Pass Wars 2019 edition

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby tseeb » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:07 am

Looks like Vail fired the first shot adding Snowbasin and Sun Valley to Epic Pass. See https://www.vaildaily.com/news/sun-vall ... epic-pass/ which includes "Epic Pass holders will get seven days of unrestricted skiing at the two resorts, while Epic Local Pass holders will get two days at each resort with minimal restrictions."

I'm not sure what I'll be doing next season. So far this year I have 22 days on my (Vail) Tahoe Local Pass and 0 on my Ikon. I was thinking about trying Sierra Tahoe pass for a year as it comes with Powder Alliance benefits and would make my where to ski today choice at Tahoe much simpler. But besides being on other side of Echo Summit from my family's cabin, Sierra has limited snowmaking so they don't have great early season and always close mid-April.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:55 am

Sierra is also relatively low and more rain-prone than Kirkwood or the upper half of Heavenly. This is not a good idea unless you're willing to do a lot of extended commuting to Squaw and Mammoth on your Ikon.

I have axes to grind with Vail myself, but there's no point in cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you are based in South Tahoe, you need to have some form of Epic Pass. If based in North Tahoe, it's a closer call but I would prefer Ikon.

I guess the Earl Holding heirs of Sun Valley/Snowbasin are not willing to sell yet or are asking too high a price. But I'm sure in the meantime they will collect decent revenue from Vail to (presumably) leave the Mountain Collective. If they do, Mountain Collective is now a subset of the Ikon Pass.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby Sbooker » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:21 pm

https://www.thredbo.com.au/wp-content/u ... mation.pdf
In other news it appears that the Mountain Collective Pass is locked in for 2019/20 although it is obviously up in the air as to what resorts will be on it. The above link says that the 19/20 pass will be on sale at the beginning of March.
I'm thinking that some of the other Ikon resorts will be on the Mountain Collective - Steamboat, Copper and Solitude would be nice.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby Sbooker » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:19 pm

The Mountain Collective pass has been released and we Aussies (and Kiwis too) get the pass for the same $449 but in Aussie dollars! A huge saving.
The $1 for kids has understandably been dropped - it’s now $99 which is a bargain still.
Happy days.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby berkshireskier » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:15 am

Interesting story today on Bloomberg.com about the impact of multi-ski area season passes.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... nd=premium
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby tseeb » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:57 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Sierra is also relatively low
Sierra's main lodge and parking are at 7300' which is higher than all other Tahoe area's bases except for Kirkwood and Mt. Rose. I'm somewhat cherry-picking Tony's quote and Sierra's elevation as bottom of their West Bowl lifts is 6640'. But Sierra's top elevation is 8852' is comparable to (and maybe even high than) highest lifts at Squaw.

The rest of Tony's post follows:
Tony Crocker wrote:and more rain-prone than Kirkwood or the upper half of Heavenly. This is not a good idea unless you're willing to do a lot of extended commuting to Squaw and Mammoth on your Ikon.

I have axes to grind with Vail myself, but there's no point in cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you are based in South Tahoe, you need to have some form of Epic Pass. If based in North Tahoe, it's a closer call but I would prefer Ikon.

I guess the Earl Holding heirs of Sun Valley/Snowbasin are not willing to sell yet or are asking too high a price. But I'm sure in the meantime they will collect decent revenue from Vail to (presumably) leave the Mountain Collective. If they do, Mountain Collective is now a subset of the Ikon Pass.
The Epic Local Pass includes 2 days at both Snow Basin and Sun Valley (see https://www.epicpass.com/Passes/Epic-Local-Pass.aspx) while the full Epic Pass gives you 7 at both plus 7 at Telluride. Note that Mountain Collective no longer includes Snow Basin and Sun Valley.

I renewed my $589 (up from $569 last year) Tahoe Local pass last night. I will probably drop to $429 (this year) Senior Tahoe Value Pass the following season when I qualify for it. I didn't want to buy two Ikon Base passes and two Vail Tahoe passes so I made deal with my wife that I would buy her Ikon again and she would buy her Vail Tahoe. She ended up with a Tahoe Value Pass for $499 wich besides being blacked out on holidays, is also not valid at Kirkwood or Northstar on any Saturday and does not include 5 days at Vail CO/UT resorts. I figured the extra $85 I paid (they charge $5 to send out a new pass if you change version) would get used storm skiing at Northstar on a Saturday or late season (if they have one again) at Kirkwood and it gives my flexibility to go to Kirkwood on way up on Sat. if I do a weekend trip with my son or still-workng friend. Vail pushed me into buying yesterday to get maximum of 10 buddy tickets although they have extended that through Friday.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby sierra_cement » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:19 pm

Did you end up buying Sierra at Tahoe pass as well? How are the crowds there vs. Heavenly and Kirkwood?
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby tseeb » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:50 pm

No Sierra at Tahoe pass for me next year unless I buy a Subaru in the fall. While that usually gives you 2 unrestricted passes, they do not include Powder Alliance benefits.

I can’t buy three passes - I’d like to only buy one pass. If I only used Ikon at Mammoth and Squaw in the Spring, I could drop to 1 1/2 by buying Ikon every other year as it was valid starting 4/8 at those two areas if bought this Spring.
Last edited by tseeb on Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:07 pm

Yes, but tseeb hits other Ikon areas midseason. Revelstoke is almost automatic, as are a few days at AltaBird.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby tseeb » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:18 am

Less than 24 hrs left to get Ikon at the lowest price. Renewals get $30 off and there are also codes for non-renewals to get same price. No stacking allowed. PM me if you want details.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby sierra_cement » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:06 am

I just bought an Ikon base. I also bought Mt. Rose unrestricted. I really like their private lesson discount and given where I am with my ski skills, taking those lessons would be beneficial to me. They also have enough beginner terrain to practice drills. It was not possible to do drills at Northstar as it was always crowded.

It was an extra $100 to go from holiday black outs to no blackouts. I might go there during holidays if Sierras have good snow. Since I can drive there and there is plenty of lodging in Reno, I see that plan as low risk. I will book Southwest flights to Utah and Portland as backups.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby tseeb » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:34 pm

Another multi-resort pass that I recently heard about is the Indy Pass. See https://www.saminfo.com/headline-news/9 ... ual-skiers and https://resorts.indyskipass.com/

Some good places in the West included (about 1/2 of which I've been to), but only one in CA (Mt Shasta).
Two free days at each and not available until 9/1 for $199.

"We are in the process of signing up resorts now and will be updating this section as more commitments are made":
IDAHO
Brundage Mountain
Silver Mountain

WASHINGTON
White Pass
Mission Ridge
49 Degrees North

OREGON
Hoodoo

CALIFORNIA
Mt. Shasta

MONTANA
Red Lodge Mountain
Lost Trail Powder Mountain

UTAH
Beaver Mountain

BRITISH COLUMBIA
Apex Mountain Resort

And many places I will probably never go:
Wisconsin
Little Switzerland
Nordic Mountain
Trollhaugen
Tyrol Basin

Michigan
Big Powderhorn Resort
Pine Mountain Resort

Vermont
Bolton Valley

Massachusetts
Catamount Mountain Resort
Berkshire East Mountain Resort

Virginia
Massanutten Resort
Bryce Resort

North Carolina
Cataloochee Ski Area

Minnesota
Giants Ridge
New York
Greek Peak Mountain Resort

Pennsylvania
Blue Knob Resort
New Hampshire
Pats Peak
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:22 am

What's interesting about the Indy Pass website is how they explain in detail on the homepage the ostensible benefits for both consumers and ski areas, and especially the section "How Does It Work?" where you learn how the ski areas make their money. Do other passes provide this level of information without having to drill down?

A shout-out for one of the partner resorts, 49 Degrees North, which I really enjoyed but receives very little ski-forum coverage even though it's right on the way between Spokane Airport and Red Mountain.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:40 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:even though it's right on the way between Spokane Airport and Red Mountain.


"Right on the way to higher profile area X" is a sure recipe for an area to stay under the radar. Red has a high profile to some people but it's still on my short list of "most interesting uncrowded areas."

As far as the Indy Pass is concerned, Apex, Brundage, Silver and Lost Trail are also on that list.
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Re: Pass Wars 2019 edition

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:36 am

Tony Crocker wrote:"Right on the way to higher profile area X" is a sure recipe for an area to stay under the radar.

My point was that 49 Degrees is a perfect arrival-day stop for destination visitors landing in Spokane on the way to Red, Whitewater, etc. or it could be hit on the way back to the airport.
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