ve been watching what James Coleman has been doing ever since he bought Purgatory.  The Power Pass is his baby, with the recent addition of Nordic Valley now that his company is operating it.  The Power Pass has some unique features.

I’m trying to get caught up with what’s happened with the other “multi-regional passes” beyond the three that make headlines.  That list has grown to six as far as I can tell.  The Indy Pass and Boyne Gold are new for 2019-20.  The other four have been around since 2014 but keep evolving, usually by adding locations.

  • Freedom Pass - started 2014 in northeast
  • Powder Alliance - started 2014 on west coast
  • Power Pass (AZ, NM, SW CO, UT) - started 2014 with NM
  • Peak Pass (northeast, PA, midwest) - started 2014 in northeast
  • Indy Pass - 2019-20 is first season
  • Boyne Gold (MI, MT, WA, NH, ME) - free days/50% discount at other Boyne resorts for first time for 2019-20
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago

Anyone bought a multi-resort pass yet?  If not, the situation changed quite a bit in the last few weeks for folks in the Mid-Atlantic.

Vail Resorts is buying Peak Resorts.  That will put all the Peak locations on Epic for 2019-20 although Peak passes will also be honored.

Ikon and MCP added A-Basin.  The MCP is back on sale for $489/$199.

The Indy Pass list grew.  Goes on sale Sept. 1, 2019 for $199.  Includes 2 days at Massanutten, Bryce, Canaan Valley, and Cataloochee, and a bunch of places in other regions.

http://www.indyskipass.com

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago

Prices for Epic passes go up after Labor Day.  Clearly expect the merger with Peak to go thru.  There’s a note at the top of the individual pass webpages, plus the complete list of Peak locations as a separate section at the bottom for Full Epic and Epic Local.

NEW for 2019/20 – Access to Sun Valley, Snowbasin and Rusutsu-Japan. 
COMING SOON for 2019/20 - the 17 Peak Resorts ski areas* (*subject to certain conditions, including regulatory review)

The new Epic Day pass is starting to make a bit more sense.  Assuming someone really wants to ski at a VR destination resort for <8 days for around $100/day.  Helps to play around with the price calculator for a Day Pass for 3 or less days versus 4-7 days.  Can easily see the daily rate with or without holiday period access for both Adult and Child Epic Day.  Noticed in the FAQ that “the Epic Day Pass includes matching bonus days that can be used at Wilmot, Mt. Brighton or Afton Alps.”  Wonder if that will apply to Peak locations in PA eventually.  Can upgrade an Epic Day pass to more days or a regular Epic pass as long as those passes are still being sold.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago

For anyone who hasn’t bought Epic, Ikon, or MCP before, the articles on ZRankings are a pretty good starting point for comparing these three multi-resort, multi-regional season passes.  ZRankings updates thier comparison articles when changes occur, such as A-Basin getting added to Ikon and MCP.  Hasn’t been an update for the Peak merger yet, which will obviously change the situation betwene Epic and Ikon in the East.

https://www.zrankings.com/articles/ikon-pass-vs-epic-pass

https://www.zrankings.com/articles/epic-pass-vs-mountain-collective

https://www.zrankings.com/articles/the-best-ski-pass-for-colorado-ikon-epic

7 months ago

Hopefully with all those choices you’ll “get lucky” ( RAM - Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers)  - jamming to this all day while coding!

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

Here’s an article about the Indy Pass:

https://www.skimag.com/news/dropping-multi-resort-indy-pass?fbclid=IwAR2eEjrYJZ8MBFlY7ka97a14_AYkzK3YMQuL_-yMiJ1kC9qPK7wGEPtGsJY

Shows the marketing advantages of a cooperative agreement.  When has there been an article in SKI Magazine featuring Massanutten, or Blue Knob, or any of the other Indy Pass locations?

Already possible to buy on Indy Pass.  Don’t have to wait until Sept. 1.  The website has also been beefed up with info about the locations by region.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago

Unlike Ikon, age and location can make a big difference when looking at Epic prices.  For Epic, age-related options exist for under 19 and over 64.  For teens and college students, definitely pays to look at all applicable options.  The senior rates make a big difference around Tahoe and in the midwest.  Hopefully that will be the case for the Peak Resorts after 2019-20.  However, where someone lives is the bigger factor for either Epic or Ikon.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago

Now that websites are set up for the 2019-20 season, I took a look at the online advanced ticket pricing for Okemo, Sunapee, and Stowe. It’s obvious that all three resorts are using the same software for online ticketing. There is a link in the corner for the Epic Day Pass.  For one resort, the maximum online discount is 25% of the window rate for a given date or date range. Multi-day ticket options include: 2 of 3, 3 of 5, 4 of 6, 5 of 8, 6 of 9, up to 7 of 10 days. The marketing phrase for the Epic Day Pass is “up to 50%” off the window rate but that’s only if getting 7 days.

Suppose someone was thinking of spending two non-holiday weekends at Stowe. If they were willing to commit to the dates well in advance, buying two 2-day tickets for non-holiday January weekends would be $186+186 = $372. A 4-day Epic Day Pass without holidays is currently $399 and was $388 before Sept. 2, 2019. The advantage of paying a little more early on for an Epic Day Pass is the flexibility of using the 4 days any non-holiday period at any of the three VR resorts in the northeast during the season. Or potentially flying out west for a weekend trip to a VR resort.

Haven’t looked at online advanced ticket prices for the three midwest locations in MI, MN, WI but would expect something similar.

The daily rate range for the Epic Day Pass was $89-106 (1-7 days) during the spring and summer, and went up to $92-109 in early Sept.  If interested in Telluride, Sun Valley or Snowbasin, or the RCR mountains in Canada, then would need to get 4-7 days.

Epic Local includes unlimited access to Okemo and Sunapee, with blackout dates for Stowe.  But possible to get a discounted ticket during holidays for Stowe.  The price went up to $719 for 19+ after 9/2/2019.  Epic Local includes unlimited days at Breck, Keystone, and Crested Butte in CO, along with Okemo and Sunapee and the “local” ski areas in the midwest and PacNW.  Access to Peak resorts for 2019-20 is supposed to be unrestricted once the merger is complete.  Presumably to entice people who bought a Peak Pass to upgrade to Epic Local.

6 months ago

Not sure why it wasn’t included in the title,  but I just renewed my major-multi-resort pass.  Loveland, my renewal was $419 and I just received it so I can start at any of the resorts listed below.  If you buy it new it’s $439 and you have to pick it up in person at the ski area first.

 

It’s a pretty exceptional array of places that are partnered, though sadly no area in the east.  I’m sad about that but happy about three free days, no blackouts, at these places (there are more but these are the ones I’m interested in) 

Obviously Loveland throughout the season and 

Monarch.   Ski Cooper (which has opened steeper terrain with a t-bar this year on the back side, this will be very good 800 vert utterly uncrowded tree skiing.)  Purgatory.  Powder Mountain.  Red Lodge.  Whitefish. Brundage. Homewood.

 

Then these places on the Powder Alliance, 3 days free midweek and 50% off on weekends/holidays:

Whitewater, Castle Mountain, Schweitzer, Bridger Bowl, SierraTahoe, Stevens Pass, White Pass, Mission Ridge, Timberline(oregon let’s not even discuss our own for now)

 

Adequately awesome I think — 

 

 

I was only partially facetious when I mentioned this pass not being included in the title, one could characterize this as the MCP lite, covering fiercely independent independent and often, but not always, smaller places, and these are the places I prefer anyway.  I am an admitted contrarian,but I have never felt the exalted destinations were worth what you miss or neglect on the way.

 

Also there is a lot of backcountry and more laissez-faire notions of access at many of these places

6 months ago

Thanks for the heads up on new Cooooooper lift.

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago

kemperski wrote:

Then these places on the Powder Alliance, 3 days free midweek and 50% off on weekends/holidays:

Whitewater, Castle Mountain, Schweitzer, Bridger Bowl, SierraTahoe, Stevens Pass, White Pass, Mission Ridge, Timberline(oregon let’s not even discuss our own for now)

 

Adequately awesome I think — 

I was only partially facetious when I mentioned this pass not being included in the title, one could characterize this as the MCP lite, covering fiercely independent independent and often, but not always, smaller places, and these are the places I prefer anyway.  I am an admitted contrarian,but I have never felt the exalted destinations were worth what you miss or neglect on the way.

 

Also there is a lot of backcountry and more laissez-faire notions of access at many of these places

Powder Alliance, Freedom Pass, Indy Pass and other multi-resort passes would be a completely different thread.  :-)

The MCP independents are all destination resorts, and all on Ikon as partners.  So in some ways the MCP is “Ikon lite” since it’s around $500 instead of $1000.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago

Feels like the price for the MCP will go up in early Oct, which has been the pattern in recent years.  Got a reminder email today since I didn’t get the MCP for 2019-20.  $489 in Sept, my guess would be $509 in Oct-Nov 2019.

I think the deadline for Epic is mid-Oct.  Ikon sales went into Dec last year.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago

Price goes up for Epic on Oct. 13.  Was sold until mid-Nov last year.  Guess I’ve noticed the announcements in mid-October more.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago

Ikon prices go up Oct. 17.  Sales continued until mid-Dec last year.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
5 months ago

Last day to get Ikon before the price goes up on 10/17/19.  The price for Epic passes went up a few days ago.

Forbes came out with an article about Epic and Ikon just before the prices increases.  Presumably that was free advertising. ;-)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/willmcgough/2019/10/11/ski-last-chance-for-cheaper-epic-and-ikon-passes-this-weekend/#53921ff34d8f

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
5 months ago

The MCP price went up $20 in early October, now $529 for adults and $199 for kids.  Pattern for the last couple years is that the price goes up in early Dec, then sales stop for a few weeks, with the final price a little higher in January, and sales end by the end of January.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
5 months ago

The increase for Ikon passes is $50 for adults and a bit more for Young Adults (13-22) and kids. Full Ikon is $1099 and Ikon Base is $799.  Those who bought back in the spring saved $100, or $130 if they got the $30 renewal discount.

Unlike Summer/Fall 2018, there weren’t any additions to Ikon since the spring. There is a list of Opening Dates on the Ikon website (click on Unlock Winter on the Ikon homepage).  Still TBD for Killington and Brighton as of 10/17/19.  Every region will have at least one mountain open by Thanksgiving week.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

A little late for the Epic pass for this season since the last day to buy was Nov. 24, but the NY Times has an article about how to get the most out of multi-resort passes.  I knew it was coming eventually because the author contacted me last winter.  She has examples from a few other Ski Divas as well, plus a few other travelers.  Note that you need a subscription or a clean slate to read the entire article.

Multi-Mountain Passes Have Upended the American Ski Trip. 9 Rules You Need to Know.

The passes have encouraged snowsports fans to visit more than one mountain on a vacation. Here’s how to navigate the new landscape.

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

The deadline for Epic passes was extended yesterday by a week.  Last day is now Dec. 2.  Turns out the NY Times article will be in the print Sunday paper on Dec. 1.  Hmmm … 

The last day to buy an Ikon pass will be Dec. 12, 2019.  That’s about the same time as last year.

https://theknow.denverpost.com/2019/11/25/ikon-pass-epic-pass-deadlines-2019/229307/

2 months ago

We got the Snowshoe Ridiculous Pass this year and are leaning toward getting the Ikon Base Pass next year and using it to visit Tremblant.  My back of the napkin proforma has us breaking even at three days at Tremblant and two at the ‘Shoe, given that my kids can get the discounted Base Pass.

Does anyone know how much prices have gone up every year on these?

LIke a 10% increase or what?

I know history doesn’t guaranteee future performance but…

2 months ago

I just looked up my Ikon acct.  

18/19 - $599  (15 days at SS and 3 days at Big Sky)

19/20 - $649 - $30 renewal discount = $619  (hoping for 15 at SS and 3.5 days in Utah in Feb)  

 

2 months ago

I want to say we paid $599 earlybird price for 2019 and then I know it was $649 minus some discount, for 2020.  Not much history, as Ikon is only 2 years old.  The very similar predecessor, Max Pass, was ~$599??  However +10%  may be a conservative guardrail for predicting worst-case break-even for next year though.

Since its effectively a season pass to SS and opens up so much more, It’s an easy “yes” vote from me for even just one out-of-area trip, as you realized.  FWIW I’ve got 15 days this season so far, 10 on Ikon.  Last year, 20/36 days were on Ikon.  It absolutely has shifted how my wife and I ski- despite being anchored locally as instructors most weekends.  It’s made us look closely at December airfare sales for early turns out West, and take a more liberal view of the 8 hour drive to Vermont. 

2 months ago

Yeah, I paid the prices listed above ($599 last year, $619 this year).  Last year, I got:

- 5 days of skiing in Utah (Alta, Snowbird, and Deer Valley) last year.

- another 6 days of skiing at Snowshoe.  

So about $55 per day with just one trip out west.


This year, I’ll get:

- 4 days at Steamboat

- 4 days in Utah

- Unknown days at Snowshoe.  

The pass pays for itself with just one 4 day trip out west.  With two, it drops the price to $75 per day (a steal for a place like Steamboat), and gives you free skiing at Snowshoe.  

Definitely a good deal in my book.  The real question will be whether we stick with Ikon next year or go to Epic to hit up Whitetail locally instead (and do a trip to Vail).

2 months ago

skinavy wrote:

 It absolutely has shifted how my wife and I ski- despite being anchored locally as instructors most weekends.  It’s made us look closely at December airfare sales for early turns out West, and take a more liberal view of the 8 hour drive to Vermont. 

This really got my attention.  I feel so “anchored” to SS since I’m a homeowner.  I may need to shift my focus as well.  Southwest tickets are pretty cheap to Boston which opens up ME, NH and VT on the Ikon.   

2 months ago

The real value of Epic/Ikon, IMO, is the early/late seasons.  You likely wouldn’t pay window to ski possibly sketchy conditions, much less commit to any trip expenses.  But when the skiing part at least is a sunk cost, and if you can hit a good fare and/or couchsurf, suddenly early Dec and all of April in SLC, or Summit County, or Tahoe, or VT/NH/ME smells really nice.  Still ski w friends all during the “peak” season locally, and hit the destination places when they are least crowded.  (In addition to the obligatory mid-Feb trip out West ;) )  Easily adds 10-15 days to your season, and often the type of days you brag about for years to come!

2 months ago

@skinavy - I like the way you’re thinkin!

Someone correct me if I’m wrong but flying Southwest further reduces risks as I believe cancelled flights are given a no fee credit good for up to one year.  My wife and I can always find a reason to go to FL and use those credits.  

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

Someone correct me if I’m wrong but flying Southwest further reduces risks as I believe cancelled flights are given a no fee credit good for up to one year.  My wife and I can always find a reason to go to FL and use those credits.  

Southwest is my airline for ski trips for 2 reasons: 1) 2 free checked bags, and 2) can change or cancel with no fee.  A credit is good for up to one year from the time the ticket was originally booked.  I check a ski bag and a small suitcase.  Ski boots are in a carry-on.  If the layover is relatively short on the way out, I usually pay the fee for Early Bird check-in.  Especially if the flight leaves around 6am so that I don’t have to be up the day before I to the airport from home.

One of the SkiSE men who used to fly from DC to Utah for backcountry skiing used to book 2-3 long weekends in the fall to SLC.  He would cancel if conditions weren’t going to worth the time off.

Since I have a flexible schedule (being retired) I’ve extended a trip that involved flying Southwest more than once to catch a powder storm.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

skinavy wrote:

The real value of Epic/Ikon, IMO, is the early/late seasons.  You likely wouldn’t pay window to ski possibly sketchy conditions, much less commit to any trip expenses.  But when the skiing part at least is a sunk cost, and if you can hit a good fare and/or couchsurf, suddenly early Dec and all of April in SLC, or Summit County, or Tahoe, or VT/NH/ME smells really nice.  Still ski w friends all during the “peak” season locally, and hit the destination places when they are least crowded.  (In addition to the obligatory mid-Feb trip out West ;) )  Easily adds 10-15 days to your season, and often the type of days you brag about for years to come!

Agree!

I had fun checking out locations in the northeast during early season based on Ikon or the MCP in recent years.  I had other reasons for driving north and simply added a few days of skiing, with the destination determined by conditions.  One spring my ski buddy and I decided in April to add a trip in May.  We skied Bachelor (spring rates), Squaw (1/2 day MCP), and Mammoth (3 days using MCP).

I usually take one mid-season trip out west and then go to Alta in April to meet up with friends.  Used to get the MCP since getting to two locations was enough to make it worth it.  A deal if we hit 3 locations.  My average cost per day was around $50, which is very good for destination resorts like Alta, Aspen, JH, etc.

Have since switched to Ikon.  I happen to like the Ikon locations better.  Might get Epic one season to check out the VR resorts in Colorado.

The Indy Pass is what I’m using to check out small areas in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic.  Also includes places like Magic in New England.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

This season it’s the turn of the PacNW to have so much snow that people are blaming Ikon for parking woes.  It’s the first season after Alterra bought Crystal.  There is no local pass option, only Ikon with unlimited access for both locals and travelers.  Jan. 11-12 was the first non-holiday weekend and there were two deep days midweek.  Pent up demand from locals who didn’t want to deal with holiday crowds probably added to the number of people stuck without parking on Sat.  End result is that Crystal announced this week that no day tickets will be sold for holidays and weekends for the rest of the season.  There will be a limited number of day tickets available online in advance.

https://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/six-hours-in-the-car-and-zero-runs-on-the-mountain-delays-overcrowding-keep-seattle-skiers-off-local-slopes/

2 months ago

I’m loving my Loveland multi-resort pass more and more  —I wish I was using my days at Powder Mountain right about now

2 months ago

Does anyone know when the Ikon Pass goes on sale for next year?

My plan was to buy the base pass for my family of four and go to Tremblant over Christmas 2020 and while of course using it for as many trips to Snowshoe as we can manage.  Since my kids are still young enough to get the discount (assuming there will be one next year too) it pays for itself afer the planned Tremblant trip and like 2 days at the ‘Shoe.

Now my wife says she might want to go out West somewhere (Tahoe area?) for the kids’ spring break, which straddles the end of March/start of April, so of course I’d like to use it there too if possible.

I think my plan might be a bit of wishful thinking and Ikon doesn’t go on sale until the middle of April, which would make it too late to use it for us this Spring, but I just can’t remember.

Does anyone know?

2 months ago

Keith I purchased mine on 3/5/19 - technically I renewed it so I’m not certain about it’s use for the remainder of the 18/19 season as will be your case for 19/20.

ORDER #272766

March 05, 2019 12:39 PM

TOTAL

$619.00 (1 item)

2 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

Keith I purchased mine on 3/5/19 - technically I renewed it so I’m not certain about it’s use for the remainder of the 18/19 season as will be your case for 19/20.

ORDER #272766

March 05, 2019 12:39 PM

TOTAL

$619.00 (1 item)

Thanks.  I’m pretty sure you CAN use it for the rest of the season, although I might be conflating/confusing that with the Ridiculous Pass.  I wonder if that fact that I would be transitioning from a Ridiculous Pass to Ikon Base Pass would count as a quasi-renewal and get me some further discount. (?)

Next question: assuming I can get an Ikon in time to use it over that aforementioned spring break period, where should I go out West to use it?  The current front runners seem to be somewhere in Colorado or somewhere near Tahoe.  (My wife doesn’t want to go to Utah this time.)

one month ago

Ikon goes on sale 3/5/20

DETAILS HERE

Denis - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

We got virtually no snow in February in Tahoe or mammoth.  Several episodes of dusting for <5” total.  For me the big advantage of Ikon is the long spring season at Squaw and Mammoth, into July last year.  Without a miracle March that won’t happen this year.  

Last year I bought the 19/20 ikon base in March which allowed spring skiing from April 8 until end of season, as well as all this season.  By July I had scored enough days to beat the ticket window rate 2x over, and the 19/20 season hadn’t even started!  I’d expect a similar policy this season, but closing well before July.  So; buyer beware.

one month ago

Any word (or rumors) about when the Epic Passes for 2020-21 go on sale, and whatn options will be offered?  

Now that we know about Ikon for 2020-21, Epic probably can’t afford to hold off much longer.

Woody

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

bousquet19 wrote:

Any word (or rumors) about when the Epic Passes for 2020-21 go on sale, and whatn options will be offered?  

Now that we know about Ikon for 2020-21, Epic probably can’t afford to hold off much longer.

Woody

In Spring 2019, VR put out a press release on 2/18/19 about the fact that A-Basin wouldn’t be Epic any more.  The media blitz about the new Epic Day Pass and the other Epic passes in general started on 3/5/19.  I think sales started that week.

In 2018, Epic sales started on March 6 and so did sales for the first version of Ikon.  For 2018-19, the list of Ikon locations kept changing well into September with both new Alterra purchases and additional partners.

one month ago

We’re pretty split between Ikon and Epic next year. We have done Ikon the past two years, and it has been a positive experience. 
 

That said, I love Vail, and can get free lodging at luxury hotels there, which is appealing. The difference maker might be the kids’ passes. Ikon continues to have deals for children. 

one month ago

Reisen wrote:

We’re pretty split between Ikon and Epic next year. We have done Ikon the past two years, and it has been a positive experience. 
 

That said, I love Vail, and can get free lodging at luxury hotels there, which is appealing. The difference maker might be the kids’ passes. Ikon continues to have deals for children. 

Agreed Reisen.  

It’s hard, if not impossible, to decide about passes for 2020-21 when Epic hasn’t yet announced their prices or options.  

My home areas have been Whitetail and Liberty, and I get to the NEast for a few days each year.  I also go to Snowshoe for 4-6 days a season, so I’ll buy SS’s Ridiculous Pass ($279 unlimited) or Ikon. 

But I’m drawn to the Epic Pass … if they offer some sort of “Pennsylvania local” pass for their 5 PA areas at a reasonable price.   Hey Epic:  Let us know what’s up!

Woody

one month ago

The Epic Pass announcement for 2020-21 season passes is now online.  

Wow … options include NE Pass (Mid-A and NEast incl. Stowe), NE Midweek Pass, options for children and seniors in some instances, and $49 down payment plan.  Insurance is about 1/2 the price that Ikon charges.

Thanks Epic/Vail.  You surprised me after the “Peak Disappointment” (editor Scott’s term, I think) of Peak’s takeover of the Snowtime areas.

Woody

29 days ago

bousquet19 wrote:

The Epic Pass announcement for 2020-21 season passes is now online.  

Wow … options include NE Pass (Mid-A and NEast incl. Stowe), NE Midweek Pass, options for children and seniors in some instances, and $49 down payment plan.  Insurance is about 1/2 the price that Ikon charges.

Thanks Epic/Vail.  You surprised me after the “Peak Disappointment” (editor Scott’s term, I think) of Peak’s takeover of the Snowtime areas.

Woody

I was hoping for a Pennsylvania pass around $499. Wisp an snowshoe have sub $300 passes and this NE pass is only $50 less than an ikon renewal. There is definitely some people this pass is an improvement for over the peak mess, but for many I think the old $469 snowtime passes were better. 

Scott - DCSki Editor
29 days ago

Be sure to check out this cover story I just published on DCSki, which takes a look at the Epic/Ikon passes from the perspective of a Mid-Atlantic skier.  There are lots of options to digest this year!

28 days ago

bousquet19 wrote:

The Epic Pass announcement for 2020-21 season passes is now online.  

Wow … options include NE Pass (Mid-A and NEast incl. Stowe), NE Midweek Pass, options for children and seniors in some instances, and $49 down payment plan.  Insurance is about 1/2 the price that Ikon charges.

Thanks Epic/Vail.  You surprised me after the “Peak Disappointment” (editor Scott’s term, I think) of Peak’s takeover of the Snowtime areas.

Woody

 

^^^ LOL . That reads like an industry promotion…

I just saw Epic’s “North East” season pass offering and am quite dissappointed.  It is in no way friendly for families w/ young children.  Prices have jumped from $0 two years ago, to $59 last year, to now $379… 

The condiitions this year were really poor… I don’t think I’m going to risk an ADDITIONAL $800 (above the price of my adult pass) next season we will just do something else w/ the kids instead.

28 days ago

SailNSki wrote:

bousquet19 wrote:

The Epic Pass announcement for 2020-21 season passes is now online.  

Wow … options include NE Pass (Mid-A and NEast incl. Stowe), NE Midweek Pass, options for children and seniors in some instances, and $49 down payment plan.  Insurance is about 1/2 the price that Ikon charges.

Thanks Epic/Vail.  You surprised me after the “Peak Disappointment” (editor Scott’s term, I think) of Peak’s takeover of the Snowtime areas.

Woody

 

^^^ LOL . That reads like an industry promotion…

I just saw Epic’s “North East” season pass offering and am quite dissappointed.  It is in no way friendly for families w/ young children.  Prices have jumped from $0 two years ago, to $59 last year, to now $379… 

The condiitions this year were really poor… I don’t think I’m going to risk an ADDITIONAL $800 (above the price of my adult pass) next season we will just do something else w/ the kids instead.

 

SailNSki, I agree that Epic has not given due consideration to families with children who would like to get out onto the snow without costing their parents spending a fortune.  Although our children are grown, I remember well how we depended on reasonable rates to get them skiing and had to shop around.  Dealing with the cold and schlepping all that kid gear is trying enough.

Recently, it seems that every year another demographic group is getting jilted by ticket and pass pricing options (not) offered at many ski areas.  The loss of the senior pass and senior day ticket discounts at Peak Resorts for 2019-20 particularly galled me because I’d just “qualified” for that distinguished group.

Have you checked into non-Vail non-Alterra ski areas for skiing options next season?  In preparation for being shut out of 2020-21 pass pricing options, I was considering shifting to Massanutten as my home area for next season, if necessary.  I got lucky this time because Epic offered a reasonably priced pass that fits my needs for 2020-21.  Canaan Valley, Bryce, and Massanutten, to name three Mid-Atlantic examples, often offer some appealing prices for families.  Might be worth checking out.  

Good luck, and I hope your family keeps skiing together.

Woody

28 days ago

SailNSki wrote:

^^^ LOL . That reads like an industry promotion…  (snip)

 

LOL

Many years ago (more than 80, to be more specific), my family ran an all-rope-tows ski area in Massachusetts.  Back then my grandfather wondered if he could charge people $1 per day to ski there.  He found himself faced wth explaining why rope tows were safe and why the ski ticket was worth the price.

The ski area still operates today.

Woody

28 days ago

SailNSki wrote:

bousquet19 wrote:

The Epic Pass announcement for 2020-21 season passes is now online.  

Wow … options include NE Pass (Mid-A and NEast incl. Stowe), NE Midweek Pass, options for children and seniors in some instances, and $49 down payment plan.  Insurance is about 1/2 the price that Ikon charges.

Thanks Epic/Vail.  You surprised me after the “Peak Disappointment” (editor Scott’s term, I think) of Peak’s takeover of the Snowtime areas.

Woody

 

^^^ LOL . That reads like an industry promotion…

I just saw Epic’s “North East” season pass offering and am quite dissappointed.  It is in no way friendly for families w/ young children.  Prices have jumped from $0 two years ago, to $59 last year, to now $379… 

The condiitions this year were really poor… I don’t think I’m going to risk an ADDITIONAL $800 (above the price of my adult pass) next season we will just do something else w/ the kids instead.

Snowshoe Ridiculous Pass for kids age 4 & under is $49.

Denis - DCSki Supporter
28 days ago

bousquet19 wrote:

SailNSki wrote:

^^^ LOL . That reads like an industry promotion…  (snip)

 

LOL

Many years ago (more than 80, to be more specific), my family ran an all-rope-tows ski area in Massachusetts.  Back then my grandfather wondered if he could charge people $1 per day to ski there.  He found himself faced wth explaining why rope tows were safe and why the ski ticket was worth the price.

The ski area still operates today.

Woody

Thanks for that Woody.  I grew up in Massachusetts and remember Bousquets, although I never skied there.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
28 days ago

bousquet19 wrote:

Have you checked into non-Vail non-Alterra ski areas for skiing options next season?  In preparation for being shut out of 2020-21 pass pricing options, I was considering shifting to Massanutten as my home area for next season, if necessary.  I got lucky this time because Epic offered a reasonably priced pass that fits my needs for 2020-21.  Canaan Valley, Bryce, and Massanutten, to name three Mid-Atlantic examples, often offer some appealing prices for families.  Might be worth checking out.  

Good luck, and I hope your family keeps skiing together.

Woody

Note that CV, Bryce, and Mnut were all on the Indy Pass this season.  Initial price was $199, which includes 2 days at each location.  Most of the locations were unrestricted (no black out dates, good weekends).  I expect them to continue for 2020-21.  Sales of Indy will start on Sept. 1, 2020.  Most likely will add other independent ski areas/resorts before then.

28 days ago

If you are like me and it pains you to plunk down $649 today on next years Ikon Base Pass, they offer the following interest free payment plan.

PAYMENT PLAN

Pay $199.00 today and $112.50 in four monthly payments June - September 2020.

28 days ago

marzNC wrote:

Note that CV, Bryce, and Mnut were all on the Indy Pass this season.  Initial price was $199, which includes 2 days at each location.  Most of the locations were unrestricted (no black out dates, good weekends).  I expect them to continue for 2020-21.  Sales of Indy will start on Sept. 1, 2020.  Most likely will add other independent ski areas/resorts before then.

Good points, marzNC.  And there’s Massanutten’s Special Value Pass:

2020-21 Special Value Pass | $269 if purchased before March 31, 2020
Massanutten’s most popular season pass is valid throughout the season, but is restricted until after 4 pm on our busiest days (December 25 - January 1 & Saturdays in January and February).

Woody

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