Snowshoe Season passes for the 2021/2022 Season go on sale March 11. So do Ikon Base Passes. I encourage you to first do the math for your family before you purchase--as you may save money by buying one over the other, depending on your family structure. You also have to figure if you're going to truly ski at Snowshoe only, or use the pass elsewhere, since for a minor cost difference, it might make sense to get Ikon Base Passes.
One thing holds true: From what I can tell, it never makes sense to buy a Kids Snowshoe Pass. The Kids Ikon Base Pass is either $279 (without discount), or $179 (with discount—if you buy an adult Ikon Base Pass, you get $100 off on up to 2 Kids Ikon Base Passes). It's always at least $120 cheaper than the kids Snowshoe Pass.
For my family, we have 3 skiers--myself and two kids who fit into the 5-12 age category.
Unless I'm missing something, if we want season passes to Snowshoe in one form or another, here's how it breaks down:
1 Adult Snowshoe Pass ($429) and 2 Kids Snowshoe Passes: ($399x2=$798) totals $1227 Snowshoe Passes Only. Most expensive option.
If we buy Ikon Base passes:
1 Adult Ikon Base Pass: $729, 2 Kids Ikon Base Passes: $358 (($279-$100)x2=$358--for each Adult Pass you purchase, you get $100 discount on 2 Kids passes) totals $1087. Savings over Snowshoe-only passes: $140
1 Adult Snowshoe Only Pass ($429), 2 Kids Ikon Base Passes (non-discount $279x2) totals $987. Cheapest option by $100, and $240 cheaper than buying all Snowshoe Only Passes.
I have done back of the napkin math for up to families of 5 people (2 adults, 3 kids). Let me know if anyone wants that. The short answer is: If you want to ski Snowshoe only, it's always cheapest to buy Adult Snowshoe Passes and Kids Ikon Base Passes. But, if you think you may ski more Alterra resorts next season, it might be only slightly more expensive to get all Ikon Base passes for your family.
Note that if one is RENEWING their pass the Snowshoe Pass is 379 VS 429 and the Ikon Base is 649 VS 729
IMO - 649 for an Ikon Base pass is a STEAL
Unless I'm missing something,
There are a few Ikon Partners in the northeast that have taken a different approach to Ikon. The idea is that someone who buys a season pass to the resort can add Ikon Base for substantially less money than simply buying Ikon Base. For example, it's $300 to add Ikon Base to the Boyne New England pass that covers Loon, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf. Most NE Pass holders only ski one of those resorts as their local mountain.
For the MCP, the way the resorts avoided locals buying the MCP instead of a 1-location season pass is that they started offering the 50% discount for day tickets at other MCP resorts as a perk for the premium season pass.
And here's where Timberline's resurgence makes things more complicated for folks who (1) prefer TL over snowshoe and (2) want to get out West or up north for a bigger trip. TL is not on Epic, Ikon, or Indy.
I've had a Massanutten season pass for most of the past 15 seasons. Getting to break even meant 7 days at Mnut. Two 3-4 day holiday weekends was enough and I usually got in a few more days in addition. Also gave me a discount on Indy for 2020-21.
For trips out west, I've used the MCP or Ikon. Since I've been able to take at least two 1-week trips, it's worked out to $50-60 per day most seasons.
Definitely pays to do calculations based on the likely situation for a given family. I turn 65 before next season. So that's another factor that I'll be considering. Ikon doesn't have any discount for seniors, but there is probably a scenario where getting a senior pass could make sense if 50% reciprocal discounts are included. One season Taos did that for an additional $100.
If anyone is determined to take a trip to JH or Aspen, note that Ikon Base doesn't include any days at either resort. It's $150 to add both. Or go with Full Ikon and get 7 days at all the Ikon locations.
It's possible to upgrade later from Ikon Base to Ikon Base Plus (JH, Aspen) or Full Ikon. My ski buddy who joined me in Dec did that since we were going to ski at JH for a couple days. $75 per day was better than paying for day tickets.
A similar thing is going on in Utah. Ikon base is eroding the motivation to buy a dedicated pass to many individual resorts. IKON is cheaper and more variety.
One of the difference for 2021-22 is that the Ikon Session pass, which is $399 for 4-days will not include Deer Valley, Alta, or Snowbird, along with JH and Aspen. Combined with the Ikon Base add-on option at Alta and Snowbird for $269, that will change the calculation for some locals in who ski LCC/BCC or people who travel there on a regular basis.
Based on my plans to get to three destination resorts next season, what made the most sense was Ikon Base plus the MCP. Got a renewal discount plus a tiny credit for Ikon, and the bonus day at one resort for the MCP. Covers 7 days at each resort with the flexibility of 50% tickets for a few extra days at Alta in April.
Everyone's situation is different. But it's clear that passes are at the lowest prices in the spring so it can pay to think ahead.
Still deciding on what to do for next year, 9 hrs before the deadline for the Ikon pass price increase. I just don't think we will be doing any big trips until the kids have spring break the first week in April, so it may make sense just to get a local pass and then look for a spring deal. The numbers for me:
Ikon (where I could use Snowshoe as my home resort): $2100 for my family of four if I buy today
Timberline: $1440 for my family of four, plus whatever it would cost for spring skiing elsewhere. We would like to do a trip to A-basin.
I have to admit it was really painful to drop almost $2,000 on Ikon passes compared to ~$900 for Snowshoe passes for the 2020/21 season. Still, the break-even compared to ticket window prices is about six days even if we only go to Snowshoe. But the "extra" $1100 that I paid in order to have the option to ski somewhere other than Snowshoe will be recouped in about three days somewhere out west.
Now I am committed to going somewhere else besides Snowshoe next winter!