Once again there are many pass options to choose from for the next season. Ikon Pass prices go up on May 5th and the Mountain Collective bonus day at the resort of your choice goes away May 17th as well as a slight bump in price. Choices on passes will be dependent on your chase goals such as as the number of days spent in one area and your flexibility to chase powder. Last season Powderchasers relied on several passes including the Mountain Collective, Ikon Pass, and the Indy Ski Pass. Some of us also had the Epic Pass. Mother Nature does not care which pass you own and often will tease you by dumping higher amounts at a resort your pass does not cover.
Pass prices are about to go up and some this week. Decisions will be based on your goals for travel, number of days at each resort and your flexibility. Keep reading for details.
Below: May 3rd, 2021- It is still dumping in Colorado! Eldora Webcam.
For those that purely want to chase powder all season long with no limits, it makes the best sense to look at multiple passes. For those that are looking to book 1 or 2 ski trips or a 7-10 day vacation it may make the best sense to consider a single pass for a region of choice including Ikon Pass or Epic pass. For the person doing a road trip across America looking to visit new geography it may make the best sense to choose Mountain Collective or the Indy Ski Pass. Purchase the the Indy Ski Pass if your goals are for smaller resorts, less crowds, and family owned especially if your'e only goal is to cross off multiple States with no more than 2 days at each ski area on a budget. The Indy Pass starts at a low price of just $279 which is dirt cheap and now includes Powder Mountain in Utah. Rates go up on May 15th! Click here for info.
Mountain Collective will cover you at a wide area of medium and larger resorts for 2 days plus 1 third bonus day if the pass is purchased by May 17th ($499). This pass also provides you 50% off additional days which comes in handy should you extend your visit or return for additional days. Powderchasers utilized Mountain Collective last season to cover us at some of the resorts that Ikon did not cover such as Grand Targhee and also extended our days out for resorts that we exhausted our Ikon passes on. It also did not require reservations at most resorts last season, however rumors next season is that most won't require them (TBD). Rates go up May 17th for MC and the 3rd bonus day ends. Click here for more info and prices.
The Ikon Pass provides a slew of options from 4,5 and 7 days depending the level pass (The highest price pass is now $999 with no blackout dates). If you are renewing a pass from last season there is an added discount. If you ride Alterra owned properties you get unlimited skiing for the season. We also included this pass in our portfolio last season for the flexibility and many locations it covered. Rates go up May May 5th! Click here for more info and prices.
The Epic Pass threw in a surprise this season and slashed prices by 20% putting prices down to levels not seen in several years. A full Epic Pass will run you just $783 with no blackout dates and includes several resorts outside the Vail Resorts portfolio such as Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Canada. It makes sense this season with the current rates to add Epic Local ($583) if you live out of arms reach of these resorts since this still covers you for 10 days (2 days at some of the non Vail owned partners). The only caveat is there are blackout dates. For those looking for local powder and live in closer proximity you may want to consider the full Epic Pass (No blackout dates) which is still a good value. With same day purchase prices of tickets running upwards of $200 bucks even 2-3 days of skiing pays off for and Epic Local and a week long ski trip has you covered on the Full Epic Pass. Click here for more info and prices.
Below: 40-50 inch storm totals at Sun Valley in 3 days at Sun Valley Resort January 28th. @Powderchasers via Instagram
And finally, if you are the loyal fan at your local resort annual resort passes still have some merit. Last season Jackson Hole offered a limited amount of annual passes that did not require reservations (Added benefit to the locals). The full Big Sky pass gives season pass holders unlimited laps on the Lone Peak Tram. In fact, Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective visitors will be required to pay extra to ride the Lone Peak Tram. 2021/22 prices for access to the Lone Peak Tram have not been made official, but Big Sky Resort estimates that it will cost $20-$80 extra. Perhaps the Ski Industry is falling by the realm of the airlines where you're charged for extras for baggage or seats. I believe Steamboat offered a set number of early ups (Pre public) for Passholders last season with an extra charge for others. You go to love Beaver Mountain with $450 annual season pass prices or $45-50 dollar walk up rates. Senior passes are just $100 bucks. Don't overlook the merits of purchasing and supporting your local mountains.
Below: Alta Ski Area. Photo: @powderchasers- @powderchasersteve via instagram.
In conclusion, your decisions on passes will really depend on your travel needs. In some cases to purchase multiple pass options makes sense with the current rates. Also, the reduction of of having to book tickets online, wait in line at a ticket window, or make a powder decision exclusively on which pass you hold. Rates are going up in May, and some in the next few days.
Dates to remember.
IKON rates go up May 5th.
Mountain Collective bonus day expires May 17th with a trend upwards on pricing.
Indy Pass rates go up May 15th
Epic Pass (Cutoff period last season was late November).
Powderchaser Steve- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @powderchasers or sign up for our Powder Alerts.