NEW NORTH AMERICA SKI PASS LAUNCHED
29th August 2019
It stands out from the Ikon Pass & the Epic Pass as it brings together small independent ski areas. But why is it significant?
It offers 2 days skiing at 34 independently owned resorts for just $199.
“Indy Pass resorts provide an uncrowded and welcoming experience for individuals and families seeking great snow and varied terrain,” said a statement from Indy Pass.
“In addition, vacation getaways at these quaint ski areas cost a small fraction of what major resorts charge for comparable stays.”
The aim is to offer a cheaper pass for those wanting to take up the sport and provide an alternative to the expense of skiing in the big-name resorts.
There is a full list of the 34 resorts lower down this article.
It is a response by independent ski areas to the consolidation of the resorts that are now on Alterra’s Ikon Pass or the Epic Pass offered by Vail Resorts.
This development of these two mega passes has left independent and family-owned areas at a disadvantage.
Indy Pass resorts will work together to promote small to medium skized ski areas.
It offers resorts across the USA and Canada.
“Independent resorts are the heart and soul of North American skiing and anything that provides more access and exposure to these hidden gems is something we’ll support,” said Ken Rider, GM at Brundage Mountain Resort, Idaho.
Brundage Mountain is one of the resorts that PlanetSKI visited while on a road trip round some of the lesser-known resorts in Idaho a few years back.
This is what the new pass enables people to do:
So, which other resorts are involved?
- ALASKA – Eaglecrest Ski Area
- ALBERTA – Castle Mountain Resort
- BRITISH COLUMBIA – Apex Mountain Resort
- CALIFORNIA – Mt. Shasta Ski Park
- IDAHO – Brundage Mountain, Silver Mountain
- OREGON – Hoodoo
- MONTANA – Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Red Lodge Mountain
- UTAH – Beaver Mountain
- WASHINGTON – 49 Degrees North, Hurricane Ridge, Mission Ridge, White Pass
- MICHIGAN – Big Powderhorn Resort, Pine Mountain Resort
- MINNESOTA – Giants Ridge, Spirit Mountain
- WISCONSIN – Little Switzerland, Nordic Mountain, Trollhaugen, Tyrol Basin
- MASSACHUSETTS – Berkshire East Mountain Resort, Catamount Mountain Resort*
- NEW HAMPSHIRE – Pats Peak
- NEW YORK – Catamount Mountain Resort*, Greek Peak Mountain Resort
- NORTH CAROLINA – Cataloochee Ski Area
- PENNSYLVANIA – Blue Knob Resort
- VERMONT – Bolton Valley Resort, Magic Mountain, Suicide Six
- VIRGINIA – Bryce Resort, Massanutten Resort
- WEST VIRGINIA – Canaan Valley Ski Resort
“So what?” you may ask.
A bunch of resorts you have probably never heard of and are unlikely to ski have joined forces to offer a limited reciprocal lift pass arrangement.
But it is not quite as simple as that.
Vail Resorts with its Epic Pass and Alterra with its Ikon Pass have been gobbling up North American ski resorts like it is going out of fashion.
Pretty much all the big names ones are in one or other camp, plus a huge number of small ones too.
The resorts and ski areas have divided into two camps,
This has had a significant impact on the small independent and family-owned resorts that are not in either grouping as bookings have dropped off.
The National Ski Areas Association says 8.5 million people have given up skiing or riding in the past 10 years in North America.
That’s more than twice the number of core participants from last winter alone.
A main reason is the high cost.
NSAA research also found that daily lift ticket prices have been steadily increasing for an average weekend price of $131.
The new Indy Pass may put a stop to this and that can only be good for the overall Northh American snowsports market.
It will hopefully get more people taking up the sport.
And seen through European eyes?
It offers the chance to do road trips round a bunch of small resorts, a fabulous and unique skiing experience.
Just check out the link earlier in this article as I did a road trip round some smaller resorts in Idaho.
For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news