The first flakes are coming to the mountains in Colorado, so it’s time to get serious about that ski pass.
The early spring pass prices — some of which included free kids’ passes — are long gone. Those “last-chance” Labor Day deals have slipped away. The time is nigh to commit and buy. Resort operators don’t sell season passes once the lifts start turning.
And those resort honchos punish skiers who don’t plan ahead with daily lift tickets that will likely near $200 this season. You know who says skiing is expensive? Bad planners.
With the rapid consolidation of the resort industry into now two major players this summer — Vail Resorts and the yet unnamed partnership between Aspen Skiing Co.’s owner and KSL Capital — the diversity of pass options will fade a bit in 2018-19, so this is the last chance to find a truly tailored pass that fits precise needs. (By 2018-19, watch for a pair of sweeping, unlimited passes that corrals resorts into two distinct camps.)
Pro tip: Go ahead and spend the $20 on pass insurance. It is the *only* way to get refund.
Here’s our lowdown of passes to fit five types of Colorado buyers:
1. You ski a lot:
- Epic Pass: $879 until Oct. 8, unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Utah’s Park City, Vermont’s Stowe, California’s Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar, British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb and Australia’s Perisher. The market leader with no restrictions and all-day, every-day access to 11 major ski areas and three midwest hills. Don’t mind limiting trips to Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler and Stowe for 10 restricted days a season? The Epic Local Pass is $659 until Oct. 8. Available at epicpass.com.
- Rocky Mountain SuperPass +: $619 until mid-October, unlimited access to Winter Park, Copper Mountain and Eldora Mountain Resort and includes six days at Steamboat, three days at Crested Butte and three days each at Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor and Alyeska in Alaska. Available at skicolorado.com.