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Loon/Waterville/Cranmore pass

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm considering getting the "Threedom" pass good at Loon, Waterville and Cranmore for next season. They are on sale now, at $299 for the limited pass (exludes a few holiday periods). The Loon website claims this:

"2004-2005 Threedom Passes now on sale at the lowest price of the year. Prices may increase on April 30, so act fast."

I'd rather not shell out the cash this spring for next season (skis have set me back far enough at this point . Does anyone know what time of year prices typically go up? Do they really increase them in May? Seems awfully early.


Also, is Loon or Waterville closer to the Boston area? I'm thinking about heading up to one or the other this weekend to check it out.

post #2 of 15
not sure when passes go up. Loon & Waterville are pretty much the same distance. Loon is a little further off of I-93 but just off the highway. Waterville is a couple of exits before but a couple miles down the road from there. Loon is a little more challenging overall than Waterville perhaps.
post #3 of 15
They are both known as family resorts and are both zoos on the weekend.

I think Loon is better then Waterville except for the gondola which is a pain.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Do they get as crowded as Sunapee on weekends?

I was at Ragged on Sunday and it was empty. Almost no lines the entire day. I think lots of people thought it had rained there, which it hadn't.

A family resort is ok, b/c I'll be skiing with my (then) 8 and 6 year olds. So lots of good green and blue runs that are nice and long, along with some single blacks that aren't too demanding, would fit the bill.

Are there any other good season pass deals within day-trip distance from Boston? Everything else I've seen is much more expensive.
post #5 of 15
I would say that they are as crowded as Sunapee but $300 can't be beat.

Okemo's pass is like $1375 and can be used at Sunapee but the break even is like 22 visits.
post #6 of 15
Both Loon and Waterville are about the same driving time. Both are easily accessed from Boston via I-93. Waterville is about a thousand feet higher in elevation altho both have approximately the same vertical. Loon's trails tend to be not as steep altho some are narrower. Waterville has consistently steeper terrain with very little lower intermediate terrain. The boulevard width of most trails,and the grooming, however, leaves many with the impression of an easier mountain. Both can be crowded on popular vacation weeks. My impression is that Loon has been drawing bigger crowds in recent years. Best thing about the threedom pass is that you can sample both. I have't bought one of these passes for a couple years but my recollection is they bump the cost up about $20 every 4 months or so. They're still an incredible bargain right up to the beginning of the season. You really can't go wrong with one of these passes. Beware though that some of these passes exclude those crowded weekends when you want to be joining the horde.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, we went to Loon on Saturday. It was an absolute zoo, but everyone there said they hadn't seen it like that all year, if ever. It was probably the warmest day of a very cold season so far, and nice and sunny. It took us over an hour waiting in line to rent skis for my son, and we had to park 1.5 mi. away and shuttle in. Once we got partway up the mountain the lift lines weren't too bad, though. We just made sure to not go back to the bottom until we were done for the day. And the conditions were pretty good. A bit hard at points, but much better coverage than we saw at Ragged the weekend before.

I think I'll give the combo pass a try next season. It's hard to beat the price (though I'm jealous of my buddy who gets a season pass at Heavenly for $300). And I'll also rent skis for my kids for the season so we don't have to wait in the rental line again (I've never seen anything like it).

Unless someone out there knows of a good deal on kids' skis and boots.

BTW, I called Loon and they told me that prices will definitely go up after April 30, but they don't know by how much yet. Apparently, that decision is made at corp. HQ in California.

[ March 03, 2004, 06:23 AM: Message edited by: bostonheel ]
post #8 of 15
Bostonheel - in the fall, Ski Market in Manchester NH usually has a decent selection of kids' trade-ins and returned lease equipment. Prices were $30 for skis and $20 for boots in fall '02 IIRC. Not sure if every location has this deal. You could also check for a place called "Play It Again Sports" although by comparison they are hit-or-miss. HTH
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Steve! That sounds like a great deal if it can be found.
post #10 of 15
Waterville has been brutally cold this season. Not sure if that is typical or not, I will not be getting pass there next year.
post #11 of 15
This past weekend was the busiest I've seen all year. Saturday was the better (also busier) of the two days. We think the cabin fever was remedied this weekend. The place emptied out pretty quick Sunday afternoon. We got it to ourselves by 2:00.

If you're looking to trade each season, The Ski Haus in Salem, NH and Wilmington, MA has a pretty good deal for children. They'll give you 50% back on your childrens equipment if you purchase new equipment the next year.

I've never done it, but friends have. I'm too cheap. I buy last years boots in the fall for the older child. The second one always seems to get hand-me downs. He did get a new pair of last years twin tips from Ski Haus this year. just don't try and skimp too much on boots. It's important they fit even for the little guys.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

We have three kids, so I'm thinking that the hand-me-down thing may be the best way to go.

Is fall the best time to look for good deals on kids' skis, or is the end of this season better?
post #13 of 15
Ski Haus has a great August tent sale. Check their web site out for exact dates.

This is the first year in a while that I haven't gotten a threedom pass. Typically I about break even on it (8 - 10 visits). Weekends tend to be zooier at Loon than Waterville in my estimation. I tend to favor the terrain at Loon for variety but because of the overall experience like Waterville better.

Neither Mountain is particullarly challenging (except for True Grit and Lower Bobby's at Waterville and Triple Trouble and Flume at Loon which can all deliver a thrill when the snow is hard).

I agree that it is difficult for a skier that is a developing intermediate to find a good trail to step up to at Waterville. The only "easy" blue is Oblivion and it gets a tremendous amount of traffic and has a corner that features a small steep that backs traffic up and causes problems. Loon has a number of fairly mellow blues off of the Kanc Quad.
post #14 of 15
The reason to sell discount passes up until April 30th has to do with accounting, and business planning.

Money paid now for a pass that's effective next season, will be 'cash on hand' when the books for this season are closed out.
The last fuel delivery, workmen's comp payment, and many other liabilities for the season are settled out, and the area wants to have as much cash on hand to pay for any improvements or maintenance that need to be done during the summer.

Hunter is selling a midweek pass for the 2004/2005 season for $200, until April 30th.

Cash on hand is especially valuable to a business that is seasonal, and depends on the weather.

You'll find a lot of retired people like myself buying these passes, and skiing midweek. No lift lines, 10,000 vertical feet an hour.
post #15 of 15

check your PM

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