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The trend of the big ski passes getting even bigger doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. Vail Resorts just announced its latest acquisition: Peak Pass, which consists of 17 mountains throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and Indiana. This is a huge win for Midwest and Northeast skiers as it significantly increases the number of local mountains available as part of the Epic Pass.
17 New Resorts Added to the Epic Pass
- Vermont: Mount Snow
- New York: Hunter Mountain
- New Hampshire: Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain and Crotched Mountain
- Pennsylvania: Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, Jack Frost and Big Boulder
- Ohio: Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River Mountain
- Missouri: Hidden Valley and Snow Creek
- Indiana: Paoli Peaks
The Epic Pass is by no means cheap, but with 79 resorts now included you might find it be the most economical way to ski this winter. There are several flavors of passes available ranging from the full Epic Pass to the Epic Local Pass and even Epic Day Passes (a total of one to seven ski days).
Fortunately the more affordable Epic Local Pass will give you unlimited and unrestricted access at all of the 17 Peak Pass resorts. On top of that, you’ll receive unlimited and unrestricted access to 30 additional ski mountains throughout the country such as Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Keystone and Stevens Pass. You’ll be given limited access to most of the other resorts, but you’ll face certain restrictions, such as holiday blackouts and a maximum number of ski days. If you are a Midwest or Northeast skier, you can still use the Epic Local Pass for some trips out West, but you’ll just have to plan your trip around the restrictions. (Note that Telluride access is not included in the Epic Local Pass.)
Is the Epic Pass Worth It?
Do the specific math for your situation but, as a general rule of thumb, the Epic Local Pass will start to pay for itself if you plan on skiing at least four to seven days this upcoming season, depending on where you ski.
The Epic Local Pass is $699 for adults, $569 for teens (ages 13–18) and $369 for kids (ages 5–12).
For most ages, this is significantly less expensive than the Peak Pass and you will receive even more mountain options. The Peak Pass will actually still be available for the 2019/2020 season, and there are two age groups that may reap more benefit from this pass versus the Epic Local Pass: the 18–29 age group, which can purchase a “Drifter” pass for $419, and 5 and 6 year olds who can get the “Scout” pass for just $60 (with the Epic Pass, only kids 4 and under are free).
Note: The Peak Pass will only give you access to the 17 “Peak” mountains and not the rest of the other mountains available under the broader Epic Pass.
Best Credit Card for Your Epic Pass Purchase
|Category Bonus||Value of the Rewards||Total Earned per Dollar Spent||Annual Fee|
|U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card||5% cash back (up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter on two categories)||1 cent||5 cents||$0|
|Sony Card from Capital One||5x||1 cent or less||5 cents or less||$0|
|Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card||4% cash back||1 cent||4 cents||$95 (waived the first year)|
|Citi Premier Card||2x||1.7 cents||3.4 cents||$95|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||1.5% (1.5x)||2 cents (when paired with an Ultimate Rewards-earning card)||3 cents||$0|
|Marvel Mastercard||3% cash back||1 cent||3 cents||$0|
Originally, our family was on the fence as to whether or not we should buy an Epic Pass. We are a ski family that lives in the Northeast but likes to ski out West at least once a year. With this large addition to the Epic Pass, at least one member in our family will absolutely be a buyer — and potentially more if a trip out to Colorado or Utah looks likely.
For more ski-planning tips, check out:
- Unlimited Skiing With Ikon Ski Pass
- Tips for Visiting Crested Butte
- Where Kids Ski Free
- Skiing at 70: Ski Tips for Seniors
- 6 Tips for Taking Big Family Ski Trips
- Plan Your Ski Trip Using Miles and Points
- Best Ski Resorts for Families in North America
- Best Ski Schools for Kids in the US
Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy
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