In an unprecedented move, ski industry competitors Intrawest, Boyne Resorts, and Powdr have come together to offer a new season pass that is a direct challenge to the incredibly popular Vail Resorts Epic Pass. This past winter, roughly 400,000 people purchased some sort of Vail Resorts season pass, totaling $200 million in revenue. But now, the new blackout-free, Multi-Alpine Experience season pass (or the M.A.X. Pass) gives skiers five free days at 22 ski areas in Canada and the United States, and is priced at $699, less than Vail's $769 Epic Pass. Of course, while the Epic Pass provides unlimited skiing at 11 Vail Resorts' ski areas, the M.A.X. Pass does come with the five-day restriction. But compared to the revamped $369 Mountain Collective, which just added Sun Valley and only allows 2 days at each resort, the M.A.X. Pass is the first ski pass to really challenge the Epic Pass.
So where can you ski on the M.A.X. Pass?
In the West:
Big Sky, Montana
Boreal Mountain Resort, California
Brighton Resort, Utah
Copper Mountain, Colorado
Winter Park, Colorado
Cypress, West Vancouver, BC
Crystal Mountain, Washington
The Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington
Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort, Nevada
Mt Bachelor, Oregon
In the East:
Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada
Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
Boyne Highlands, Michigan
Boyne Mountain, Michigan
Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
Pico Mountain, Vermont
Sunday River, Maine
Snowshoe, West Virginia
Cost: Priced at $699 for adults, $499 for teens ages 13-17, and $249 for kids ages 6-12. Season pass holders at any of the three company's resorts can add M.A.X. Pass benefits for $249. Head over here for more details.
On the one hand, the M.A.X pass looks like a great deal, especially for people who add it on to an existing season pass. The only drawback? The five-day limit and the fact that the M.A.X. pass does not offer additional discounts on lift tickets beyond the 5 days at each resort. What do you think Curbediverse? What's your first impression of the M.A.X. pass? Is this the pass that will finally put an end to the dominance of Vail's Epic Pass?
· The M.A.X. Pass [Official Site]
· New M.A.X. Pass aims to dethrone Epic Pass with skiing at 22 resorts [Denver Post]
· Sun Valley Joins the Mountain Collective for 2015-2016 [Curbed Ski]
· 10 Fast Facts On The Ski Industry's Biggest Player: Vail Resorts [Curbed Ski]
· What It Means To Ski in a Vail-Dominated World [Curbed Ski]