Buy next season’s ski pass now and get the deepest discounts of the year.
By Amy Whitley
Every April, single- and multi-resort ski passes go on sale for the following year, with most resorts offering their deepest discounts in spring. That means it’s time to buy next season’s ski pass right now…even if you’re still enjoying some turns in the current spring skiing season! Wondering which ski pass to buy? With 18 seasons of skiing as a family under my belt, it feels as though I’ve purchased just about every type of pass possible. Here’s how to shop for multi-resort passes, as well as when a local mountain pass makes more sense.
If you or your family lives in a warmer climate and travels to ski, a multi-resort pass may be best for your needs. If you plan to take two, three or more trips to destination resorts next winter, and have flexibility in your schedule, you’ll want a pass that will allow you to ski dozens of resorts on one pass (see options below). Even if you know you’ll only be taking one destination trip to a large ski resort (perhaps for a week-long vacation), a pass that includes your resort of choice (but also offers alternatives) can still be a smart choice.
Buying your season pass now breaks up the cost of your trip, allowing you to pay for your lift tickets in advance (you’ll thank yourself later), but it doesn’t lock you into just one resort. Next fall, when it’s time to book your lodging, you can gauge the weather predictions and follow the snow!
Quick tip: Don’t let the term ‘season pass’ fool you: these passes can offer great value even if you will only be at a resort for one vacation during the season. Do the math and see if the cost of a season pass equates to less dollars spent per ski day than a three-, four- or five-day pass purchased on-site or online. If you get back to that same resort for a second trip later in the season, that’s a bonus!
Here are three great multi-resort, season-pass options available right now. Note: prices quoted are for adult season passes. When kids’ pass prices are included, the standard definition of a child is age 0-12.
Quick tip: The Max Pass, which offered a similar line-up to the Ikon Pass, is no longer being offered. If you currently own a Max Pass, get those turns in while you can!
If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of a ski resort and plan to do most of your skiing and riding locally, you’re likely to save even more this month on a local single-resort ski pass. Most have spring sales for the current ski season. For example, our local mountain, Mt. Bachelor Ski Area, is currently offering a pass that’s good through April (to their closing day) for $199 in their Springtactular sale.
Other local mountains place their 2018-19 season passes on sale at this time, with the added bonus of being good now, for free spring skiing in the current season. Even if your local mountain does not offer spring skiing discounts, you usually have through the spring to purchase your next season’s pass at the steepest discount (usually a savings of hundreds of dollars per pass).
Quick tip: Don’t forget about the additional benefits of season passes. Most include discounts at their ski shops and dining venues, buddy passes, pass insurance, and sometimes even resort access in the summer months (for those resorts that operate in the off-season).
About the Author: Amy Whitley specializes in outdoor travel writing for families with children. She is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids, a family travel site dedicated to resort, attraction, and outdoor activity reviews for kids. Amy writes regularly for U.S. News Travel and Southern Oregon Magazine as is an editor for OutdoorsNW Magazine and Twist Travel Magazine.