Don’t Wait To Get That Season Pass
The kids are back in school. Yes, it’s only August and the logical assumption is that it’s still summer. Damn you, School Teachers. Why must you take a day off every other week? Back in the day we had real summers. Off around Memorial Day (IOW end of May), and starting after Labor Day, (IOW the first weekend of September). Three full months. Now kids get two. Poor guys.
Good thing we skiers here in Utah spend more time looking forward to winter than summer. To help tease that anticipation, the countdown to the end of season pass deals is on. Buy now or you’ll regret waiting.
Season Pass Detes:
The 2016/17 ski season at Snowbird will offer newly expanded food (yay!), ticketing and Mountain School services at Creekside Lodge, an enhanced guest check-in experience at The Cliff Lodge, and of course the longest ski season of any resort in Utah. The best news is that Snowbird didn’t do the traditional, yearly price hike. Passes will cost the same as last season- $999- until Spet.10 when they bump up to $1199. YIKES*&@#$^*
All “Unlimited” passes come with the Wasatch Benefit if those haven’t sold out (3 tickets to Alta and 3 to Deer Valley; nope, no Solitude), and the Mountain Collective for 50 percent off tickets to 14 different resorts including Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Whistler and Sun Valley.
Some of the other pass alternatives like the midweek unlimited and Chairs Only will also go up in price Sept. 9, 2016.
Alta Ski Area’s passes also include the Wasatch Benefit and the Mountain Collective and cost the same as The Bird’s. You do have a few extra weeks to decide to pull the trigger so if you miss Snowbird’s Sept. 10 pass increase deadline, you can still get a season pass for $999 at Alta until after Sept. 28. Right now, they are $999 but count on an additional $200 if you wait. The irony is that a child’s pass is $200 less than the Bird’s so it’s cheaper for everyone to get Alta passes if you are a family of 3 ($2157 v. $2347). If you have two kids, the smart way to go is with the Family Pack ($1999 at either resort for 2 adults and 2 children). What am I saying? Even if you only have one child, get the Family Pack. Duh.
Season passes went on sale this week with adults costing $879 and increasing to after Oct. 31, 2016. Passholders get three days of skiing at Brighton and four at Deer Valley (snowboarding is still not allowed at DV). Included in your pass is the option to purchase the MAX pass add-on for $300. The Mountain Collective and Epic Pass competitor is good for five days of skiing at each of the Max’s 32 ski areas, including Winter Park, Alyeska, Copper, Crested Butte, and Big Sky.
Kids 10 and under ski free. That’s the best ski deal in the land. In addition, the $799 adult season pass gets you two tickets to Deer Valley and two to Solitude along with the option to purchase the Max Pass Add-on ($300).
The posh resort is a bit sneaky with their $2185 season passes. There’s a separate website just for them – https://seasonpass.deervalley.com/. The Price goes up $370 after Oct. 31. Eligible pass holders can receive up to 6 buddy passes, 3 day passes at Alta and Snowbird each, 4 day passes at Solitude Resort, 2 day passes at Brighton Resort, summer mountain biking and, new this year, 3 complimentary passes to Steamboat Ski Resort.
The Epic Pass used to be a steal. True to all expectations, the price has now risen to $809 and will go up even more after Sept. 5, 2016. Pass holders have unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Perisher (2017 access) and Arapahoe Basin. If you have no plans to travel this winter and don’t mind a few holiday blackout dates, you’re better off buying the Epic Local Pass for $609.
The Basin has the best beginner package in the Beehive State and it lasts all season long-The Learn & Earn program supplies any first-timer 3 lessons, 3 lift tickets, and seasonal rentals for $399. You also get a free season pass when you complete the program. A season pass will run you $799 before Set. 5, 2016. Passholders also get 5 days at Sun Valley and three free days at each of 14 Powder Alliance resorts.
Powder is capping their season pass and day passes sales this season to keep the ratio of 1 skier per 2 acres of skiable terrain. Passes are $870 and include Sunlight Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort, Purgatory Resort, Sipapu Resort, Pajarito Resort,Snowbowl Resort, Loveland Ski Area.
Season passes are $569 until Oct. 31 and include night skiing, three days at Brian Head and 2017 summer mountain biking.
Can’t Choose a Resort?
Pick the Mountain Collective on its own for two free Alta/Bird tickets and 50 percent off for the rest of the season. You could also buy the Max Pass on its own. Utah kids K through 5th grade get five days free at Park City/Canyons with the Epic SchoolKids Ski Pack. It’s free but you need to sign up by Oct. 9, 2016.
The Deep Powder Pass (30 days at each of the four Cottonwood Canyons resorts on a fully transferable pass) has yet to announce their sale date or price (It was $2100 last season) but check with REI’s Public Lands desk if you don’t want to miss out.
Ski Utah offers their Silver Pass ($3150), 30 days (60 days at Park City) to all 14 resorts, and a Gold Pass ($4800 for 50 days), the Ski Utah Yeti Pass (1 day at all 14 Resorts for $649). 5th and 6th graders HAVE TO sign up for the Ski Utah 5th and 6th Grade Passport Programs, which offer 3 days or 1 day of skiing, respectively, to all of Utah’s Resorts. The passport is $35.
BTW, Ski Utah is giving away a Yeti Pass to the person who best represents waiting for winter. Don’t forget to tag @SkiUtah and use #WaitingForWinter in your social media posts.