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"Mountains of Distinction" benefit????

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm curious if anyone on here finds value in the Mountains of Distinction program.  For those that don't know what it is...

 

From "onthesnow.com"

 

"A group of 15 ski resorts have teamed up to offer their passholders reciprocal benefits, which take the form of significant discounts on lift ticket prices. The greatest discounts occur on non-holiday weekdays.

 

These areas include:

 

Ski Roundtop, Ski Liberty, Whitetail, and Seven Springs in Pennsylvania;

Wintergreen in Virginia.

Shawnee Peak in Maine;

Crystal Mountain in Michigan;

Jiminy Peak and Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts;

Mt. Sunapee in New Hampshire;

Windham, Bristol Mountain, and Holiday Valley in New York;

and Okemo and Jay Peak in Vermont.

 

Season passes from one area must be valid for the day a passholder visits another Mountain of Distinction area for the benefits to accrue. For example, to get Mountains of Distinction benefits on a weekend or holiday, the pass in question must be valid for skiing or riding weekends or holidays. Mountains of Distinction benefits are $15 off the price of a weekend or holiday lift ticket; and 50 percent off weekday, non-holiday lift tickets."

 

 

The 2 mountains I've skied this year are part of this group, Wintergreen and Jay Peak.  I was curious to see if there was any benefit in buying a season pass at Wintergreen to take advantage of discounted lift ticket prices at Jay Peak.

 

I called Jay Peak and they said the program allows 50% off lift ticket prices any day of the week.  You have to go to customer service each day you're there to get a lift ticket (seems like a hassle.)  At first blush, it seems like a good deal.  Then I started crunching some numbers.  Jay Peak has a package deal that includes lodging and skiing (including the day you arrive and depart).  I'd actually save money if I didn't take "advantage" of the Mountains of Distinction program.

 

Unless you have a couple of these mountains close by, it doesn't seem like there's any value there.

 

What am I missing?  

post #2 of 21

As Bristol passholders, we skied Jay Peak for quite a few years in a row and used the Mountains of Distinction benefit. We DID stay off the mountain, but I'll take a few minutes in a line for a half price lift ticket (and it was never a hassle).

 

I don't think I'd base a seasons pass purchase decision on the program, but if you're in the area of one of the participating resorts, it certainly pays to take advantage of it.

post #3 of 21

More of a benefit if you are going to buy a season pass at one of the places anyway then a reason to pick a "home mountain" and be locked into a trip to a particular destination.  There are a lot of places to ski between Virginia and Jay Peak, with a variety of packages an deals to be found.

 

For Wintergreen, unless something changes for 2014-15, you won't be able to buy a pass that includes Saturdays or Sunday mornings.

post #4 of 21

Mountains of Distinction is a very useful benefit for me and my family. We have used it multiple times at Jay and Okemo, and I am planning to use it this season again at both and also at Mt. Sunapee during a Northeast trip. I visit these resorts exactly because of the discount to make the trip affordable. Jay is a great resort that is like a small version of a bigtime resort (think Rockies or Alps), and Okemo has great snow and grooming. Took 3 of my kids for their first trip to New England last year and had a blast.

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfski1 View Post
 

Mountains of Distinction is a very useful benefit for me and my family. We have used it multiple times at Jay and Okemo, and I am planning to use it this season again at both and also at Mt. Sunapee during a Northeast trip. I visit these resorts exactly because of the discount to make the trip affordable. Jay is a great resort that is like a small version of a bigtime resort (think Rockies or Alps), and Okemo has great snow and grooming. Took 3 of my kids for their first trip to New England last year and had a blast.


Welcome to EpicSki!  How long has Wintergreen been your home mountain?

post #6 of 21

Thanks for the welcome. Wintergreen has been my home hill since it opened (but first learned to ski at Massanutten). Have had family season pass since first offered in 99-00. But also have had Snowshoe pass for about 5 years now too (use it a lot on weekends). My 3 boys were on the WTG race team, and I worked as courtesy patrol for a few years. Meet and talk to a lot of people from Raleigh there, since WTG is probably the best/closest skihill. Hoping for a great season. Thanks.

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfski1 View Post
 

Mountains of Distinction is a very useful benefit for me and my family. We have used it multiple times at Jay and Okemo, and I am planning to use it this season again at both and also at Mt. Sunapee during a Northeast trip. I visit these resorts exactly because of the discount to make the trip affordable. Jay is a great resort that is like a small version of a bigtime resort (think Rockies or Alps), and Okemo has great snow and grooming. Took 3 of my kids for their first trip to New England last year and had a blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surfski1 View Post
 

Thanks for the welcome. Wintergreen has been my home hill since it opened (but first learned to ski at Massanutten). Have had family season pass since first offered in 99-00. But also have had Snowshoe pass for about 5 years now too (use it a lot on weekends). My 3 boys were on the WTG race team, and I worked as courtesy patrol for a few years. Meet and talk to a lot of people from Raleigh there, since WTG is probably the best/closest skihill. Hoping for a great season. Thanks.

Yeah, Wintergreen on a weekday is fun.  I like the Highlands when there is no lift line and relatively empty slopes.  For weekends, I'm spoiled by being a timeshare owner at Mnut and no lift line on Lift 6.

 

I'm curious to know more about Mt. Sunapee.  Will be visiting friends in NH this winter.  How does it compare to Snowshoe in terms of terrain?  Sometimes I enjoy spending a day at a smaller place in ski country when driving solo.

post #8 of 21
Wachusett Mountain also participates, and it looks as though Pico, Mount Snow, and Cranmore have been added for this year.
post #9 of 21

Here's the list for 2014-15 from the Wachusett website sorted more or less by location.  Seven Springs hasn't added the new places yet.  The ones with zip code are from 7Springs' website.

 

  • - Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, MI 49683
  •  
  • - Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA 22958
  •  
  • - Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley, PA 17320
  • - Roundtop, Lewisberry, PA 17339
  • - Whitetail Mountain Resort, Mercersburg, PA 17236
  • - Seven Springs, PA
  •  
  • - Holiday Valley, Ellicottville, NY 14731
  • - Bristol Mountain, Canandaigua, NY 14424
  • - Windham Mountain, Windham, NY 12496
  •  
  • - Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, VT 05149
  • - Mount Snow, VT
  • - Pico, VT
  •  
  • - Mt. Sunapee Resort, Newbury, NH 03255
  • - Cranmore, NH
  • - Jiminy Peak, Handcock, MA 01237
  • - Wachusett, MA
  • - Shawnee Peak, Bridgton, ME 04009
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Yeah, Wintergreen on a weekday is fun.  I like the Highlands when there is no lift line and relatively empty slopes.  For weekends, I'm spoiled by being a timeshare owner at Mnut and no lift line on Lift 6.

 

I'm curious to know more about Mt. Sunapee.  Will be visiting friends in NH this winter.  How does it compare to Snowshoe in terms of terrain?  Sometimes I enjoy spending a day at a smaller place in ski country when driving solo.


I've never skied Snowshoe, so I can't compare it.  Sunapee, though, I ski fairly often.  The terrain is interesting -- nothing super steep or challenging (though there are glades and a steepish bump run), but even the easy blues have a pleasing variety of lines.  For a southern New Hampshire hill, it's reasonable:

 

66 trails and slopes covering 233 skiable acres (18 miles of terrain)
17 easier trails, 32 more difficult trails, 17 most difficult trails
Summit elevation: 2,743 feet
Vertical drop: 1,510 feet (highest in southern New Hampshire)
Longest trail: Two miles (The Ridge Trail)
Three terrain parks, four mogul runs, nine glades

 

There's master development plan talk of a terrain expansion off the back of the hill -- 80 acres of intermediate/advanced on the Goshen side, with a new lift, base area, and parking.  Remains to be seen whether it passes environmental review.

 

If it matters to you, there are dramatic views of Lake Sunapee on the east side of the mountain.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

I'm curious to know more about Mt. Sunapee.  Will be visiting friends in NH this winter.  How does it compare to Snowshoe in terms of terrain?  Sometimes I enjoy spending a day at a smaller place in ski country when driving solo.


I've never skied Snowshoe, so I can't compare it.  Sunapee, though, I ski fairly often.  The terrain is interesting -- nothing super steep or challenging (though there are glades and a steepish bump run), but even the easy blues have a pleasing variety of lines.  For a southern New Hampshire hill, it's reasonable:

 

66 trails and slopes covering 233 skiable acres (18 miles of terrain)
17 easier trails, 32 more difficult trails, 17 most difficult trails
Summit elevation: 2,743 feet
Vertical drop: 1,510 feet (highest in southern New Hampshire)
Longest trail: Two miles (The Ridge Trail)
Three terrain parks, four mogul runs, nine glades

 

There's master development plan talk of a terrain expansion off the back of the hill -- 80 acres of intermediate/advanced on the Goshen side, with a new lift, base area, and parking.  Remains to be seen whether it passes environmental review.

 

If it matters to you, there are dramatic views of Lake Sunapee on the east side of the mountain.

I only mentioned Snowshoe because it's the biggest ski resort in the southeast: 244 acres, 1480' vert for the two trails in the Western Territories, only 700-800' for other areas, longest run 1.5 mile.  Of the 244 acres, a section is actually another ski area that was developed separately that requires a 10-min shuttle bus ride.  Plus Snowshoe really doesn't have true glades and bumps are rare because of the way the mountain in groomed.

 

I'll keep Mt. Sunapee in mind.  Thanks!

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

I only mentioned Snowshoe because it's the biggest ski resort in the southeast: 244 acres, 1480' vert for the two trails in the Western Territories, only 700-800' for other areas, longest run 1.5 mile.  Of the 244 acres, a section is actually another ski area that was developed separately that requires a 10-min shuttle bus ride.  Plus Snowshoe really doesn't have true glades and bumps are rare because of the way the mountain in groomed.

 

I'll keep Mt. Sunapee in mind.  Thanks!


Pleasure.

post #13 of 21

"Mountains of Distinction"  Does program still exist?

post #14 of 21

It's listed as a benefit as part of the Bristol season pass for 2015-2016, so looks like it still is in effect. Seems like the same lineup of resorts as listed above.

post #15 of 21

Didn't realize that the Mountains of Distinction partnership started way back in 1996.  Included Okemo, Jiminy Peak, Wachusett, Windham, Holiday Valley, Seven Springs, Liberty, and Roundtop.  Intrawest joined in 1998.  Back then Intrawest owned Tremblant, Stratton, Snowshoe, plus Copper, Mont Ste. Marie, Panorama, and Whistler.

 

The list for 2016-17 on the Seven Springs website does not include Snowshoe, which is now part of the MAX Pass.

 

  • - Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, MI 49683
  • - Bristol Mountain, Canandaigua, NY 14424
  • - Holiday Valley, Ellicottville, NY 14731
  • - Windham Mountain, Windham, NY 12496
  • - Jay Peak Resort, Jay, VT 05859
  • - Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, VT 05149
  • - Mt. Sunapee Resort, Newbury, NH 03255
  • - Shawnee Peak, Bridgton, ME 04009
  • - Wachusett Ski Area, Princeton, MA 01541
  • - Jiminy Peak, Handcock, MA 01237
  • - Whitetail Mountain Resort, Mercersburg, PA 17236
  • - Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley, PA 17320
  • - Roundtop, Lewisberry, PA 17339
  • - Seven Springs, PA
  • - Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA 22958
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Didn't realize that the Mountains of Distinction partnership started way back in 1996.  Included Okemo, Jiminy Peak, Wachusett, Windham, Holiday Valley, Seven Springs, Liberty, and Roundtop.  Intrawest joined in 1998.  Back then Intrawest owned Tremblant, Stratton, Snowshoe, plus Copper, Mont Ste. Marie, Panorama, and Whistler.

 

The list for 2016-17 on the Seven Springs website does not include Snowshoe, which is now part of the MAX Pass.

 

  • - Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, MI 49683
  • - Bristol Mountain, Canandaigua, NY 14424
  • - Holiday Valley, Ellicottville, NY 14731
  • - Windham Mountain, Windham, NY 12496
  • - Jay Peak Resort, Jay, VT 05859
  • - Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, VT 05149
  • - Mt. Sunapee Resort, Newbury, NH 03255
  • - Shawnee Peak, Bridgton, ME 04009
  • - Wachusett Ski Area, Princeton, MA 01541
  • - Jiminy Peak, Handcock, MA 01237
  • - Whitetail Mountain Resort, Mercersburg, PA 17236
  • - Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley, PA 17320
  • - Roundtop, Lewisberry, PA 17339
  • - Seven Springs, PA
  • - Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA 22958


I'm unclear how this works. I see that, for instance, Liberty shows a reciprocal arrangement with Jay, Sunapee, et. al., but the Sunapee site doesn't mention it. Don't recall Sunapee ever mentioning it.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

I'm unclear how this works. I see that, for instance, Liberty shows a reciprocal arrangement with Jay, Sunapee, et. al., but the Sunapee site doesn't mention it. Don't recall Sunapee ever mentioning it.

Hmm, that is odd.  Other ski resorts on the list also include Sunapee.  Okemo and Sunapee are run by the same management, yes?  Maybe you can ask when Sunapee opens?

 

The list has changed a bit every so often.  I know one year Seven Springs was missing a few places that were listed on other websites.

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

I'm unclear how this works. I see that, for instance, Liberty shows a reciprocal arrangement with Jay, Sunapee, et. al., but the Sunapee site doesn't mention it. Don't recall Sunapee ever mentioning it.

Hmm, that is odd.  Other ski resorts on the list also include Sunapee.  Okemo and Sunapee are run by the same management, yes?  Maybe you can ask when Sunapee opens?

 

The list has changed a bit every so often.  I know one year Seven Springs was missing a few places that were listed on other websites.


Sunapee has a reciprocal arrangement with Okemo — my pass gives me non-holiday access to Okemo. I have 3 days at Pico, too, and half off weekday nights at Pat's Peak. I get some deal at Crested Butte, too, which is also owned by the Sunapee/Okemo management. But I've never seen other mountains mentioned.  Might not be in their interest, even if the arrangement does exist.

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post


Sunapee has a reciprocal arrangement with Okemo — my pass gives me non-holiday access to Okemo. I have 3 days at Pico, too, and half off weekday nights at Pat's Peak. I get some deal at Crested Butte, too, which is also owned by the Sunapee/Okemo management. But I've never seen other mountains mentioned.  Might not be in their interest, even if the arrangement does exist.


Other than Jay, which of the other places would you really be interested in driving to?  All the others are a long drive away to a pretty small place relative to Sunapee.  I would guess that there is little marketing of the three Midwest hills owned by Vail at Beaver Creek or Park City or Northstar.

 

Folks with a Seven Springs 2016-17 pass will be able to get 3 free days at Crested Butte if they stay in resort lodging. So pretty clear the connection to Okemo/Sunapee/Crested Butte is an incentive to consider buying a 7Springs pass.

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post


Sunapee has a reciprocal arrangement with Okemo — my pass gives me non-holiday access to Okemo. I have 3 days at Pico, too, and half off weekday nights at Pat's Peak. I get some deal at Crested Butte, too, which is also owned by the Sunapee/Okemo management. But I've never seen other mountains mentioned.  Might not be in their interest, even if the arrangement does exist.


Other than Jay, which of the other places would you really be interested in driving to?  All the others are a long drive away to a pretty small place relative to Sunapee.  I would guess that there is little marketing of the three Midwest hills owned by Vail at Beaver Creek or Park City or Northstar.

 

Folks with a Seven Springs 2016-17 pass will be able to get 3 free days at Crested Butte if they stay in resort lodging. So pretty clear the connection to Okemo/Sunapee/Crested Butte is an incentive to consider buying a 7Springs pass.


Other than Jay, I wouldn't; wouldn't be much of a benefit to me, clearly. I was just curious. The benefits seem to be all for the smaller resorts, which need incentives. Okemo doesn't mention it either, nor does Jay.

 

Re: Crested Butte, my Peak Pass gets me five days of skiing and 25% off lodging (when lodging in one of their properties). The Ultra (expensive :)) pass gets unlimited Crested Butte (and Okemo and Sunapee) access + 25% off lodging.

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by marznc View Post

 

Other than Jay, which of the other places would you really be interested in driving to?  All the others are a long drive away to a pretty small place relative to Sunapee.  I would guess that there is little marketing of the three Midwest hills owned by Vail at Beaver Creek or Park City or Northstar.

 

Folks with a Seven Springs 2016-17 pass will be able to get 3 free days at Crested Butte if they stay in resort lodging. So pretty clear the connection to Okemo/Sunapee/Crested Butte is an incentive to consider buying a 7Springs pass.


Other than Jay, I wouldn't; wouldn't be much of a benefit to me, clearly. I was just curious. The benefits seem to be all for the smaller resorts, which need incentives. Okemo doesn't mention it either, nor does Jay.

 

Re: Crested Butte, my Peak Pass gets me five days of skiing and 25% off lodging (when lodging in one of their properties). The Ultra (expensive :)) pass gets unlimited Crested Butte (and Okemo and Sunapee) access + 25% off lodging.

Like you, I'm just curious.  Don't live close enough to PA or WV to make it worthwhile.  But have friends in the DC metro area who might benefit.  Wintergreen is closer to my house than Massanutten, but I can't get a season pass that includes Saturdays because I don't own property there.

 

I heard about the Mountains of Distinction a while back when Snowshoe was part of it and I was mostly skiing in the southeast.  I assumed it was relatively new.  Never occurred to me that it might have been a model for the Powder Alliance.  Some of the partnerships that cover more than one region only make sense when you know the history.

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