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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Ski season passes 101 for next winter

Mar 26, 2019 09:22AM ● By Harriet Wallis

Great views and great terrain from Great Western at Brighton / photo: Harrirt Wallis

Buying a season pass used to be easy, but the IKON, EPIC and MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE passes changed all that.  Now you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the best deal for you. Prices, deals and deadlines are all over the place. 


Ask yourself:  Do I want to travel or ski locally? 

If you want to ski locally, the "plain vanilla one resort pass" might be right for you. The WASATCH BENEFITS package goes with many local passes at no additional cost.  Buy a season pass at your favorite resort and ski a few days at other nearby resorts.  It's an inspired benefit package created by Utah resorts for Utah resorts.

Or you can step that up one notch with the IKON pass.  Buy a season pass at some resorts, add the base level ICON pass, and ski additional days locally as well as internationally.

Or buy a super duper IKON pass and ski the planet.

The EPIC pass gets you all Vail-owned resorts everywhere.

MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE is a hybrid of sorts. You get 2 days at 16 resorts mostly in the U.S. and Canada but others worldwide. Alta and Snowbird are the local resorts on that pass.

NOW WHAT DO I DO? Here are other things to consider:

Do I ski enough days to make a fancy pass worth it?

Does the pass I choose include the UTA ski bus? ( Car parking is a major nightmare at the resorts)

What about kids?  What do their passes cost, or are kids free? (Kids are free at some resorts but the ages vary.)

Is there a no-interest payment plan if I buy now, or do I have to pay it all up front now?

Are there blackout days or other small print?


Choose your 3 favorite resorts --okay, it's complicated -- so maybe choose just your 2 favorite resorts.

Prioritize the most important things to you such as: ski bus transportation, kids prices, number of days at other resorts, payment plan, etc.

Then do a side by side comparison between your 2 favorite resorts. 

Good luck! See you on the slopes -- somewhere -- next winter.

Riders head for gnarly terrain off Brighton's Great Western lift / photo: Harriet Wallis