We have written about how to get discounted lift tickets in the past. And most of those strategies are still excellent ones, but there are some new things out there that bear mentioning.
Multi mountain passes are becoming more common. Some just include a couple of neighboring resorts, but others are much broader than that. One of the best new things to come out for New Englanders is arguably the Max Pass. This is a pass that allows you to ride at 44 different resorts for 5 days each- no blackouts.
Next year’s participating New England resorts are: Okemo, Sunapee, Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Killington, Pico, Wachusett, and Stratton.
Whiteface and Winter Park didn’t make it into the picture, but they are also included
There are also resorts from Midwest, NY, WV, out west and Canada. Some of those highlights include Winter Park and Copper in CO, Brighton and Solitude in UT, Kicking Horse and Fernie in Canada, and Big Sky in Montana.
Earlybird pricing until May 1 is just $629. Not only is it a great value, but it could lead you to new places that you might not normally go. If you have a qualifying season pass from any of the participating resorts, you can add the Max Pass on for just $329! That’s pretty tough to beat.
There is also the Mountain Collective Pass, which has a little different take on things. There are 16 participating mountains for this pass- the only one from the northeast is Sugarbush. But for the earlybird price of $399 you can ride 2 days at each of their participating resorts and then get 50% off of any additional days you ride at any of the resorts. There’s also a floater free 3rd day that you can add to the resort of your choice. Word from Mountain Collective is that if you ride 6 days on their pass it will be worth your while.
Finally there is the Ride & Ski card. This card starts off around $50 at the beginning of the season. If you are lucky, you can find a Groupon-type discount for 50% off. This card gives you discounts at a variety of mountains in the Northeast. The deals range from $10 off of a single ticket to 2-for-1 tickets…obviously some are better than others. But a deal is a deal.
Pretty much every Saturday through the season there is a 2-for-1 deal at one of the mountains. For an example, we bought the card for $24 in December. We saved $20 at Killington, got 2-for-1 at Bolton Valley (a $69 savings) on one of their 2-for-1 days, and got (2) 2-for-1 days at Jay (a $164 savings) using the coupons in the book. It’s low risk since you pretty much make your money back the first time you use it. Depends on your riding habits- when you go, who you go with, where you like to go, etc. how well it will work to save you money, but if you ride with a partner and like to visit different resorts, it can be a great value.
Season pass prices also seem to be coming down. So if you have a favorite area, check out next year’s pricing…you may be pleasantly surprised. Many places have restructured their offerings too largely simplifying things and offering better value. Now is the time to lock in for the best pricing. A lot of passes include skiing for the rest of this season if you buy them now too.
And most passes have their first increases on or around May 1. So it definitely pays to decide early and commit now. Some passes also have the option to add insurance should something come up that prevents you from riding next year. Purchasing one of these passes will give you something to look forward to and more excuses to get out next winter. Sounds like a win/win to us.