Everyone knows that skiing isn’t cheap, but there are ways to get around those pesky $150 daily lift tickets. The best way to save money as a skier is to pick out a season pass that meets your needs and buy it early in the off-season. In an effort to aid skiers in finding the perfect pass that meets their needs, The Mountain Collective Pass and The Epic Pass must be compared to determine which one is better for you!
The Epic Pass in undoubtedly better for any individual that lives near any of the 13 Vail Resorts because it is a full season pass with zero blackout dates for $809. Prices go up after September 5th.
Vail Resorts owns the largest ski resort in the USA (Park City, UT), the largest ski resort in Canada (Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.), and the largest ski resort in Australia (Perisher)
Whistler Blackcomb won’t be included in the Epic Pass until 2017/18 and Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz says prices won’t go up with the inclusion of Whistler.
Ski Resorts Included in Epic Pass:
- Vail, CO
- Beaver Creek, CO
- Breckenridge, CO
- Keystone, CO
- Arapahoe Basin, CO
- Park City, UT
- Heavenly, CA
- Northstar, CA
- Kirkwood, CA
- Wilmot, WI
- Afton Alps, MN
- Mt. Brighton, MI
- Perisher, Australia (2017 access)
MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS:
The Mountain Collective Pass will only run you about $409 to access the 16 resorts included in it, but it only allows for two free lift tickets at each of the participating resorts, plus 50% off of all single-day passes after that.
Despite the price difference, The Mountain Collective Pass grants pass holders access to more resorts, but it is unlikely that they will ski at more than 4 or 5 throughout the season.
You also get 2 days each at Valle Nevado in Chile, Hakuba Valley in Japan and Chamonix in France.
Ski Resorts Included in the Mountain Collective:
- Alta/Snowbird, UT
- Jackson Hole, WY
- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA
- Mammoth, CA
- Taos, NM
- Sun Valley, ID
- Stowe, VT
- Telluride, CO
- Aspen, CO
- Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.
- Revelstoke, B.C.
- Lake Louise/Sunshine Village, AB, Canada
- Thredbo, Australia
- Coronet Peak/The Remarkables, NZ
WHICH PASS GETS YOU MORE SNOW?
One of the most important aspects of the pass is how much snow the resorts that are included in the pass receive annually.
The Mountain Collective Pass has the Alta, UT ski resort who averages 563″ of snowfall per year. The Mountain Collective also has Snowbird, UT who averages 500″ of snow per year. The Mountain Collective also holds Jackson Hole, WY at 459″ of snow per year and Squaw Valley, CA at 450″ of snowfall per year.
The Epic Pass’ best snowfall average lives at Kirkwood, CA who averages 500″ of snow per year.
WHICH PASS OFFERS BETTER ACCESS TO ITS RESORTS:
Another important aspect to consider is how easy it is to access the resort and its amenities. The Mountain Collective Pass includes two resorts in Utah, which has the best access for skiers flying into a major airport. Along with that, The Mountain Collective Pass includes Jackson Hole and Aspen, which have regional airports that are within 25 minutes of the resorts, but flights are more expensive into them. Places like Taos, Sun Valley, Whistler, Banff, and Mammoth (for non-Californians), demand trips of longer duration considering the time required to get there.
The Epic Pass has its perks too, it includes Park City, which is the easiest-to-reach resort in North America. Epic Pass skiers heading to Vail Resorts’ Colorado properties will likely fly to the Denver airport, which requires skiers to make a two-hour car or shuttle trek up I-70 to reach their destinations. Despite the long drive, the Denver Airport allows visitors to access a lot of the Epic Pass resorts with ease, which gives the pass an edge in this category.
Both The Mountain Collective Pass and The Epic Pass have a lot to offer, but it comes down to the pass holder’s needs. The decision is a toss up, but it should be based on your location, your budget, how many days you plan on skiing, what resorts you want to visit, if you want a better chance of skiing powder, and how easily accessible the resorts you desire to visit are.