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.

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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.

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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.

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