Even though the ski season is winding down at resorts across North America (although the skiing is still great here), it's time to think about buying next year's season pass. We know, we know, that might seem like a bit much to handle at the moment, what with dusting off that mountain bike and deciding whether or not to buy a stand-up paddle board. But pass prices don't get much lower than are in April, so we've got the details on some of the most popular multi-mountain ski passes out there. Plus, shelling out the big bucks for next year's powder is step one on the "Snow-Addict-In-The-Off-Season" recovery plan.
1. Vail Resorts: The king of season passes once again offers the "guaranteed lowest prices" on all passes purchased before April 13, and you just need to pay $49 down. There are 6 different pass configurations (plus 7-day and 4-day passes) so you'll need to read this in order to decide which one works for you. The Epic Pass, the grandaddy of all passes, costs $729 and gets you unlimited access to all 11 Vail Resorts, 5 days at Niseko United in Japan, and up to 5 days at Verbier, Switzerland and Les 3 Vallees, France. And who knows, depending on how things shake out in Utah, Park City Mountain Resort might just come with the pass too! More details here.
2. Boyne Resorts: If you ski or vacation at one of the Boyne Resort properties (Big Sky, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Loon Mountain, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Brighton, Crystal Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and the Summit at Snoqualmie), you should really consider buying a Gold Pass. Depending on your home mountain the perks can differ, but at many ski areas Gold Pass holders can ski for free at another Boyne Resort when they stay in resort-owned lodging. Need an example? Buy the New England Gold Pass Plus before April 30 with a $50 deposit. The $1,149 price tags gets you unlimited skiing at Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Loon Mountain as well as unlimited skiing at Big Sky whenever you stay at a Big Sky lodging property. For more info, go to your home mountain's website and read about the Boyne Sister Resort Benefits for each season pass.
3. Mountain Collective: Powder hounds need to act fast to get the lowest price on the Mountain Collective, a 12-day season pass that gets you some of the best skiing in North America. Passes are currently priced at $359 and each passholder receives 2 days at Alta/Snowbird, 2 days at Aspen/Snowmass, 2 days at Jackson Hole, 2 days at Mammoth, 2 days at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and 2 days at Whistler Blackcomb. Other perks include 50% off additional days at the Collective destinations, no blackouts, and up to 25% off lodging. This pass is cheap enough ($30 per day if you use all 12 days) to add onto your home-mountain season pass. That way, with your quiver of ski passes, you can chase storm after storm all season long. More details here.
4. The Intrawest Passport: If you are a family of skiers who like to travel, consider the Intrawest Passport. The $549 season pass is good for six days of skiing at Winter Park, Steamboat, Blue Mountain in Ontario, Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Stratton Mountain, and West Virginia's Snowshoe Mountain. Once one person has bought a full-priced pass, that passholder can buy five additional adult passes for $399, five teen passes for $199 and five free passes for kids under 12. In a first-for-the-industry twist, those additional passes can go to anyone, not just family members. More details here.
5. Powdr Corp: Although they may be in the middle of a legal battle over Park City Mountain Resort, this hasn't stopped Powdr Corp from getting in on the multi-resort season pass game for 2014-2015. Now, if you buy a season pass at Boreal Mountain Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain, Killington Mountain, Mt. Bachelor, or Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort, you can receive three free days of skiing at the other participating resorts. Check your home mountain for prices, and be aware that there are some blackout dates and restrictions. If you book by April 13th at Copper Mountain you guarantee the season's lowest prices and only have to put $49 down.
6. The Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus: Also from Intrawest, the $439 Rocky Mountain Super Pass gets you unlimited access to Winter Park and Copper Mountain, 6 days at Steamboat, 3 days at Crested Butte, and 5 days at New Zealand's Mt. Ruapehu. There are some restrictions, but you can see all the details here.
7. The Tahoe Super Pass: With a range of options costing $349 to $789, the Tahoe Super Pass provides skiing at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Sugar Bowl. Plus, pass holders also get 50% off lift tickets at the Mountain Collective Resorts (see above). All the details, over here.
8. The Nor'Easter Pass: Available now for $1,029 (prices go up to $1,179 after April 30), the Nor'Easter Pass provides unlimited access to Mount Snow, Crotched Mountain, Attitash, Wildcat, and Jack Frost/Big Boulder. Full details here.
UPDATED, 4:12 pm:
9. California's Sugar Bowl is also offering some good multi-mountain perks. Cross country skiers may want to buy the Royal Gorge Combo pass, while alpine skiers will love the limited free skiing (3-4 days) at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The resort has also partnered with Sun Valley and Grand Targhee resorts to offer limited free skiing to season passholders when booked in conjunction with lodging. More details and pricing available here.
Other passes we are still waiting for info on:
-The Powder Alliance: Not all of the resorts have confirmed participation in the Powder Alliance for next season, but this season 12 ski areas offered 3 free days of skiing to their partners. In 2013-2014, these included Angel Fire, Arizona Snowbowl, Bridger Bowl, China Peak, Crested Butte, Mountain High, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Schweitzer, Sierra at Tahoe, Snowbasin, Stevens Pass, and Timberline.
-The Wasatch Benefit: In 2013-2014, the Wasatch Benefit provided season pass holders at Alta, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, and Snowbird with three free days at each of the other three resorts. It looks like the promotion will return for the 2014-2015 season, but details won't be announced until later this year.
· Slap on the Sunscreen: The Top Five Places for Spring Skiing [Curbed Ski Archives]
· All Resort Guide Coverage [Curbed Ski Archives]