Back in the day, skiers purchased a one-day pass to their hometown resort, stepped into heavy plywood-aluminum skis then rode up a single-chair lift to make their way down one of the few runs that were available. Fast forward to the 2018/2019 ski season, and how things have changed.
Today’s ski and snowboard equipment is light years away from the earliest models, and ski lifts now move thousands of people up the mountain each day. Bridge Street Ski Haus offers start-of-the-art skis, snowboards, boots and more, providing comfort along with performance. Bridge Street also offers ski lockers that give skiers and boarders the most convenient storage option in Vail.
The rise of multi-resort passes is changing the industry by giving skiers the flexibility of choosing from a variety of resorts around the world. These “mega-passes” provide unprecedented access to ski resorts along with discounts for food, lodging and more. They have opened the gate to snow sports options, unlike anything the industry has ever seen.
Just released this year, the Ikon Pass from Alterra Mountain Company connects 36 ski resorts across North America and around the globe. It also includes discounts on CMH Heli-Skiing trips in Canada.
The Ikon Pass features two products, each with varying levels of access and benefits. It provides unlimited access to 14 destinations and 7-days or 7-days combined at 21 destinations, with zero blackout dates.
The Ikon Base Pass offers unlimited access to 12 destinations and 5-days or 5-days combined at 23 destinations, with ten blackout dates.
Special pricing is available for children, teens, and military service members. Canadian skiers also get a discount on the Ikon Pass.
Along with access to the snow, pass holders also receive discounted day tickets for friends and family, deals on lodging, food & beverages, and retail goods. In addition, they will become members of Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit organization with the mission of addressing climate change.
The Epic Pass, provided by Vail Resorts, offers access to dozens of ski areas across the USA and Canada, as well as select international destinations including Canada and Japan. The pass is structured into more than a dozen options. Discounts are offered for military service members and students.
Along with spectacular skiing options, pass holders will also enjoy deals on lodging, restaurants, and gear at each destination.
Sure, the ski resorts that take part in these passes benefit from their participation, but the real winner here is the consumer. These passes provide extraordinary flexibility for powder chasers, access to diverse terrain for any skill level, and the opportunity to enjoy new destinations.
We talked to a few Colorado skiers, to learn more about their experience with these multi-resort passes, and how they get the most out of them.
One of the biggest benefits for skiers is flexibility; with these passes, skiers and boarders can choose to stay close to home, or follow the snow and add a travel component to the experience.
Bill K. is a Denver metro resident, a lifelong skier, and a self-described day-tripper. He skied 73 days last year and averages that each season.
He purchased both the Ikon and Epic passes this year, and says, “If there’s a big dump of snow in Canada, I might go to one of those resorts.”
A tailored ski experience is also a big draw; an expert skier can pick and choose the extreme terrain at resorts around the world. “I like to ski extreme terrain, and there’s only so much of that at each ski area,” says Bill. “I like variety and challenge, and to go to a lot of different places, and these passes allow me to do that.”
Along with the unbeatable variety, the potential of moving around to new, extreme terrain, and finding new lines, pass-holders enjoy the ability to connect with fellow skiers and snowboarders.
Michael H. is a Summit County local who logs more than 150 days on the snow each season. He purchased the Ikon Pass this year, and, he says, “picked up the Epic Pass at the 11th hour.”
For him, being able to move freely among resorts with buddies is a big draw. “A few friends bought the Epic Pass, and I thought about the mantra of the mountains, “work hard, play hard,” he says. “I work hard, and I don’t want to miss out the chance to ski with friends.”
Michael puts thought into the ski season as he plans how to use the many options of the ski passes. He relates, “It really depends on what kind of skiing or riding you want to do this winter. If you want to ride really fast, improve your riding, maybe the home turf is the way to go.”
He suggests that if someone is looking to explore new destinations, ride different terrain and add a travel component to the season, the passes offer that option.
“Having access to these different resorts is definitely a draw,” he says. “Traveling for snowboarding is a fun part of the experience; I like checking out different trails at different mountains, even different beer at a different bar.”
Check out these community events as the clock ticks towards the Vail Ski Resort Opening Day, November 17.
In a special edition of the Vail Symposium Community Conversations, join several community leaders and stakeholders in conversing about key points on the conservation vs. development discussion. Doors open at 5:30 pm, program from 6-7: 30 pm. Held at The Sebastian – Vail. Call (970) 476-0954 for info.
Tenth Mountain Division veteran Sandy Treat recounts his experiences at Camp Hale and serving with the mountain troops during WWII. The event takes place at the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. Free, donations accepted. Call (970) 476-1876 to confirm.
Free live music, featuring a changing lineup of musicians. Held at 10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirit Co., 227 Bridge Street in Vail. Call (970) 470-4215 for information.
It’s clear that skiing and snowboarding have evolved into the 21st century. Bridge Street Ski Haus, with ski rentals and ski lockers, just steps away from Gondola One in world-renowned Vail, is at the heart of the action.
As you make your winter travel plans for the 2018/2019 ski season, remember to save time for the things that matter the most by reserving your Vail ski rentals and ski lockers in advance from Bridge Street Ski Haus. For reservations call (970)476-3332, or click here to contact us.
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