How to Decide If You Should Buy a Season Pass This Year

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Should You Get a Season Pass This Year? - West Coast Edition

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Are you wondering if you should get a season pass? It's not always an easy decision, especially if you don't have the resources to rack in as many ski days as you might like.

But, when a single day lift ticket will cost you anywhere between $50 and $100, in many cases, purchasing a season pass is the most wallet-friendly decision you can make. 

It all comes down to where, when and how much you'll ski. Read on for a guide on how to decide if you should purchase a season pass, and how to decide which pass is best for you.

Expert Tip: Choose your season pass wisely and follow our tips to save money on your pass and get the most value for your dollar.

​QUESTION #1: Will you ski more than seven days?

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Will you ski more than seven days?

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Question: Do you anticipate spending more than seven days on the slopes? 

Answer #1: No, I'll only ski a couple.

Answer #2: I'll ski at least three days, probably more.

  • If you plan on skiing less than seven total days, consider purchasing multi-day lift tickets, or a short-term season pass. For example, the EPIC 7 DAY pass, valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Canyons, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Arapahoe Basin, pays for itself in just under four days and includes seven free days at Afton Alps or Mt. Brighton.
  • Another option is the EPIC 4 DAY pass, which pays for itself in just over two days, and includes four unrestricted days valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Canyons, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Arapahoe Basin, along with four days at Afton Alps or Mt. Brighton.

Answer #3: Absolutely! I'm shooting for double digits!

  • Great! In that case, read on to your next question:

QUESTION #2: Will you ski at the same resort?

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Will you ski at the same resort?

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 Question: Will you ski at the same resort?

Answer #1: Yes! I'm a one-resort type skier.

If you plan on sticking to one resort and one resort only, buy your pass directly from the resort. Try to buy early to get the best deal! 

Answer #2: I get bored easily. I would like the option to ski at more than one resort.

Fortunately, there are a lot of passes out there that afford you the flexibility to ski multiple resorts! Read on to the next question:

QUESTION #3: Do you want to ski at a lot of different resorts, or just a few?

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Do you want to ski at a lot of resorts, or a few?

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Question: Do you want to ski at a lot of resorts, or just a few?  

Answer #1: I want to ski a lot! The more, the better!

  • Consider the EPIC PASS in its pure, unadulterated form: you'll get unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basic and Park City, which is soon to be joined with Canyons to form 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, along with a selection of international locations.
  • A pseudo-pass of sorts, MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE offers 2 days at all of the following resorts: Sun Valley, Alta, Snowbird, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Mammoth, Jackson Hole, Aspen-Snowmass, Whistler Blackcomb, Squaw Valley, and Alpine Meadows, in addition to Thredbo in Australia. You also get 50 percent off all additional days, up to 25 percent off lodging, and there are no blackout days!
  • If you're based in Utah and have the time (and money) for Ski Utah's GOLD PASS, you can ski 50 days at all 15 of Utah's ski resorts. The Silver Pass is a step down, with 30 days at each resort.
  • The ROCKY MOUNTAIN SUPER PASS gives you access to five resorts in Colorado (unlimited access to Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain and Eldora Alpine Pass, and restricted access to, Steamboat, and Crested Butte Mt. Ruapehu in New Zealand). There are also options for skiers who just want to ski Winter Park and and Copper Mountain.

Answer #2: I want to ski at only a few resorts.

  • If you're in the Lake Tahoe area, consider the TAHOE LOCAL PASS, which offers unlimited skiing or riding at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood 7 days a week, in addition to five days at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City or Arapahoe Basin, with some blackout days. 
  • The SUMMIT VALUE PASS is a good option for those sticking to Summit County, Colorado, with unlimited skiing or riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, and access to Breckenridge, with some restrictions there.

Answer #3: I'm not sure.

  • If you aren't ready for total 'monogamy' but still want one resort as your home base, keep in mind the POWDER ALLIANCE pass, a good option for all the voracious powderhounds out there. If you purchase a pass at one of the participating resorts (Crested Butte, Snowbasin Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Stevens Pass,Timberline, Schweitzer, Angel Fire Resort, Bridger Bowl, China Peak, Mountain High, Arizona Snowbowl, Mt Hood Skibowl, and Silverstar) you'll get three free tickets at all partner resorts.
  • If you're planning on putting in a lot of snow-time and want to travel all around, the M.A.X. pass gets you 110 total days of skiing, with 5 days at a total of 22 resorts all throughout North America: including Big Sky, Blue Mountain, Boreal Mountain, Boyne Highland, Boyne Mountain, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Cypress Mountain, Killington Resort, Loon Mountain, Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, Mont Tremblant, Mt. Bachelor, Pico Mountain, Snowshoe / Steamboat, Stratton, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, The Summit at Snoqualmie and Winter Park.