Would You Pay More To Preserve The Powder, Culture, & Vibe?

Powder Mountain Skier Jump Image appears courtesy: Powder Mountain Resort

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If you haven’t heard, Arapahoe Basin has decided to put a limit of season passes sold for next season. Based on this year’s ski lift line apocalypse that happened at most ski areas, it got us thinking… is this the future? Will ski resorts in densely populated regions like Lake Tahoe and Colorado introduce a cap? It may not make business-sense, but on a powder day, it makes skiing-sense. Why not make the best days of powder skiing even more enjoyable with less people. Shockingly there’s already a list of ski resorts that have capacity limits with a few more joining their ranks.

Arapahoe Basin – New Kid On The Block

powder day at Arapahoe Basin
Image appears courtesy: Arapahoe Basin

If there’s one good thing that’s come out of the pandemic, it’s that A-Basin has realized the importance of providing a quality product. Next winter they will sell 10% fewer season passes than the 2020/21 season. In addition, they will continue only have a finite amount of day lift tickets available. New next winter, they will need to be purchased in advance online. As A-Basin spokesperson Katherine Fuller said in an email when tickets are sold out, “they are sold out.” It’s official A-Basin is becoming our favorite Colorado ski resort. 

Powder Mountain – Preserve the Powder!

Powder Mountain Ski Resort with Lift Ticket Capacity
Image appears courtesy: Powder Mountain Resort

Powder Mountain’s season pass is the stuff of dreams!

500” of Snow? Check!
2,200′ of Vertical? Check!
8,464 Acres of in-bounds & lift-accessed side country? Check!

With limiting their season pass sales to 1,500 adult passes and 3,000 total passes for the 2020/21 season, it means you get to enjoy more of that classic blower powder the Wasatch is known for. And the best part of all? Their season pass provides discounts to local restaurants and access to other amazing ski resorts like Brundage Mountain & Grand Targhee Resort. I don’t know about you, but it might be time to move!

Deer Valley – Safeguarding the Experience

Deer Valley Ski Resort Powder
Photo by: Eric Schramm – Appears Courtesy: Deer Valley Resort

Always focused on their level of service and conditions, Deer Valley limits the number of lift tickets sold each day. This ensures that even on the busiest day you’ll get the best possible experience. The resort typically only reaches capacity during the holiday periods such as December 26th through January 3rd.

Sugar Bowl – Doing It Their Way

Sunny spring day at Sugar Bowl Ski ResortAs the behemoths of Ikon and Epic battle furiously over the millions and millions of season pass holders in the Bay Area, Sugar Bowl is going another direction. Their focus is on providing an uncrowded agro-free experience. For the 2021-22 ski season, they have put a limit of season passes available. This isn’t a “fake” number either. They sold ALL their season passes within 24 hours of them going live. If the COVID-19 restrictions do ease though, there will be another batch made available in the fall.

Magic Mountain – Old School Meets Uncrowded Slopes

Magic Mountain Vermont Powder Day Skiing
Image taken by: John Hatheway – Appears Courtesy: Magic Mountain Ski Area

Deer Valley might be the perfect example of “Posh Society.” Magic Mountain in the Northeast is all about keeping the old school vibe going. While it might give you a little “throwback” feel when visiting, it also has a self-imposed daily sales ticket limit to keep lift lines and crowds to a minimum, even on the busiest holiday weekends. I don’t know about you, but that’s a perfect combination.

As you can see, there are a few ski resorts with capacity limits that are self-imposed. Would you pay more for a season pass so that a powder day is less crowded? We would! Hopefully this is a new trend to compete against the big boys in the market.

Looking for more trip ideas or inspiration for your next vacation? Check out our in-depth guide: Ski Trip Planning – Plan The Best Ski Holiday Ever! We give you tips on when to visit certain ski areas, highlight indy ski areas that feel less corporate and have big personalities, and even how to avoid crowds.

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