On April 19, 2023

Season passes offer plethora of options, perks 

Karen D. Lorentz

The latest trend at ski resorts is to offer an array of season passes with permutations and perks tailored to the varying needs of families and outdoors oriented mountain adventurers. 

The different types of passes not only benefit skiers and snowboarders due to the value and flexibility they offer, they also foster the sustainability of the ski areas themselves via the financial commitment made with their purchase.

Even before the current challenge of climate change, the entire ski industry was facing declining visits with the aging out of the baby boomer generation. The challenge was how to make snow sports grow.  Special learn-to packages, more activities and events, and slopeside housing were part of the enhancements to make a ski trip more inviting and bring new skiers and snowboarders into the sport.  

The effort to address the barrier of cost led to a number of lift ticket “steals ‘n’ deals” as well as today’s variety of season pass options, including the popular multi-resort season passes and their plethora of perks. 

Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, which dates back to 2008, started the multi-area season pass trend. Since then, Epic has grown to numerous iterations as the company adopted “an intentional strategy of moving guests from purchasing lift tickets to season passes,” notes Joe Healy, VR communications manager for Vermont and New York.    

“Advanced commitment is the foundation of Vail Resorts ‘business strategy. We ask for commitment in advance of the season in return for incredible value that’s provided in a wide variety of products, so that guests can ski and ride one day or every day, and always get a great deal. 

“Our pass model incentivizes people to purchase in advance, which locks in revenue and allows us to continuously invest back into our resorts, communities, employees and the environment, including in energy efficient snowmaking,” he added.  

As a Powdr  Resort, Killington is focused on being “a year-round destination for adventure in the Northeast,” notes spokesperson Kristel Killary. In keeping with that goal, the Beast 365 all season pass was introduced in 2019 to give access to all four seasons at Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. The 2023-24 pass includes unrestricted winter access at both ski areas and summer access to mountain bike park, gondola rides, golf course, and the 

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