Frugal over Fifty – Dec. 3 is the absolute deadline for many season passes to ski or snowboard your favorite downhill destination.
Lucky you if you are a senior skier or snowboarder, because age has its privileges and also some great deals.
The best one I found is a $65 season pass to Vail Resorts in the Northeast, including Hunter Mt. in New York’s Catskills and Okemo in Vermont.
Here’s the catch – you won’t find it on Vail’s Epic Pass website. It’s one of those great deals you have to be told about by a friend, as I was.
Epic has enough passes to make your head spin. But then, so do Ikon, Indy and Mountain Collective.
Add in the many resort-specific passes available and it can age you prematurely researching the best pass for your downhill needs.
That includes strict blackout days, reservation requirements to use the pass, free or discount buddy passes for kids, grandkids or other buddies.
We’ve all been there, done that. And let’s not forget additional XC passes and uphill passes.
Most destinations and their passes proudly market discount deals for kids, Military and 65+.
Some ski/snowboard destinations, like Utah’s Powder Mountain and The Remarkables in New Zealand, where I skied recently, proudly market their 70+, 75+ or 80+ ski free perks or discount passes.
So I wonder why Vail Resorts chooses to hide its super-bargain $65 pass for 80+ skiers and riders.
You can purchase the Epic Northeast Value Pass online for $453 for ages 65-79.
But there’s nothing on the website for anybody who has managed to live, ski or ride past age 79.
How to Get the Unadvertised Discount 80+ Pass
Since you won’t find the super cheap $65 80+ Value Northeast Pass on the Epic Pass website, here’s what you have to do to get it –
Telephone Epic Pass at 970-754-0083.
Press the recorded voice prompts in this order – 1 then 6 then 2 to reach a human being, who may or may not be an expert who can help you.
It may take you more than one try to get a call center responser who knows about the unadvertised $65 season pass and can actually help you purchase it.
Whichever Epic Pass you buy, it offers something called Mountain Rewards, which are discounts on lessons and rentals, and also at Vail-owned hotels, restaurants, shopping.
All Vail Resorts in the US have a new feature this year that allows you to use your mobile phone for lift access.
You’ll need to download the MyEpicPass app, and then you can just keep your phone in your pocket for lift access. No more need for RFID plastic cards.
- Note – Children aged 13 or younger can download the app only with parental permission.
Of course, you’d better have a fully-charged phone to use the feature all day, which operates via Bluetooth.
- Note – If your phone battery dies, many resorts have charging stations. Or, the ticket office can print out a pass for you.
Here’s hoping the snow is good, lift lines are short and my ski companions are witty and wise when you use your $65 bargain 80+ Northeast Value Pass.
See you on the slopes.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA), a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and a current member of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. (NATJA) and the North American Snowsports Journalists Assn. (NASJA).
Contact me at email@example.com.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter