Multi-mountain and early-bird passes offer variety, see skiing as a way of life

By Karen D. Lorentz

The season pass landscape has exploded with so many options that can be confusing for skiers and snowboarders trying to decide which pass to take advantage of for an upcoming season.

Multi-mountain passes have lowered the cost of skiing for people who ski or ride more than a few days each winter. By purchasing a spring pass for the next season, buyers benefit from preferential rates. For those who want to explore different regions and grab a bargain, the IKON Multi-Station and Beast 365 are good choices, especially if a trip out West is on the to-do list.

Dedicated racers and skiers who don’t have the opportunity, desire or means to make these trips or who prefer their local area may find a local season pass is the way to go and offers good value for money in because of competitive prices for early risers. (Killington and Pico season passes go on sale March 24 at killton.com and picomountain.com respectively.)

Pass promotes an “art of living”

I happened to meet Ed Nordengren from Salem, New Hampshire, while visiting my brother Bob in Snowmass. Ed Neagle, who works for Nordengren, was staying with my brother for the winter and had invited his ski buddy to visit and ski using his IKON Pass.

The two Eds had purchased IKON passes four seasons ago and had committed to weekend day trips throughout the winter, to ski areas in Vermont, New Hampshire and New Hampshire. Maine.

“We were calling mid-week to discuss where we would go this weekend depending on the conditions and the weather. If the conditions were the same everywhere, we’d still go to Killington because it’s the biggest mountain and the most varied,” Nordengren said, adding that they would “go up I-89 in a blizzard to try to get travel to Killington for the first chair. .”

“That’s the beauty of where we live — we can choose from a variety of areas and the IKON pays off. I love the atmosphere that each mountain brings; it’s nice to experience that and my wife also likes the variety. She doesn’t ski, but now that Ed is in Snowmass, she rides the shotgun and enjoys the various lodges around the base,” Nordengren said.

Explaining his satisfaction with the pass, Nordengren said that in addition to the exploration of different areas and its cost effectiveness, there is the convenience of the pass (direct to ascend) and the annual savings of $100 to renew it.

Now in the fourth year of his return to skiing (at 56), Nordengren has “fallen in love with all things skiing” – from chairlift rides and swapping ski stories, to the convivial après- skiing and “dinners at Bob’s ski house”. where he felt welcomed by people who share skiing as a sport and a way of life.

IKON benefits areas, guests

“The IKON pass has proven to be very popular and we are pleased that it has been able to introduce new skiers to our resort, as well as bringing back many who have not been to for years,” replied Hannah Dixon, manager. of Aspen-Snowmass Communications. when asked how IKON works for ski resorts.

“We see IKON Passholders from across the country, and even international visitors. With the number of Colorado resorts on the IKON pass, we also see a large number of visitors to the state using the IKON pass.

“Overall, the pass allowed skiers and snowboarders to be flexible and chase good snow. It has enabled and encouraged skiers to travel more and try new resorts,” she added.

Killington spokeswoman Kristel Killlary echoed Dixon’s comments. “Not only did the IKON pass bring new skiers and snowboarders to the resort, it also brought back customers who hadn’t visited the resort for a long time. Additionally, the IKON Base Pass is included when purchasing our Beast 365 All Seasons Pass, which allows our customers to explore many different IKON locations throughout the season,” said Killary.

IKON passes (ikonpass.com) are offered by Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR and various partner regions.

For 2022-23, the IKON (adults: $1,079, renewal $979) offers access to 50 winter destinations with no blackout dates and up to 7 days at 35 destinations (including Killington and Pico) as well as unlimited access to 14 hotels. The Ikon Base Pass ($769, $719 renewal) has blackout dates and offers 13 unlimited destinations and up to five days in 30 zones (including Killington and Pico). An IKON session ($419) offers 4 days in each of 37 destinations with blackout dates. For more information and benefits such as tickets for friends and family, visit the website: ikonpass.com.

Killington–Pico Passes

“What other mountain in the East offers its pass holders over 200 days of skiing and riding serviced by lifts?!” asks the station’s website. “Our winter season actually spans 3 seasons – fall, winter and spring – and often runs from late October to early June.”

The Beast from the East also offers a variety of season pass options.

  • The Beast 365 pass costs from $528 to $1,779 and includes unlimited winter lift access in Killington and Pico, as well as access to 41 additional ski destinations with the included Ikon Base pass, and unlimited access in summer at the bike park, adventure center, scenic gondola rides, and golf course. Buy with our convenient subscription-style monthly payment plan, or pay in full up-front.
  • Winter Unlimited Access Pass is $59-$1,589 and includes unlimited access to Killington and Pico, food and beverage discounts, 12 bring a friend 25% off tickets, discounts on lessons.
  • Midweek Pass, $629-$789, offers midweek and off-holiday access to Killington and Pico Mountains, discounts on food and beverages, 12 bring a friend 25% off tickets,
  • University Pass and Vermont Student Pass also available from $439 to $589.

Epic Pass season 2022/23

On March 21, Vail Resorts launched its 2022/23 Epic Pass products.

“We will not back down from our commitment to continually reinvest in the skiing and boarding experience with the goal of creating an unforgettable experience for our passholders,” said Ryan Bennett, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “We are making bold investments to ensure we have a full team of passionate and engaged employees and adding 21 new lifts to 14 of our resorts to help skiers and boarders get up and through the mountains faster. and more easily. We are committed to delivering incredible value and experience to our pass holders.

Vail Resorts recently announced an additional $175 million investment in its employees, which includes increasing its minimum wage to $20 per hour at each of its 37 North American resorts and increasing average hourly wages. 30% (see article on page 3). This is in addition to the more than $300 million the company is investing in the mountain experience next season, with 21 new lifts at 14 resorts to reduce lift wait times.

Epic for everyone

Vail Resorts is committed to making its passes accessible by offering incredible value, flexibility and choice, in exchange for a non-refundable advance commitment. Skiers and snowboarders who want the lowest price and exclusive perks can purchase packages now.

All passes come with additional benefits, including:

  • Friends tickets: Passholders who purchase early will receive 10 Buddy tickets and six Ski with a Friend tickets to bring their friends and family to join the ski and slide experience at a significant discount.
  • Epic Mountain Rewards: Passholders receive 20% off on-mountain food and beverages, accommodations, ski and snow school group lessons, equipment rentals and more.
  • Epic FlexPay: Pass holders now have access to easy monthly installments with Epic FlexPay. New for the 2022/23 season, the deferred payment option includes zero down payment, zero interest and, if purchased in advance, zero payments until September.

Pass Options

  • Epic pass: $841, offers unlimited, unrestricted access to 40 resorts, with additional days at 80 partner resorts.
  • Epic Local Pass: $626, provides unlimited, unrestricted access to 29 stations and days for use at select partner stations.
  • North-East Value Pass: $514, provides access to 21 resorts across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic including Stowe, Hunter, Mount Snow, Okemo, Wildcat plus the newest additions to the network of Vail Resorts, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain in Pennsylvania.
  • Epic Day Pass: 2 days is $86-$183; 3 days is $126-$267; and 4 days is $162 to $347. At the start of the season, Epic day passes offer savings of up to 65% compared to the price of lift tickets.

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