Don't be afraid of commitment, at least not to your skis or board. This year's ski season might not be over yet, not by a long shot (hello, spring powder) but the smart move is to start thinking ahead, especially when it comes to your wallet. "If you are buying a pass for next year, this is the right time to do it," says Russ Pecoraro, director of mountain communications for Vail Resorts. "You won't find a lower price than now."
Last year's Epic pass went up about $100 from the spring to ski season and there is always potential for a larger increase this year. With the initial deposit down, you'll get the same rides as last season, like all 10 of Vail-owned resorts (four in Colorado, three in Lake Tahoe, one in Utah, and two in the Midwest) along with five consecutive days in Niseko United, Japan. Pecoraro says Vail is always looking to add more value to the Epic pass – like access to a few European slopes – and that they are not done adding the perks just yet.
Other major passes include the Mountain Collective on sale for $359, which includes two days each at Alta/Snowbird, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Whistler Blackcomb, Alpine Meadows, and Squaw Valley. The Powder Alliance involves buying a pass to one of the 12 included resorts spread throughout the entire West, and getting three-day passes at each of the other 11 resorts. There's also the Rocky Mountain Super Pass on sale for $439 with unlimited days at Copper Mountain and Winter Park, six days at Steamboat, and three days at Crested Butte. Buy before April 15 (when the price rises $70) and you are guaranteed the lowest price and get 20 discounted Friends and Family tickets for Winter Park and Copper.
The bottom line: Plan ahead for next ski season. The savings you will have by committing to one of these ski passes is worth the bother. "It makes sense to really lock it in now if you are a core skier or rider," says Pecoraro. "Lock in your pass, lock in the price, and then you know you've got next year taken care of."