UPDATED: Sept. 27, 2011
Whether you want to believe it or not, we’re getting close to ski and board season in North Lake Tahoe. Resorts have been pulling out all the stops with great deals on season passes for several months already. If you’ve yet to purchase a pass or are still undecided on which resort to head to, here are the details on each resort’s season pass program:
Ski Tahoe North Interchangeable Lift Ticket: Ski Tahoe North’s Interchangeable Lift Ticket is accepted at all seven alpine ski resorts, every single day of the season. Use your ticket at a different resort each day, or find your favorite mountain and return over and over again. You can purchase the interchangeable pass to include 3 to 7 days, with prices ranging from $222 to $518. There are no blackout dates and you get 2-for-1 purchasing power at Diamond Peak. The pass is limited to residents of specific zip codes, so check here to see if you qualify.
Alpine Meadows: If you purchased your Alpine Meadows season pass before September 27 your options included a variety of options from Filtered, Slightly Filtered and Unfiltered as well as a Tripl3Threat College Pass covering Alpine, Homewood and nearby Kirkwood. The September 27 announcement of Alpine’s merge with Squaw Valley USA introduced a new slate of pass options under the Tahoe Super Pass, valid at both Squaw and Alpine. Levels are still based on blackout dates and include: Bronze, from $439 for adults, which has some blackout dates as well as no access all Saturdays in January and February. The Silver Pass gives access any day of the week but includes select blackout dates and is $599 for adults. The Gold Pass has unrestricted access to both mountains any day and is $799 for adults. Purchase passes online here and get details on previously purchased 2011/12 Alpine Season Passes here.
Diamond Peak: Diamond Peak’s no-nonsense season pass plan offers great rates for visitors along with their famous lake views. Current adult pass rates are $454 valid any day or $363 for Monday through Friday only. Rates are also available for seniors from $150, super seniors from $42, children, youth and college students from $125. If you’re a beginner Diamond Peak may be the place for you with their special $109 Beginner Season Pass, valid for the easier Lodgepole and Schoolhouse lifts. Click for details and to purchase.
Homewood Mountain Resort: Like Diamond Peak, Homewood has amazing views of Lake Tahoe that passholders can’t get enough of. Adult rates are $399, senior is $199, and youth passes are $159 – $259 depending on age. Since this resort is partnered with Alpine Meadows, you can also access the slopes at Alpine and Kirkwood if you purchase the Alpine combo season pass. Click here for details on each option.
Granlibakken: While Granlibakken doesn’t offer season pass rates, their daily passes are just $24 for adults and $14 for children under 12. And yes, that’s the full day rate! They also offer the opportunity to buy out an entire ski hill for private parties and corporate team building for just $750/day. Pretty cool. Check out details here.
Northstar-At-Tahoe: With Northstar’s addition to the Vail Resorts fold season pass options have really unfolded for this year. You can get just the basic Tahoe Value pass for $379 (adult rate) and gain Sunday – Thursday access to Northstar and nearby Heavenly with limited blackout dates. Or, you can upgrade to one of the Epic Pass options, part of the 7-resort Vail system. The Epic 7-Day offers 7 unrestricted tickets valid at any of the 7 mountains for $499 adult or $249 child. If you plan on skiing more than 7 days, consider either the Epic Local Pass ($249 – $499) which includes 11 blackout dates but is otherwise valid daily at any of the 7 resorts, or the Epic Pass ($329 – $649) which again is valid at all 7 resorts but has no date restrictions. Get the full details to purchase.
Sugar Bowl: Sugar Bowl, similar to other resorts, offers passes based on whether you plan to hit the slopes mid-week or any day. The Midweek Plus Passes are valid Monday through Friday with some blackout dates but offers unrestricted access before Christmas and after March 11. Rates range from $299 – $329 based on age. If you like to head up Sundays, consider the Summit Sunday Pass which is basically the Midweek Pass with Sundays included, just $319 – $429 based on age. For even more access consider Slightly Restricted, offering any day of the week and select blackout dates, or the Unrestricted with access any day. Pass rates are $179 – $529 for Slightly Restricted and $209 – $799 for Unrestricted. Evaluate all of the options here.
Squaw Valley USA: Squaw makes season passes buying easy, and now with the acquisition of nearby Alpine Meadows, offers mountain access at both resorts. If you already purchased a season pass at Squaw (except the Squaw Midweek), then it’s valid at Alpine as well. Otherwise, the options for Squaw passes are the same as those for Alpine under the Tahoe Super Pass. See Alpine Meadows above for details. Then, step onto the medal podium here. (Photo credit: Tom Day)
As always, resorts are offering deals if you purchase early so be sure to check the sites sooner rather than later if you want to snag a great pass deal. Locals often get better rates as well, so if you live nearby, check to see if you qualify. Each resort offers a variety of benefits with their passes, from early powder days to resort discounts, line-jumping, special parties and more. Depending on your slope-style, you’ll want to check out those additional benefits as well as the actual resort terrain when making your decision.
And just what is a super senior? Be warned, they’re the advanced skiers over 70 that can still impress with their slope prowess.