EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Decision to buy a season pass
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Decision to buy a season pass

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering if anyone has started to think that maybe in the future they shouldn't buy a season pass, as there may not be enough snow, or enough cold weather to make snow?

 

If an area never opens for the season, would you say they left you 'high and dry', or 'low and dry' since the lifts didn't start?

I'd say you've been left high and dry if the lift took you to the top, but the last of the snow melted off while you were riding up, and was gone by the time you got to the summit.

post #2 of 25
The thought now has begun to cross my mind where I am in SW Pa. We did have a really good winter afew years back.Unfortunately good winters are the exception not the norm.I guess I believe no matter how bad the season turns out the pass is still les expensive than the number of times I would stil go and have to buy a ticket. I think a weekend day ticket at Seven SPrings is now over $60 dollars!
post #3 of 25

I guess that's one thing in MN we won't really have to worry about as it's cold enough every season to make snow, although our natural snow levels aren't very high the last few years.

 

What I wonder is should I not buy a season pass so I can go ski other mountains more often and not feel 'locked in' to my hill.   Sometimes I'd like to drive to other places, but when you're pre-paid at a local hill it's hard to justify paying to go to another similar local area.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Yes, with the pass I feel locked into Hunter Mountain and it's bare slopes, and this makes it harder to drive 6 hours north to New Hampshire, where some bears have been boasting about 'powder days'.

post #5 of 25

I can't justify the full season pass anymore here in PA. I have been getting a night pass (4-10 pm every night) the last few years which is about $160. It doesn't start until Jan 2 but we are never really fully open by then these days anyway. That way I can go out more often for just an hour or two and I won't feel committed to a 4 or 8 hour ticket (I live about 15 minutes from the hill).

 

I also buy a discount card that gives me 40% anytime just in case we have a great season, rare natural snowfall or I want to go up on a weekend morning.

 

For our marginal cold/snow area here in southern PA a night pass + discount card is the way to go.

 

The money I save goes toward a trip out west. I also look out for various discount/free day tickets for other areas I drive to like Hunter.

 

Hunter has a similar thing - Value Pass for $229 midweek + 30% off weekends and holidays.

post #6 of 25

We buy four season passes to our local hill - Greek Peak - in central NY @ 329 a pop.  That's the pre-season best deal you can get (have to buy before Apr 15 for next season).

 

No deals for kids. None. College kids can get a break.

 

We've been getting passes for at least 12 years - prob 14. And at this point it's going to be a tough decision to pony up for next season.  We have no snow yet, temps aren't going to be cold enough for snowmaking until this weekend - then marginal at best.

 

But worse than this is that Greek Peak spent something like $40M to build an indoor waterpark, a big lodge, and an "adventure center" int eh past few years.  They've done extremely little in the way of on hill improvements. They scrimp on snowmaking. They close off anything that's not an "official" trail - i.e. - roping off lots of little woods runs. They place is not run by people who ski, and it shows.

 

Last year they filed chapt 11. Their primary lender failed and was taken over by the FDIC. Given the outlook for this year my opinion is they will not survive with the current owners - eitehr they will shut down mid season to stop losing money, or there's a possibility that another ski resort will make a deal with the feds to buy out the debt at firesale prices. THe gov doesn't want to own this place, but a well run resort company could come in and make it work - improve it for skiers, market it better.

 

In the face of all that, it will be an extremely difficult decision to toss up 1,300 next year - when we coudl use that for a nice family trip up to VT, or toward a trip west.

 

There are MANY others there in this same position.  If this warm wet season doesn't put them under this year, lack of season pass sales will next.

post #7 of 25

I wish that Elk Mountain's pass was 329. It is 745 this year despite the fact that it is less than an hour away from Greek Peak. Elk has to win the most expensive PA pass contest I expect.
 

post #8 of 25

Seeing what you have to pay for a Greek Peak season pass (used to ski there in college) makes me appreciate what screaming deals Colorado season pass buyers get.

post #9 of 25

For you all who are skiing Pennsylvania and don't think a season pass is worth it, check out the Pennsylvania Ski Area Assn., PSAA. They sell books of 24 tickets for about $840 that are good for a free lift ticket at any participating (afaik that is every) ski area in PA. Tickets are good weekend and holidays, they are transferable, you can use all of them the same day if you wish and you are not tied down to one PA ski area as you would be with a season pass. They currently have a wait list though.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOCEVG View Post

Seeing what you have to pay for a Greek Peak season pass (used to ski there in college) makes me appreciate what screaming deals Colorado season pass buyers get.

 

$329 is the cheapest season pass for GP -- that's if you buy it in April for use the next season.  It goes progressively up - not sure what the max is if you bought it now - maybe around $500?  $329 I can stomach - it's only 35 minutes away for me, I can ski after work, or before work if we actually had some snowfall.  But yeah - compared to deals in CO it's expensive.  We've actually considered getting one of the season pass deals in CO -- if we could swing two trips out west it woudl be worth it.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

I wish that Elk Mountain's pass was 329. It is 745 this year despite the fact that it is less than an hour away from Greek Peak. Elk has to win the most expensive PA pass contest I expect.
 

Don't know how Elk sells passes at that price.  It's a nice little mountain, but it IS little. Their snowmaking is good.  But that's a crazy price. 

post #12 of 25

Boy I feel for you folks, to be avid skiers and have to face what you are up against is sad.  I am not being sarcastic, this is too bad.

 

You could buy a season pass at Silver for $199.00 and Lookout Pass for $119.00 and they don't have any crowds or snowmaking for that matter.   Sometimes I don't realize how great I have it living here.  Your posts are depressing for an avid skier.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Boy I feel for you folks, to be avid skiers and have to face what you are up against is sad.  I am not being sarcastic, this is too bad.

 

You could buy a season pass at Silver for $199.00 and Lookout Pass for $119.00 and they don't have any crowds or snowmaking for that matter.   Sometimes I don't realize how great I have it living here.  Your posts are depressing for an avid skier.

 

The most depressing part is the weather Pete.  I could live with the cost of our season passes if we could actually be skiing. Right now I'm working out how we can maximize our time to get up to the Adirondacks or Vermont where there's at least some snow now.

post #14 of 25

For me, buying an unlimited season pass at Massanutten (tiny place in northern VA) is a question of what the break even point is, not the total cost.  The total is under $500.  My daughter and I mostly ski on weekends since she is in school.  It only takes 7 ski days to make the pass worthwhile, so four weekends will do it.  We usually get to ski the week before Christmas too.  Not this year since there is NO snow because of the warm weather in Dec.  First time in 8 years.

 

An advantage of having a pass means that heading out for a hour or two of night skiing the day we arrive becomes an reasonable option.  Since Mnut is small, can park 2 min from the lodge.

post #15 of 25

it is going to dump in PA/NY over the next few days, quit your whining before you scare the storm off.

 

http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/pwpf/wwd_accum_probs.php

post #16 of 25

Yes it looks like a regular PA "dump" 1 to 2 inches. But every bit helps
 

post #17 of 25

Interesting how this thread has a Pa. skiing link. Take the road north from Philly, one passes Bear Creek, Blue, Pocono's, Elk then to NY and Greek. All really hurting this season, and, I guessing my first day on snow will be in 2013.mad.gif  I looked at Blue's webcam's and all I can say is: "Anyone for golf?" this storm is rain for us on the southern side of the boundary line.

 

My Blue Mtn. season pass is $500, although that rate was only available at the end of last season, and, slightly less than the rate for the past season. Go Blue, we all like discounted rates. I'd find it hard to give up my pass, if only for the reason that it gets me skiing on marginal days. If friends call and want to do a early weekend start/finish, I'll go, whereas, if I had to pay, I'd stay home.

 

Another aspect to total cost is the driving cost component. It costs a considerable amount more to drive to a bigger mountain than Blue. Elk is double the mileage and tolls.

 

Billymac

Did not know Greek was in Chapter 11, good luck with that one. Honestly, I can't imagine how they can stay in business at the cost of your annual pass.

post #18 of 25

Just an FYI on the PA front, Sno Mountain (formerly Montage) in Scranton is also in Chapter 11 and narrowly escaped a Sheriff's sale during the summer. Elk opened on Tuesday with a little handful of trails, hopefully they will be above the rain/snow line.

post #19 of 25

Wisp in MD and Wintergreen in VA changed ownership after the 2011-12 season.  Hopefully the new owners will be able to do well.  Both places are 4-season resorts that need lots of things to go well besides skiing to succeed in the long run.

 

For Wintergreen, the new owner is based in WV.  They put a lot of money into snowmaking and other improvements at Wintergreen.  The first test will be the next few days to see if they can go from bare slopes to open by Christmas.  Wintergreen caters to their owners.  A non-owner cannot even buy a full-season pass that includes Sat or Sun mornings.  Owners get early tracks plus a separate lift line.  The Highlands are fun on weekdays though.

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

It makes sense to me that places further south, in VA, WV, and PA are showing us the shape of things to come. It will only be a matter of time before Belleayre Hunter and Windham face the same temps and conditions.

 

Judging by the amount of open terrain, I'd say that Hunter is 'barely open'. At the start of the season I'm not in shape, and don't have the reflexes, for the narrow lines, bumps, ruts and thin cover that I see on the webcams.

post #21 of 25

I used to get a pass to Blue Mountain, but gave up on that since the place pretty much just sucks.  Its too bad since they have some decent terrain given where they are in the country, but its run poorly.

 

I didnt get a pass the last 2 years since I prefer going to ski at Elk and their pass price was high enough that I couldnt promise I would ski enough days to break even.  Last year I am certainly glad I didnt bother given the conditions.

 

It makes much more sense here in CO, where an Epic pass gets you many mountain options, and they are cheap enough that you could even buy two (say an Epic pass for the Vail resorts and a Rocky Mtn Super Pass to get you Copper, Winter Park and Steamboat).

 

I cant imagine ever paying for a pass to the Vermont resorts ($1350 for Killingon and $2000?!?!?! for Stowe?).  They are good, but not *that* good...

post #22 of 25

I'nm sure I'll get my $$$s worth out of my Bristol pass, but so far nothing. They've got great snowmaking, but if it ain't cold enought, there's nothing they can do.They're ready and have blown some snow-we're finally expecting natural over the weekend.Won't get down there before the new year though-we're on our way Sunday to SLC.

 

The season would have to get MUCH shorter before I'd stop buying a pass........... 

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by John V. View Post

.They're ready and have blown some snow-we're finally expecting natural over the weekend.

 

How are Greek and Labrador looking?

post #24 of 25

GP is wet and soggy.  They were blowing snow a bit last night apparently - but only with a couple guns.  They have a tiny WROD on one trail leftover from a couple weeks ago.  Everything else is bare and wet.

 

http://greekpeakmtnresort.com/the-mountain/live-webcams/

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm getting around to accepting it.

My pass at Hunter alone isn't going to get me the skiing experience I want. I'll get what I can from it, and make serious plans to head north in January.

Hopefully I'll get enough runs in at Hunter to get my balance, reflexes and a bit of my strength back, before I go someplace where I have to pay.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Decision to buy a season pass