Early Bird Discounts on Season Passes
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
May 7, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,922 posts
I just broke down and purchased two Timberline season passes yesterday for $299 a pass. It's tough to spend money on skiing in May, but passes go up to over $549 come 31 May so it pays to buy now. [Wink] Anyone who plans to ski at least 7 regular weekend days over the season should buy a pass. The pass also gives you a lot of flexibility. For example, if I had to buy a ticket, I would never ski for just two hours before leaving on a Sunday or nab a few hours of night skiing on Friday nights after the long drive.

The best deal in town is this year's early bird pass at Snowshoe. [Cool] [Cool] You have until 6 June to buy a Snowshoe Season pass for just $349. This is the pass I would buy if I did not own property at Timberline. Why? Snowshoe always opens 1-2 weeks before Timberline and closes 1-2 weeks later. That means for just $49 bucks more, you get up to 4 more weeks of skiing.

In the dreams category, what I'd really love to see is a regional Mid-Atlantic ski pass. I think many people would pay up to $600 for a pass good at a multiple resorts. Snowtime offers a pass good at Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop, and when those resorts are closed, Windham in NY. But I want more--a pass that would cover both east and west of the Allegheny Front resorts. With chip card technology (used extensively in Europe), it is possible for a consortium of resorts to track usage for individual pass holders. Hence, if a pass holder uses the pass 7 times and visits Whitetail 2 times, 7 Springs 2 times, and Snowshoe 3 times, each of those resorts could be compensated precisely for the services they rendered to the individual pass holder. Snowshoe, for example, would get 3/7 of the $600 pass value (plus any lodging, meals, lessons, etc that a pass holder purchases) or about $257 plus extras. Chip cards even allow resorts to track how many lifts rides a card holder takes per visit and which lifts he or she uses. Conceivably, resorts could use this technology offer discounts to skiers who ski less heavily used slopes or who ski non-peak hours. You could pay $600 for the pass and then get a rebate of some sort (perhaps a discount on a future pass) based on when and where you ski.
snowbird
May 7, 2004
Member since 02/28/2004 🔗
51 posts
snowshoe is sooo over rated. if you have to lodge and travel more than 5 hours to get there you should take your money and head west. you can lodge in slc and ski any of the 4 lcc or bcc resorts for much less than snowshoe. and the only thing that makes it a little more is the airfare. search well in advance and you can get round trip from the east cost for less than 200 per person. ive paid as little as 160 round trip from rdu to slc. motel 50 a night way cheaper than anything at snowshoe. lift tickets to any of teh resorts 41 dollars. also well below snowshoe outragous 60+ dollar a day mid season lift ticket price. snow quality at snowbird hands down the best in the country. snowshoes snow quality heavy wet and groomed. never gonna experience any REAL POWDER RIDING OR SKIING at snowshoe. need to head west to see what powder riding or skiing is all about.
however showshoe is an aight place and ive been a few times but for the past 4 years ive just taken my money and headed west twice a year. its soooooooooooooooooooo much better. once you go west you never wanna come home. however app ski mtn is a great place to go in betweeen all the western trips. app is best in nc snow quality

just go to snowbird thats all im trying to say.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
May 8, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,922 posts
Comparing Snowshoe to SLC is specious. No one on this site would argue that Snowshoe is better than Utah resorts or for that matter, some of the better places in New England like Stowe or Sunday River.

However, you can't throw your gear, your family, and your dog in a car and drive to Utah in 5 hours either. Hence, for those who are looking for a good weekend getaway, Snowshoe, Timberline, Wisp, and 7 Springs are perfect. I want to ski nearly every weekend of the season and Utah just is not viable for that type of skiing. Furthermore, the days of cheap fares from BWI to Utah are fading because of high fuel prices, airport surcharges, and increased demand for travel. National Geographic Travel Magazine predicts fares to be 50 percent higher next season because of rising fuel prices. Even for May travel, your basic RT fare via Southwest from BWI to SLC is almost the same price as a Snowshoe season pass.

Most of us will still head west (or in my case to Europe) for one or two BIG trips of the season but I'm afraid that the days of weekend hopping to Western resorts may be fading for all but the wealthiest skiers. I hope I am wrong, but it's my hunch.

In the meantime, a $349 pass at Snowshoe can really make multiple weekends there viable for the average skier or rider.
jimmy
May 8, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Hey John, I'm right with you on the MASA (Mid Atlantic Ski Area) Pass. PA Ski Area Association has a voucher program (call now, maybe they'll put you on the wait list, they've been sold out for the last two seasons) that's honored at any? PA ski area. They sell books of 24 vouchers for $29-30 per. You hand the ticket man a voucher and he gives you an adult all day ticket. I don't know how much the ski areas charge the association but for me it's like a family pass at all the participating resorts for 700 bucks.

Draw a 100 mile radius around ?Wisp?, Maybe call it the outer ring of heaven, form an association to promote mid-atlantic skiing and wait for the snow.
snowcone
May 8, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
AND .. the Season Pass Deal of Deals ... if you enjoy mountain biking and intend to spend a couple of days at Snowshoe biking then you can buy a Combined Seasons Pass for biking (normally $199 for the season includes lift, shuttle bus, trail pass and Bike Park) and a winter lift pass ( early bird $259-$359 regularly $550+) for a grand total of $ 475 !!

We figured 3 days biking and 6 days skiing covers the cost of the passes and the rest if FREE!!!

I just plunked down the bucks yesterday for passes for the 3 of us. It was a hell of a hit to the bank account but I figure it's one less expense to worry about come fall. I find we are more likely to spend more time on the mountain just because we have more money to spend on lodging since the lifts and trail/shuttle fees are paid.

Combining the two passes was someone's really smart marketing idea. Snowshoe seems to be building up its infrastructure to be a biking destination during the offseason so it all makes terrific sense.
KevR
May 10, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
John I like your mid-atlantic pass idea...

also compairing mid-atlantic to the west is well... not really fair.

Still a short flight from BWI does get you skiing in 5-7 hrs. BUT while its time competitive to some degree (for some of us) it's not really $$$ competitive unless you have some flight credits and take that out of the equation.

Since I live down by Annapolis I've never been to 'shoe or any of the other wv resorts, and many of the resorts in PA.

Next season I was also toying with the idea of buying a season pass for the first time to whitetail/roundtop/liberty, whereas previously I've only used the advantage card.
I think if there were a mult-resort pass beyond this I'd likely be more motivated to try them... but that would come at the expense of places like whitetail. And overall I'm not sure I'd forgo my western trips... Still if the economics of the idea is there, perhaps some resorts would support it.
It definitely seems worth exploring further to me...
[Cool]
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
May 10, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,922 posts
KevR:

One reason why the WV season passes are such a good deal is the extended season there. I took a look at the Dolly Sods cam this morning and could not believe my eyes:

http://www.fsvisimages.com/doso1/doso1

The leaves are just beginning to open out there. [Wink]
KevR
May 10, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
I think the unfortunate truth for me is that I'm likely to continue to just be a local day skier... [Frown]
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
May 11, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,922 posts
KevR:

Consider Blue Mountain in Allentown, Wisp, and 7 Springs for future day trips--all three are a bit further than WT but will give you some nice variety. Blue Mountain, in particular, has excellent vertical, steep terrain, and a good lift system. However, the snow there can get icey due to its coastal location so pay close attention to weather. Also, avoid Blue on weekends since that isthe time all the Philly locals head up.
KevR
May 13, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
I have been to 7 Springs... the others no. it does give on the "resort feel" and they have some nice runs. They are short and the lifts are slow however. On the other hand they get a fair amount of natural snow fall and leave some areas ungroomed which is nice. I guess, at this point, I'd probably take my 3-4 hr drive and try elsewhere locally for comparison purposes -- having never been to t-line, snowshoe, canaan, or any PA resorts besides WT, RT and LBTY...

In fact, in general on the east coast I can only count Killington, Stowe and now new this year Hunter.

That's not saying much really and there many places to visit and try out.
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