There’s a reason why corporations run every industry including skiing and snowboarding… you know what to expect. They provide uniformity and a high standard of excellence. But just like the music industry, small independent resorts provide something that’s unique and different. It’s like Joan Jett versus Jimmy Buffett. Unfortunately, most of the small Mom & Pop resorts out there aren’t on a collective season pass like the Ikon or Epic passes. Well… in 2019 that changed. You can now pick up an Indy Pass for only $279 and gain access to 72 resorts (and counting) across North America.
What Do You Get For The Indy Pass?
Compared to the Epic or Ikon passes, the goal isn’t about trying to get you to the resort so you can spend a ton of money on lodging, food, and brews. The focus is on getting people to go skiing at an affordable rate. In fact, you get two days of skiing + a third day at a discount at each resort, translating to a WHOPPING 110 days of riding or $0.55 per day of skiing! But let’s be realistic about this. Would any of us ski all these resorts? Probably not. Even if you only skied six days total, a lift ticket comes out to $33/day. That’s still a screaming deal.
Dealing With Uncertainty For 2020-21 Ski Season
Every skier and snowboarder has that tight knot in their stomach for the upcoming winter due to the pandemic. Will we be able to ski? Will the lifts turn? Heck, are we even going to still have our jobs? Well, they’ve devised a concept called the “Get America Skiing Promise.” If you use your pass for less than four days, you can receive a credit no questions asked! As Geoff Hatheway at Magic Mountain said, “It is a straightforward, no-BS reassurance for skiers and riders to go Indy this winter!” The credits are as follows:
- Zero days skied = 80% credit
- One day = 60% credit
- Two days = 40% credit
- Three days = 20% credit
New For 2020
In its second year, the pass has really stepped up their game. For starters, they know that most of us need to have lodging when we visit a ski area. The cool thing is these are independently-owned lodging properties that are operated by partner resorts or their affiliates in nearby ski towns. In addition, they’ve added not one or two ski areas but ELEVEN new partners to their alliance which now includes:
Snow King Mountain, WY
Buck Hill Ski Area, MN
White Pine Ski Area, WY
Winterplace Ski Resort, WV
Cannon Mountain, NH
China Peak, CA
Crystal Mountain, MI
Granite Peak, WI
Lutsen Mountains, MN
Sasquatch Mountain, BC
Some Of Our Favorite Ski Resorts Are On The Indy Pass
Ever since the big boys started gobbling up the major players, we’ve begun to venture further and further off the beaten path. This list of Mom & Pop Ski Resorts reads like a bucket list for us. Here’s just a few of the ones that we’ve got our eyes on:
Although we’ve visited Brundage Mountain, we have been wanting to get back here and hit this place again. If you know where to look, the terrain at this resort is like Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe but without the crowds. It’s packed with steep chutes, an assortment of glade skiing, & an open boundary policy. Simply put: Heaven on Earth.
What if we told you there’s a resort as big as Mammoth with more consistent snowfall, home to one of North America’s only resort-based cat skiing operations, AND less people? It’s hard to believe, we know. We’ve been drooling about this place for years and now have no reason NOT to head north and hit this spot.
Red Lodge Mountain
When we wrote about the famous storms that have pummeled North America, a kind reader let us know about a massive storm that hit Red Lodge in Montana. Thanks to them, this put the ski area on our radar as we began to research it a bit more. Focused more on the skiing, the region is also home to amazing backcountry ski terrain that we’d love to explore as well.
Silver Mountain is another ski resort we’ve ridden before that features insane terrain & is just down the road from one of our favorite cozy ski towns – the Historic Town of Wallace. This place is home to one of the longest gondolas in North America and some steep slopes as well.
For Midwesterners & East Coasters Too
For those that live in the Midwest or on the East Coast & don’t know if you’ll make it out West, you still may want to consider picking up an Indy Pass for your local resorts. From Tyrol Basin near Madison to Bolton Valley out East, they provide an assortment of fun little spots to shred.
If you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty darned excited about the news of the Indy Pass. In fact, we’ve picked up our Indy Passes for the 2020 -21 season to see if we can hit a few on our bucket list that we haven’t had a chance to ski yet. If you’re on the fence for where you want to go this season, this Indy Pass is a great one to consider.
For more info, venture over to the Indy Pass website, or better yet, if you need some inspiration on a road trip, check out our post The Indy Pass Ski Road Trip – The Best Deal In Skiing.
Perfect Time To Plan That Big Trip
Even if you aren’t even considering the Indy Pass this year it’s a perfect reminder to start planning your ski trips this winter! To help with your planning we’ve created a ski trip planning to give you the scoop on what time of year to visit to find the best snow. Give you the low-down on what items to bring. We even talk about unheard of ski resorts that you can find fresh powder days or even weeks after a storm. No matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find some juicy tidbit in our guide found here: