Epic Pass gives more bang for the buck

So you still haven’t bought your ski season pass yet and can’t quite decide on what’s the best pass to buy for a multi-resort pass packed with value to price ratio? ..

epic-pass

Here are some important factors and questions to determine which pass will give you the best value for the price aka “best bang for the buck”:

  • how many days do you plan to ski/ride this season?
  • how many resorts/mountains would you like to have access to?
  • is it required that you have no blackout days meaning holidays must be
  • included(note that holidays tend to be crowded slope-side, services sub-par/long wait times, and high traffic getting to and from the resort)?
  • would you like to have access to resorts across multiple States in the US plus international ski resorts access?
  • how many days would you need to use the pass for it to pay for itself?

Once you’ve had a chance to answer the questions above, you’ll be in a better position to decide which ski/ride season pass is the best value for you. Naturally, if you grew up skiing or riding at a particular resort, you’ll likely have a loyal tendency to favorite that resort but let’s say we set that aside and let’s just talk shop in terms of determining the best value season pass.

Ok, so we’ve crunched the numbers for you and ran a comparison of all the available 2016-17 multiple mountain ski season passes, our findings point to the Epic Pass as a great value for a multi-mountain pass and here’s why:

“Ski as much as you want, whenever you want.” – Vail Resorts..

Unlimited access to:

  • Vail
  • Beaver Creek
  • Breckenridge
  • Keystone
  • Park City
  • Heavenly
  • Northstar
  • Kirkwood
  • Wilmot
  • Afton Alps
  • Mt. Brighton
  • Perisher (2017 access)
  • Arapahoe Basin

International Access:

What drew us in to the Epic Pass is the bonus inclusion of 5 lift tickets to Whistler Blackcomb which is rated #1 for the 2016-17 winter season by Ski Magazine, named “Top Overall Ski Resort”. Not sure about you, but Whistler Blackcomb is on our MUST DO LIST for it’s vast terrain and super fun apres ski and nightlife.   😉  – Read more about Whistler Blackcomb’s terrain and nightlife .

In addition, the Epic Pass includes access to 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland! Access now includes four of Europe’s most iconic destinations. France’s largest ski areas, Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere offer a unique playground to skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, accessing five glaciers, 391 ski lifts and over 800 miles of marked runs for all ability levels within a 30-mile radius. The three areas combine high-altitude skiing guaranteeing quality snow from November to May with stunning view of Mont Blanc and a 360-degree panorama of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.

South of the Alps, nestled amongst some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world such as Brenta Dolomites and Adamello (11,666 feet), is some of the best skiing in Italy. Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta is home to 150 lifts and 236 miles of ski slopes that that make up acclaimed resorts such as Madonna di Campiglio and Pinzolo in Val Rendena; Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio and Tonale in Val di Sole; Ponte di Legno, Andalo-Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgaria-Lavarone. The winter offering is enriched by the high-quality cuisine and the exclusive “Italian style.”

Verbier, part of the 4 Vallees ski area, is the largest resort in the Swiss Alps, is acknowledged as one of the premier “off piste” resorts in the world, and is home to a number of professional freeride competitions. Above and beyond this reputation, Verbier is well-known internationally for its electrifying, cosmopolitan nightlife, and the resort is proud of its legendary après-ski and its lively clubs. While skiers and snowboarders from all over the world rave about this off-piste paradise and fun evenings, families also appreciate the resort’s social atmosphere and family-friendly offerings.

For decades, the mountain range between Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which is home to Arlberg, has been a highly sought-after metropolis for international ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Arlberg is widely considered the cradle of modern skiing and in December 2016, thanks to the opening of four new chair lifts, it will be Austria’s largest linked ski area. Also the birthplace of champions, athletes from Ski Club Arlberg have garnered an incredible 83 medals at various Olympic Games and World Championships.

“For value, for ease of use, for access to world-class destinations, for constant improvements in the guest experience, and now for being the only pass to offer significant access to Europe, the Epic Pass is in a class by itself,” Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

Epic Pass access to the European ski areas is described below:

Resort Country Access Notes
Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere France Six (6) days of free skiing with two (2) days of skiing at each resort area
  • Includes:

Les 3 Vallees (Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Brides les Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Bellevelle, Val Thorens and Orelle), Paradiski (Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne), and Tignes-Val D’Isere

  • 2016/2017 Epic pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card and a valid photo ID to the lift cashier in each resort to redeem their lift access
Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta Italy Three (3) days of free skiing
  • Includes:

Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio, Ponte di Legno – Tonale, Andalo – Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgarida – Lavarone

  • Epic Pass holders must email at least one week prior to arrival and specify the Dolomiti ski area where they will pick up their pass and show a valid Epic Pass
  • Details can be found below
4 Vallees Switzerland Five (5) consecutive days of free skiing
  • Includes:

Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon

  • To redeem lift access, 2016/2017 Epic Pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card, as well as a valid photo ID, to the resort’s Ticket Office
  • Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
Arlberg Austria Three (3) consecutive days of free skiing
  • Includes:

Lech, Zurs, Stuben, St. Christoph and St. Anton

  • Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
  • Epic Pass holders must book their lodging directly with the property and the property will deliver the passes to the guest upon confirmation of their Epic Pass

 

ski-magazine-best-resort-award    Plus, 5 total holiday-restricted days at:
Whistler Blackcomb – Rated #1 for the 2016-17 winter season by Ski Magazine, named “Top Overall Ski Resort” – If Whistler Blackcomb is on your to do list, you’ll be glad when you’ve experienced it; however be forewarned, once you go, you won’t be able to wait to get back there again. Rated best ski/ride resort for ..

  • Overall Resort
  • Terrain Variety
  • Off-Hill Activities/Nightlife

Restrictions:
Whistler Blackcomb restricted 11/25/16–11/26/16, 12/26/16–12/31/16, 1/14/17, 2/18/17–2/19/17.

Additional Tickets:
6 Ski-With-A-Friend tickets

Visit Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for more info.

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Cheapest Tahoe Lift Ticket Deal

 

squaw-alpine - pic from Squaw Alpine resort

pic from Squaw Alpine resort

January 2016 brings back to back storms with over 4 feet of new snow in 7 days and more snow in the forecast; it’s the best snow in five years so get to your favorite Tahoe resort and enjoy skiing/riding or learn a fun new snow sport since it’s the most snowfall record in years; gather some family and friends together for a getaway(browse our list of Tahoe vacation rentals). Here are some great lift ticket discounts and deals..

What’s the cheapest Tahoe resort lift ticket deal?

For college students, if you are free to go skiing/riding on Fridays, Boreal offers the cheapest/best lift ticket deal at only $15. Ski and ride from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, enjoying the area’s closest ski resort right off Highway 80. Available for only College students and active duty military at Boreal. Must have valid I.D.

Not a college student? You can still get $25 lift tickets on Feb 5 and March 18, dubbed as FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS

Only $25 for anyone with $5 of that going back to either High Fives Foundation and Truckee Humane Society. Make sure to head to the Boreal Bar for an awesome after party with music, good times, and food specials.

Discounted ski bus trips: If you’re looking for a discounted ski bus from the SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts, check out the discounted one day and overnight ski bus trips with pick-ups around the Bay Area. Sleep on the bus, have a fun day of skiing and snowboarding and watch movies on the return bus ride. You can add a learn to ski or snowboard package or book a round trip bus ride only if you already have a lift ticket or season pass.

free-bear-valley-lift-tickets-hyundai

Tip: SF Bay Area Hyundai is running a promo where you get two free lift tickets to Bear Valley ($140 value) with any test drive.

For our latest scoop on Tahoe discounts and deals on lift tickets and vacation packages, get our newsletter.

Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC) Discount Lift Tickets in the Tahoe Area:

“Purchase a ticket and enjoy a day of skiing or riding all season long, non holidays. All proceeds benefit backcountry avalanche forecasting in the Lake Tahoe Region.

Sierra Avalanche Center has partnered with Tahoe’s top resorts to offer SAC Ski and Ride Days. Each of the participating resorts have donated lift tickets or trail passes to the Non Profit to support educational programs and the avalanche advisory.  When you purchase a lift ticket through SAC your money goes directly toward Know Before You Go avalanche safety education across the Lake Tahoe region.

SAC SKi & Ride Days are a great way to support our mission and enjoy a day of skiing or riding at your favorite Tahoe resort. Look for the yellow ticket button on the home page to learn about participating resorts and details. Once we sell through our supply the link will be inactive for purchase.” – updated on 1/14/16

Discount Lift Tickets to Homewood Mountain Resort

12/09/2015 to 04/24/2016

Support the Sierra Avalanche Center by…

Discount Lift Tickets to Sugar Bowl Resort – SOLD OUT

12/09/2015 to 04/17/2016
Sugar Bowl Tickets have SOLD OUT. Thanks so much for supporting usSupport the Sierra Avalanche Center by purchasing a discounted lift ticket for a day of skiing or riding…
Lift Tickets for Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood – TEMPORARLIY SOLD OUT

01/01/2016 to 04/17/2016
Tickets are temporarily Sold Out – Check back for more detailsSupport the Sierra Avalanche Center by purchasing a lift ticket for a day of skiing or riding at Northstar…

 

2016 Skiing for Schools Tahoe

The participating resorts are offering skiers and snowboarders special discounted lift tickets and the opportunity to support education. One hundred percent of the lift ticket proceeds go to the Excellence in Education Foundation, which provides enhanced educational opportunities for our local students. Please see listings below for ticket details.  Updated: 1/14/16

Homewood

$50 lift tickets valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday (Dec. 19 – Jan. 3; Jan 16-18; Feb. 13-21; Mar. 25-28). Tickets will email instantly.
Click here for tickets

Tahoe Donner Downhill

$30 lift tickets valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday (Dec. 18 – Jan. 3; Jan. 15 – 18; Feb. 12 – 20).
Tickets on sale here Please allow up to 24 hours for ticket to be mailed. Tickets also available at Tahoe Dave’s

Tahoe Cross Country

$15 trail passes valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday (Dec. 26 -Jan. 2; Jan. 16-17; Feb 13-14). Passes at Alpenglow in Tahoe City, or email .

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows

$75 lift ticket valid from April 1 to end of season. Tickets go on sale March 1.

Northstar

$106 lift ticket valid all season, no restrictions. Online tickets are sold out. Thank you for your support!

Sugar Bowl

$50 lift ticket valid all season, non-holiday (Dec. 19 – Jan. 3; Jan 16-18; Feb. 13-21). Tickets are no longer available. Thank you for your support.

Royal Gorge

$15 Trail pass valid all season, non-holiday (Dec. 19 – Jan. 3; Jan 16-18; Feb. 13-21). SOLD OUT! Thank you for your support.

Tahoe Donner Cross Country

$15 trail passes valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday. SOLD OUT! Thank you for your support.

Purchase downhill ski tickets in advance at Tahoe Dave’s (Truckee, Kings Beach, Tahoe City).  Purchase cross-country passes in advance at Paco’s in Truckee and Alpenglow in Tahoe City.  A limited supply of tickets are sold on a first-come, first served basis and will not be available at the resorts.  Tickets are not refundable. All Skiing for Schools proceeds are donated to Excellence in Education through your lift ticket purchase and the generous support of participating ski resorts. The Foundation would also like to acknowledge both Northstar and Squaw /Alpine for their generous $15,000 cash contributions in addition to the discounted lift tickets provided.  

For more information, please call 530-550-7984

 

Special lift ticket deals and promos for Tahoe visitors:

SQUAW VALLEY | ALPINE MEADOWS

Fly & Ski Free at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Guests arriving by airplane can ski or ride the afternoon for free (and evenings during night operations). Present your same-day commercial airline boarding pass with a matching photo ID at the Guest Services & Sales Center at Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows and receive a complimentary afternoon lift ticket valid from 12:30 – 4pm.

SIERRA-AT-TAHOE

Fly in and ski or ride free that same day at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort! Must present same day boarding pass and a valid I.D. to receive complimentary lift ticket. Lift tickets are valid Sunday-Friday, non-holiday* are non-transferable, not for resale and cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.
*Holiday Dates include December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016; January 16-18, 2016; February 13-20, 2016.

HEAVENLY

Fly & We’ll Buy at Heavenly
Fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and ski that afternoon, for FREE! After all, Heavenly is for those who are up for first chair and are still going strong well after last call. You come here to go all in, and worry about sleep later. Present your boarding pass and photo ID at the Guest Service office to receive your free afternoon lift ticket, valid same-day from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.

KIRKWOOD

From the Plane to Powder!
Flying into Reno to enjoy the legendary snow and terrain at Kirkwood? Don’t throw away your boarding pass, bring it to the guest service office located in the Village Plaza the same day as your flight and we’ll set you up with a FREE half-day lift ticket! Please bring a photo ID with your boarding pass to redeem your half-day ticket which is good from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.

NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA

Flying? First Runs Are On Us at Northstar California
Flying to Northstar through the Reno-Tahoe International Airport? Show us your boarding pass from the same day and enjoy a half-day lift ticket on us. There’s no better way to shake out your travel legs than with an afternoon on the slopes. To redeem, simply show your boarding pass and photo ID at the Guest Service office to receive your free afternoon lift ticket, valid same-day from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.

MT. ROSE-SKI TAHOE

Ski the Day you Fly for only $37!
Present your boarding pass the day you arrive in Lake Tahoe (the day your flight arrives) and receive a $37 lift ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the Guest Services Office. Offer is valid non-holiday*.
*void holiday periods: December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016; January 16-18, February 13-14, 2016.

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Ski Lake Tahoe Six-Pack Deal at under $82 per lift ticket

ski-lake-tahoe-six-pack-lift-tickets

The 2016-17 Lake Tahoe Six-Pack includes(the lift tickets are flexible, allowing you to choose one of two resorts with each ticket):

• 1 lift ticket valid at Heavenly, Kirkwood or Mt. Rose–Ski Tahoe
• 1 lift ticket valid at Heavenly or Sierra-at-Tahoe® Resort
• 1 lift ticket valid at Sierra-at-Tahoe® Resort or Kirkwood
• 1 lift ticket valid at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows or Mt. Rose–Ski Tahoe
• 1 lift ticket valid at Squaw Valley or Northstar California
• 1 lift ticket valid at Alpine Meadows or Northstar California

Why is it the best all around Tahoe lift ticket package deal?

A combination of variety, flexibility and affordability gives the Tahoe Six-Pack lift ticket deal the best bargain you can buy; here’s why, you get..

1) a variety of mountains/terrains at seven Tahoe resorts so you won’t get bored

2) flexibility: the Six-Pack lift tickets are valid throughout the 2016-17 season (the following holiday blackout dates apply: February 18-19, 2017) and do not have to be used on consecutive days. Given Lake Tahoe’s typically long winter season, this means ticket holders can use one lift ticket as early as November and another as late as the month of April. The lift tickets are also fully transferable to family and friends.

3) affordability/savings: the Tahoe Six-Pack costs $488.95 per adult 6 pack lift tickets; your per lift ticket cost breaks down to $81.50. You save up to $68.50 off regular lift ticket pricing; for example buying a lift ticket at Squaw’s ticket window will cost you $150 while buying the Six-Pack gets you the same lift ticket for $81.50 as part of the promo package deal.

Six-Pack Tickets orders placed Monday through Thursday will be sent to the fulfillment center to ship on a daily basis, though expect 1-2 days for handling before they ship USPS Priority Mail, which takes 3 days, so assume a minimum of 7-10 business days to get your tickets. Orders placed Friday – Sunday will be sent the following Monday..

Only 1 voucher per Six-Pack redeemable per resort, per day.

Lake Tahoe Six-Pack: scroll down the page and click on this image link for details and to purchase..

ski-lake-tahoe-six-pack-deal

Pickup Instructions

Six-Pack Tickets orders placed Monday through Thursday will be sent to the fulfillment center to ship on a daily basis, though expect 1-2 days for handling before they ship USPS Priority Mail, which takes three days, so assume a minimum of 7-10 business days to get your tickets. Orders placed Friday – Sunday will be sent the following Monday. Emails will be sent out with tracking information at that time. We’re no longer offering pick up locations on the North Shore, only South Shore pick up locations, excluding weekends.

If you’re traveling from outside of California tickets can be mailed to your respective hotel.

Lake Tahoe boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, and the region has some of the highest annual snowfall amounts in North America with 2016-17 season setting a new record for snowfall; January 2017 already recorded 400 inches of snow whereas the entire season of 2015-16 only recorded 450 inches of snow total. The nine Tahoe resorts, all offering unparalleled scenic vistas of panoramic mountain and lake views, are conveniently located near the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Plan a Tahoe getaway(check out Tahoe vacation rentals) or those with a season pass, join a ski lease to max your ski/ride days. Check to see when the next snow storm is in the forecast. Browse traffic and road webcams. Check Caltrans live feed. Get the latest news and deals; subscribe to Snowpals’ newsletter or get event invites.

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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Fun Rahlves’ Banzai Tour 2016 at Kirkwood & Sugar Bowl

Gather friends and family together to participate or watch this once a season fun Rahlves’ Banzai Race Tour; meet some new friends by ridesharing to the event..

The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour is racing in it’s purest form. Big mountain freeride meets ski / boarder-cross action! Taking place at three Lake Tahoe, CA resorts it’s head to head action four at a time, top to bottom, down a wide open course over natural terrain and snow conditions. This is the ultimate test of ski and riding skills. Open entry for 18 years old and up. Come take part in the fun and find out what you are made of.

Solo timed qualifying run on Saturday ranks the Top 32 men ski / board and Top 16 women ski / board into brackets for Sunday’s finals. The finals match up four competitors at a time with the top two in round advancing until the remaining four battle it out for the Rahlves’ Banzai win.

RBT has more momentum than ever in it’s fifth season. Top skiers and snowboarders from North America will line up against Lake Tahoe area athletes laying it on the line to defend home turf and a cash purse at each event. Points are earned at all events and added up to crown male and female ski and snowboard Overall Banzai Champions for an additional pay out.

Feb 27 – 28, 2016 Kirkwood Wall Banzai

For the first time since 2013, the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour at Kirkwood Mountain Resort will be starting off The Wall. This video gives you a little taste of what’s to come!! Be there.

March 5 – 6, 2016 Sugar Bowl Silver Belt Banzai

This throw back to 2013 Rahlves’ Banzai Tour at Sugar Bowl Resort will be what we are going down in 2016. It’s the prime line of the Silver Belt Gully. This video gives you a little taste of what’s to come!! Be there.

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour(RBT) competitors:

Skiing in Tahoe has been amazing this El Nino year so get ready to Banzai.
We are less than a month out from the first event and conditions are good to go for the original and best routes down Kirkwood’s Wall and Sugar Bowl’s Silver Belt Gully very similar to 2013 race.

At both events we kick it off the Friday prior in South Lake Tahoe and Truckee with music, raffle prizes, food, drink and a chance to hang out with the RBT family.

Rahlves’ Banzai Bar Crawl
Friday Feb 26th South Lake Tahoe, CA
5-7pm Base Camp Pizza
7-10pm CA Burger Co.

Friday March 4th Truckee, CA
4-5pm Tahoe Sports Hub – Drawing 5pm win Sugar Bowl lift tickets, tune / wax jobs
5-8pm Mellow Fellow – Drawing 8pm win Giro helmet & goggles
8pm-close Pastime Club (live music or DJ) – Drawing 10pm win Atomic Ski

Event Registration for Kirkwood is in Red Cliffs Lodge above General Store and the Judah Lodge at Sugar Bowl.
Saturday practice, qualis, round of 32 men and Après party happening at Kirkwood’s Wall Bar and Sugar Bowl’s Sierra Vista Bar.

Check out http://rahlvesbanzai.com for all info including lodging discounts, promo events and registration.

Tell friends and family about the tour; straight from your mouth to your friends, fellow skiers / snowboarders and people you meet is our best promotional tool.

Athletes- As a thank you, if you bring a new competitor to the RBT you get $25 back from your entry fee for each first time registered competitor.

Thanks and see you all soon at the Rahlves Banzai Tour.

Daron Rahlves
Rahlves’ Banzai Tour Founder
http://rahlvesbanzai.com

Daron Rahlves, Banzai Master, World Champion, USA Olympic ski racer, Winter X-Games Skier-X Champ and pro big mountain skier is the event organizer responsible for its growth and success with the help of host resorts, event partnerships and competitors. Daron is involved in the operation of the RBT, assisting competitors and mingling with the fans. At each event he takes a qualifying timed run, but doesn’t compete head to head until the “Super Final” at his home resort, Sugar Bowl. The designated day in March is that day when he puts his title of “Banzai Master” on the line taking on the Men Ski Winners from each stop in a battle for winner takes all of $5,000!!!

 

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