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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / What you need to know before you buy a season pass

May 18, 2020 12:00PM ● By Harriet Wallis

Multi-mountain season passes, road congestion and the virus now complicate season passes. Each resort has its own spin on season passes. You almost need a PhD and a crystal ball to figure out what's right for you.


Deadlines for the best price. Deadlines are all over the place. Some deadlines are as early as this month while others have been extended. And some haven't specified a deadline.

Discounts because of virus-shortened season. Some resorts are offering discounts on their 2020-21 passes. But the formula for discount varies from resort to resort. Some resorts have other options too.

Budget plans. Some resorts let you buy your pass now and pay for it in installments.

Change your mind assurance. Some resorts let you buy a pass now and change your mind later if you decide you don't want to ski this year. Options include pushing your pass forward into the 2021-22 season. Those change-your-mind deadlines vary all over the place.

Blackout dates / no blackouts. Yep, that varies too.

One resort, adult season pass. The plain vanilla, “adult pass at one resort, ski any day you want” has gone into tailspin. Some resorts have replaced it with family deals, midweek only deals, and pack of ticket deals.


Powder Mountain. A season pass includes supplemental injury insurance should you crash and break a bone. You also get discount pricing at Young Automotive Group and more.

Snowbasin. If you had a pass last year, you can choose a 20% discount or partial refund on a 2020-21 pass. Or you can donate the amount to one of several charities.

Brighton. It has the best, clearest explanation of how the assurance, what-if-I decide-not-to-ski plan works. While it varies from resort to resort, this is the best place to get an understanding of Assurance 101.

Deer Valley. It has the best side-by-side comparison chart for comparing a Deer Valley pass with an  Ikon pass. It eliminates the mumbo-jumbo. A Deer Valley pass comes with multiple benefits.

Snowbird. Snowbird prices passes for 9 different age ranges and occupations. It also offers valet and preferred parking passes.

Solitude. If you had a pass last year, you're eligible for discounted season pass for car parking this year. And this year you can register two cars on your parking pass -- but you can use the pass for only one car at a time. Solitude also offers a mid-week only adult pass.

Park City Mountain. The Epic pass lets you ski Park City plus a gazillion other mountains around the world. But to take advantage of all that, you can't possibly be working full time. For some, not working might be a reality this winter.

IMPORTANT: Three resorts haven't posted prices yet.

Alta is taking a wait-and-see approach. Rather than rushing to grab skiers' money, it's being cautious because of the virus. Alta told skiers it will let them know about passes when it has a better look down the road.

Brighton expects to post pass prices soon. Meanwhile, even without prices, it has the best explanation of the assurance program -- even though details vary from resort to resort.

Sundance has not posted prices.