The Indy Ski Pass

By | Category: Travel destinations

With the weather beginning to cool and meteorological autumn starting today, some people’s attention is turning to the forthcoming ski season.

Magic Mountain in Vermont

How good is it likely to be? Will the snow be at increasingly higher altutudes with more attention having to be placed on machine-made snow? Is the long-range forecast for consistent snow rather than peaks and troughs of snow?

Regardless of what some forecasters say, it really is too early to say. In Europe, no organisation is sticking its head up yet with a n idea of what the snow sports season might be like. One source in the USA this week was forecasting a quite severe cold snap in late January and February in the north east of the country, a place where a lot of the ski resorts are based.

But what resorts are doing is planning to make skiing easier for those that follow the sow.

In North America they have launched the Indy Pass which is multi-resort ski pass covering 34 independently owned resorts across the continent. Why such a pass? It is an attempt to lure skiers back to the resorts. The independents have to compete with the bigger conglomerate resorts that spend much more on marketing and infrastructure.

Last season in the US alone there were over 59 million ski visits and the US National Ski Areas Association said that it was the fourth best year since 1978/79 up 5.7 million over the preceding season.

The idea behind the Indy Pass is that you pay a flat fee – $199 until December 1st and thereafter $219 – and that gives you two free lift tickets at each of the thirty-four resorts. You can buy a third at a 10% discount and children’s tickets are at a 25% discount.

Apex Mountain resort in British Columbia

What the skier must judge is whether it would be cheaper to buy the pass or, if only skiing once or twice a season, whether it is better to just turn up and pay on the day. For travellers from the UK or Europe to North America it is probably uneconomic because most skiers will go just one or two resorts on a single holiday.

For those living near resorts in Canada or the US, then it presents a bargain for those would ski more than a few times of the coming season.

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