Which Winter Ski Pass Is Right for You: Vail’s Epic Pass or Aspen’s Mountain Collective Pass?

Jakob Helbig/Getty Images
 Jakob Helbig/Getty Images

For years, Vail Resorts has been buying up ski areas across North America. But a new player emerged this spring.

In April, Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Denver, purchased Intrawest Resorts for $1.5 billion, adding six resorts, including Steamboat, to its portfolio. Vail hasn’t slowed down either: Last spring they bought Vermont’s Stowe Mountain.

What does this arms race mean for you? Cheap skiing on season passes. Aspen has yet to combine its mountains into a single pass like Vail’s Epic Pass, but it is on the popular Mountain Collective Pass. Here’s how to decide which of those two is right for you.

Epic Pass

Number of Resorts: 15

Total skiable acres: 43,992

The details: $899 for unlimited days at Vail resorts including Whistler, Park City, and Stowe.

Who it’s best for: With the addition of Stowe, the Epic Pass is an East Coaster’s best friend: Ski two weekends at Stowe and one out West and the pass has already paid for itself. Get more info at epicpass.com.

Mountain Collective

Number of resorts: 16

Total skiable acres: 56,283

The details: $489 for two days each at destinations like Aspen, Jackson, and Snowbird.

Who it’s best for: Powders hounds can’t go wrong: With the resorts spread up and down the Rockies, you can chase snow no matter where the storms are headed. Get more info at mountaincollective.com.