With the start of ski season only a few months away, the eternal question returns: Which ski pass to buy?
Among the two most popular choices are the Epic and Ikon passes. Both offer a mix of local, national and international resorts. Each has different allowances in terms of blackout days, discounted “buddy” tickets and more, and some offer packages at various price points—so be sure to read the fine print.
Here’s a look at both, courtesy of ski.com:
EPIC PASS: At the highest price point, the Epic Pass offers unlimited access to 37 resorts, including those in Vermont, Minnesota, Washington and Utah, as well as six major Colorado resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Telluride). Pass holders also receive limited free days of skiing or riding in resorts in France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and Austria.
COVID-related news: Due to ski resort closures last March due to the coronavirus, 2019/20 Epic season pass holders can receive credits based on the number of days used, to apply toward the purchase of a 2020/21 season pass of equal or greater value. Free insurance is included for all pass holders, and “provides refunds associated with certain personal events, including illness, job loss, and injury. It also expands coverage to protect you from certain resort closures, such as any due to COVID-19,” notes the ski.com website.
IKON PASS: At the highest price point, skiers can enjoy unlimited access to 15 resorts in U.S. and Canada, including Copper Mountain, Eldora, Steamboat, Winter Park, plus limited free days of skiing or riding in Japan, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Switzerland. It also offers 7 free days at Aspen Snowmass.
COVID-related news: Any Ikon Pass purchased this year can be deferred to the 2021/22 season. “If your selected Ikon Pass destination closes due to an eligible COVID-19 event between December 10, 2020 and April 11, 2021, you will receive a proportional credit towards the purchase of any 21/22 Ikon Pass,” reports ski.com.