We’re back on it folks — gearing up for another season and plenty of news to go around…First up, indeed Peak Resorts has ceased to exist following the buyout by Vail Resorts Inc., probably the most stunning roll-up in the history of the ski biz. The deal means that a number of key eastern properties, the crown jewels being Mount Snow VT, Hunter NY, Boston Mills and Brandywine OH, and Wildcat NH, are now under the Epic Pass umbrella.
If you live anywhere between Maine and Missouri, chances are there’s a Vail Resort near you. For those wondering how this might impact your typical day at your local ex-Peak Resort, the changes for 2019-20 will be subtle. For example, you may or may not notice that their e-blasts will very soon have fewer grammatical errors, and waivers may be worded a bit differently. Some intra-resort promotional efforts will also look different. But if you bought a Peak Drifter Pass last season, you can still buy one this season, only now you’ll have an option to upgrade to the Epic offerings.
The real impact will start to be seen next season, when the observation period is over. On-mountain differences will begin to occur, and the various Peak passes will be gone. Long term changes could be anything and everything, from management style to names of managers to names of resorts. It’s possible that a couple of properties may be jettisoned, whether hopeless under-achievers or market duplication — Attitash NH comes to mind as a likely candidate.
Anyway, if you’re in the market for a Peak or Epic pass, there is plenty of information out there to help you sort it out. If you need a second opinion, just ask, we have plenty — email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow we’ll delve into the whole Sackler affair, and explain how the Purdue Pharma phamily is involved with all of this.
On another pass front, we’ve got TEN new resorts involved in the Indy Pass. These include Caberfae Peaks MI, and Sunrise Park, AZ who joined at the end of August. Since then, Indy Pass has added Shanty Creek, Swiss Valley, and Cannonsburg in MI, Powder Ridge MN, Terry Peak SD, Shawnee Mountain PA, Mohawk Mountain CT, and representing Dixie, Ober Gatlinburg TN.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you aren’t aware of all the resorts that were already part of the Indy Pass, it’s worth looking into. West features 49 Degrees North and White Pass WA, Brundage ID, Lost Trail Powder Mountain and Red Lodge MT, and Mt Shasta CA, plus a bunch of others. Midwest has Trollhaugen WI, Big Powderhorn MI, along with Giants Ridge MN, and ten more. Eastern skiers get Berkshire East and Catamount MA, Magic and Bolton Valley VT, Bryce and Massanutten VA, and many others. 44 resorts total, two days at each for $199.
Now it’s no secret that I personally prefer the off-the-beaten-path, less crowded resorts. Every time, no question. So if you need a pass recommendation, there is no better deal. Here’s the link to the Indy Pass.
It’s ski swap time, first up is Wild Mountain MN, they’re selling this Saturday and Sunday October 5-6. Drop off starts today and goes through Saturday early, but I wouldn’t wait until Saturday morning as that can be chaotic.
New York’s Gore Mountain has a new logo, it supposedly incorporates all sorts of meaningful stuff. Hopefully shows up at the bottom of this page, and you can read about it here if you’re so inclined.
In Utah, Solitude Resort announced a week ago: “We are committed to reducing congestion in Big Cottonwood Canyon in order to preserve our canyon’s delicate environment.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? It’s actually a euphemism for “We are gonna charge you for parking.”
Photo above courtesy Cannonsburg MI, now part of the Indy Pass