Pricey? You bet. But considering the fact that we’ll get enough use out of our passes to drive our per-person per-day cost down to about $20, I consider it a good value. And compared to season pass pricing in Vermont, our Adirondack passes are a bargain.
Season Pass Breakeven, 2014-15
# of days
Fortunately, a season pass doesn’t have to be pricey. For skiers that don’t need or want a big mountain like Gore or Whiteface, the smaller Adirondack ski areas provide a local, affordable alternative. Titus, Oak, McCauley, West and Willard offer season pass products that run about half the price (or less) of Gore and Whiteface, and these mountains typically also offer family pricing discounts that bring the cost down even more.
An interesting industry trend has been the proliferation of multi-mountain passes and partnerships. This trend has been most prevalent out West, where Vail’s EPIC pass is considered the leader (more than 300,000 were sold last year). For $729, an EPIC pass buys unrestricted access to nearly a dozen resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, A-Basin, The Canyons, Heavenly and Kirkwood.
Not only are more mountains partnering up for their pass offerings (Rocky Mountain Super Pass, Powder Alliance Pass, Tahoe Super Pass), the deals have gotten more creative. Consider the Mountain Collective pass, which for $369 entitles the passholder to 2 days at each of 6 Western resorts (Alta/Snowbird, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Whistler, Squaw/Alpine Meadows), with additional days at 50% off. The trend has been spreading east with, for example, Killington offering 3 free days at Okemo and 5 western resorts as a bonus to its passholders. There’s also the Intrawest Passport, new for 2014-15, which offers 6 days of skiing (no blackouts) at each of 6 resorts (Stratton, Mont Tremblant, Winter Park, Steamboat, Snowshoe WV, Blue Mountain). The first adult passport is $549, the second adult is $399, teens are $199, and kids under 12 are free (prices have since gone up slightly since the pass’s debut last month). I actually considered the Intrawest Passport as a possible alternative to Gore – Whiteface passes for our family.
Season pass comparison fine print:
- Daily lift ticket prices are adult weekend rates from the 2013-14 season. 2014-15 rates are not yet available.
- Season pass rates are for the 2014-15 season, for adults, with no blackout periods.
- Season pass rates reflect early purchase discounts currently available and are subject to change.
- Season pass pricing was not available for Hickory and Big Tupper at the time of publication.
- Killington and Sugarbush are included as a frame of reference for Vermont pricing.