Season Pass or Not?

It’s the age old-question – should I get a season pass for the ski season?

First, ask yourself a few questions.

– How many times do you plan on visiting the mountains this winter?

– Will you be visiting over any holidays?

– Do you prefer skiing only at Keystone or do you like to explore other resorts?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start narrowing down the options.


If you plan on visiting Keystone more than once this winter and/or plan on skiing 3 or more days this winter, you are definately going to want to consider the purchase of a season pass.  For a single trip that doesn’t fall over the holiday, why not think about purchasing the Keystone A-Basin 4-pack?  It offers 4, non-transferable days at Keystone or A-Basin, excluding 11/23/18 – 11/24/18, 12/26/18 – 12/31/18, 1/19/19, and 2/16/19 – 2/17/19 for just $219!  That is just $54.75 per day! If you do want to visit during the holidays, there is the Epic 4-Day pass, which is good at 25 different resorts for 4 unrestricted days any time this ski season.  This pass is currently $479, which amounts to $119.75 per day, which beats some of the holiday daily lift ticket prices you will see at the ticket windows!


Ski Slope Views from Cinnamon Ridge at Keystone


If you plan on skiing or riding more than 4 days this winter, the Keystone A-Basin pass is currently $369 and offers unlimited skiing or riding, but with the same holiday restrictions as the 4-pack.  Prefer to ski Breckenridge too?  Take a look at the Summit Value Pass, which includes the 3 resorts, but still with the holiday restrictions at $569.  If you want to add a few days at Vail or Beaver Creek, look to the Epic Local Pass, which offers unlimited days with holiday restrictions at Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper, plus 10 days of skiing and riding at Vail and Beaver Creek for $689.  If you plan to be here over the peak holiday times, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Break or President’s Day Weekend you might need to upgrade to a full out Epic Pass, which includes access to 65 resorts with no blackout dates, for $929.


Now is the time to make decisions on your winter ski plans.  Season Passes won’t be on sale forever, they typically turn off sales in late November or early December.  Save money this winter and get yourself a season pass! And while you’re at it, you might want to book your lodging too! Book lodging early for the best prices and property selections.

2018 – 2019 Epic Passes Now on Sale

It’s time to save money and get the best benefits on the 2018/2019 Epic Season Passes which are now on sale. If you plan ahead, you can save yourself some money and make skiing more affordable for you and your family with a season pass. $49 down locks in the best price. You might be surprised at how many mountains these passes include! 


A snowboarder on North Peak at Keystone Resort



The Epic Pass will give you ski days at 64 different resorts. It allows you to follow the snow! You have unlimited, unrestricted access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin all in Colorado plus resorts in Utah, Canada, California/Tahoe, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, and Australia (only available with the Epic Pass). You are able to spend any of the holidays at any of these resorts. In addition to unlimited ski days at these resorts, you have 7 unrestricted days at Telluride and Crested Butte, plus resorts in Vermont, New Hampshire, the Canadian Rockies and Hakuba Valley, Japan. You also have access to four countries in Europe – France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. This pass gives you flexibility to experience resorts across 8 different states and 8 different countries – an Epic adventure, starting at $899 for adults and just $469 for kids!


If you don’t think you need all those resorts but still don’t want to be locked into just a couple of resorts, the Epic Local Pass might be for you. This pass starts at $669 for adults and $359 for kids and gets you unlimited, unrestricted access to Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado plus Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. You do have unlimited but with holiday restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar Kirkwood, and Stowe. You also get 10 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb although these have holiday date restrictions. 7 ski days at Crested Butte, Mount Sunapee and Okemo are included with no date restrictions – perfect for spending the holiday at one of these resorts. There are also no date restrictions for 5 consecutive days at Hakuba Valley Japan if you want to experience a ski trip overseas! This pass is also perfect for those who live near one of the small midwest and Vermont ski resorts and like to visit Colorado for the holidays or for spring break. There are no restrictions for March!


If you think you’ll only have time for 7 days of skiing but want the flexibility to go where the snow is good, the Epic 7 Day Pass might be for you. With this pass, you receive 7 unrestricted days at 24 resorts, including Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Crested Butte and Telluride plus Whistler, Canadian Rockies, California/Tahoe, Vermont, and New Hampshire. You also receive an additional 7 days to the Midwest resorts of Wilmot, Afton Alps, and Mt. Brighton, beginning at $669 for adults and $359 for kids. This is a great pass for skiers living in the Midwest who like to take one or two out-of-state ski trips throughout the season. If 7 days are too many, there is also the Epic 4 Day Pass which is the same but fewer days and a lower price rate, starting at just $439 for adults and $239 for kids.


If you just want to maximize your ski days at the best price, the Keystone/A-basin Pass might be the best option for you. This pass gives you unlimited ski days at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin but with holiday date restrictions. If you don’t want any restrictions for Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, there is the Summit Value Pass that has no blackout dates for Keystone and Arapahoe Basin and also gives you unlimited days at Breckenridge with holiday restrictions.  This is probably the pass that most of our lodging guests that visit over the holidays purchase most often. 


This year to honor the 10th Mountain Division men and women, US Armed Forces plus members of the Canadian and Australian military, while also celebrating the 10th year of the Epic Pass, there are special military passes and special prices for 2018/19 season, starting as low as $99. Vail Resorts is also donating $1 per season pass purchased to the Wounded Warrior Project. If you are active or retired military, you can get access to 14 resorts (Arapahoe Basin not included) without date restrictions with the Epic Military Pass Active/Retired. If you are a veteran, there is the Epic Military Pass Veteran which gives you access to 15 resorts with no holiday restrictions. If skiing only Keystone and Arapahoe Basin works for you, there is the Liberty Pass, starting at $269, also with no holiday restrictions. No need to leave your spouse or children at home as there are matching passes for them too. Thank you for your service!


If you are in college, there are also special prices since students are usually pinching their pennies. Check out these passes so you can take a break and enjoy some time in the high country Epic College Passes. There are also Senior Passes. 10 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Arapahoe Basin with no holiday restrictions are included in the Senior 10 Day Pass and also unlimited and unrestricted days at Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Breckenridge with the Senior KBA Access Pass.


The holiday restrictions on the passes are 11/23 – 11/24, 12/26 – 12/31, 1/19, and 2/16 – 2/17. There are NO restrictions for March so if you are planning a long spring break trip, purchasing a pass will most definately save you money.


If you buy any of these passes before April 15th, you will receive 6 buddy passes (included with all the passes except the Epic 7 Day Pass and Epic 4 Day Pass) which gives your friends and family a set ticket price. You’ll also receive 6 Ski-With-A-Friend (SWAF) tickets which are discounted tickets but the price changes throughout the season. All passes receive 6 SWAF with the exception of the Epic 4-Day Pass, so buying early gets you the extra buddy passes! Most of these passes also give you summer walk-on access to the lifts so you can enjoy the summer views from the top of the mountain and hike down. It’s nice to be able to use the pass all year long!


With all these choices of passes, you are sure to find one that will fit your ski plans and budget. The lower level passes typically star ‘paying’ for themselves after just 3 – 4 days of skiing when compared to lift ticket window rates. Purchase now for the best price.  You won’t regret the savings on your winter 2018 – 2019 ski trip at Keystone Ski Resort!  While you’re at it, why not book your lodging now too?  SummitCove Vacation Lodging is offering some great deals on lodging for next ski season, at this season’s rates.  


Save on Lift Tickets, Get the Keystone / A-Basin Ski Pass for Just $329

Finding discounted lift tickets for any Vail Resorts-operated ski mountain can prove to be a difficult task. Sites like Liftopia don’t tend to have deals for these resorts, such as Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and A-Basin, so you may have to look for other opportunities to save on your ski vacation lift tickets.

One of the best deals out there is to buy a season pass.  Typically, purchasing a season pass will pay for itself after 3 – 5 days of skiing or riding, depending which pass you go with.  If you are heading to Keystone this winter, you should most definately look into getting the Keystone / A-Basin season pass.  It is currently on sale for just $329 and offers mostly unlimited skiing and riding, with a few holiday blackout dates at both mountains.  Although this pass might not work for you if you are visiting during Thanksgiving or Christmas break, there are relatively few blackout dates and this one will pay for itself after 3 uses. Even if you are here during those dates, you will have access to half-price tickets at Keystone and $20 off the window at Arapahoe Basin during blackout dates.  Keystone and Arapahoe Basin are restricted: 11/25/16–11/26/16, 12/26/16–12/31/16, 1/14/17, 2/18/17–2/19/17.  You’ll also get 6 ‘Ski-With-A-Friend’ tickets that offer varying discounts for your friends or family at the ticket window. 

Another great option is the Keystone / Arapahoe Basin 4-pack.  This option has the same blackout dates as the season pass, but offers 4 days outside of those dates for just $199.

If you are visiting the mountains during peak time periods, you might want to upgrade to the Summit Value Pass.  This season pass offers unlimited, no blackout date skiing or riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin all season as well as restricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge for the 2016 – 2017 ski season.  The only blackout dates are seen at Breckenridge, which is restricted from 11/25/16–11/26/16, 12/26/16–12/31/16, 1/14/17, 2/18/17–2/19/17. This pass is currently going for $529 and will pay for itself in 4 – 5 days depending when you visit.  All season pass prices are guaranteed through October 9, 2016 , and after that they will likely go up in price between $20 – $50.  Season passes are only typically available for purchase through early November, so it’s important to get yours now if you are planning on it.

If you decide a season pass isn’t for you, then your next best option is to buy in advance. If you purchase your lift tickets 7 days or more in advance, online, you will receive up to 25% off the prices you would pay at the ticket window.  We always encourage and remind our guests to reserve everything in advance… lift tickets, ski rentals, rental cars or airport shuttles, etc.  You will undoubtedly receive the best rates, selection and ensure availability when you book as far in advance as possible.  This goes for your lodging as well.  Pre-season lodging sales encourage guests to book now before rates go up and selection goes down.  We are currently already at just about 50% occupancy for holiday times, particularly the week of Christmas to New Year’s.  Ski shops do tend to run out of equipment at these high times and shuttles fill up.  Check your SummitCove lodging confirmation for the link to your Keystone to Keystone coupon book which offers incredible deals on your activities, ski rentals, rental cars, airport shuttles and more.

There are plenty of ways to save on your next ski vacation, the trick is to plan early and book or buy in advance.  Perhaps you might want to plan TWO trips to Keystone this year instead of one, to get the best bang for your buck if you purchase a season pass.  Try planning your second trip during a less busy time period… avoid Christmas, Spring Break and any 3-day weekend. The first weekend in December, the second weekend of January, mid-week stays and early April all tend to be a great time to visit, with fewer crowds and inexpensive lodging options. Join the SummitCove newsletter to get great lodging deals emailed to you. Don’t forget- we also offer our return guests a standard discount of up to 10% off regular rates every time you stay with us.


Verbier, Switzerland Added to the Epic Pass!

Looking to take your skiing or riding skills abroad this winter?  Your Vail Resorts Epic Pass now offers passholders THREE DAYS at Verbier Resort, Switzerland, including the 4 Vallées! The “4Vallées” ski area connects the resorts of Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, and Thyon. Comprised of 92 lifts and 412km of ski runs, Verbier is the largest ski area located entirely in Switzerland. Coming together at the top of the Mont-Fort Glacier (10,925 feet), Verbier and the entire Les 4 Vallées ski area is a winter sports enthusiasts dream; offering a wide variety of terrain ranging from beginner to expert. Now, current and new Vail Resorts Epic Pass holders can access all of this terrain for $679, as well as unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Arapahoe Basin. There are no blackout dates on your days at Verbier- just show them your pass at the ticket window!

For those visiting Keystone Resort this winter vacation, it is a good idea to look into purchasing a season pass.  Discount lift tickets can be hard to come by and getting a season pass will certainly save you money in the long run. The Summit Value Pass is available for just $439 and pays for itself after just 4 days of skiing.  It may even be a reason to come back out to Colorado for a second or third vacation during the ski season! Most passes even include a limited number of ‘Buddy Tickets’ that offer discounted lift tickets for your friends and family. Be careful to check for blackout dates before you buy!

photo credit: adrileb via photo pin cc

Vail Resorts Announces May 28th Deadline for Lowest Ski Pass Prices

Vail Resorts released an announcement to remind skiers and snowboarders that the lowest prices and spring benefits will end after May 28th when purchasing season passes.  Purchases currently only require $49 down until the deadline.  The remaining balance would be charged in mid-September.  Passes allow for access to Keystone Resort, and depending on the pass also allow for use at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado.   Some passes also include other resorts out of state at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood.  Here’s a run-down of all of the options for 2012/2013 season passes:

Epic Pass: This pass is $659 for adults and $339, and offers unlimited access to Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.

Epic 7 Day Pass: Adult passes are $509 and children’s tickets are $259, and offer 7 unrestricted tickets at Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.

Epic Local Pass: Priced at $509 for adults, $389 for teens, and $259 for children, this pass offers unlimited skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, along with limited restrictions at Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.  10 restricted days will also be available for use at Vail or Beaver Creek along with discount options at other resorts.

Summit Value Pass: Adult prices are $419, for teens $329, and $209 for children for unlimited skiing and riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin along with limited restrictions at Breckenridge

SummitCove is proud to be your lodging provider when you visit Summit County this ski season!  We are currently accepting early reservations for the winter season.

Keystone Ski Pass Deals Still Available as Opening Day Approaches!

Keystone Resort is slated to open Friday, November 4th!  Several Colorado Resorts have already opened, including Summit County’s own Arapahoe Basin and Loveland!

If you haven’t already made plans for purchasing a pass, there’s still time.  SummitCove has put together your best ski pass options.  We  update pricing and information, so check back with us often for the best deals.  Whether you are planning a short trip to Colorado for a ski vacation, or you’re a resident visiting us on weekends, we want to help you get the best deal on your lift tickets and passes when you travel to Summit County, so take a look below for suggestions!


Epic Pass

Ski as much as you want, whenever you want for $699 for adults and $339 for children.

Epic Local Pass

Perfect for locals who can navigate a more restrictive pass.  Prices are$519 for Adults, $389 for teens and $359 for children.

Epic 7 Day Pass

Perfect for people who don’t plan to ski more than 7 days. Prices are $519 for adults, and $259 for kids.

Summit Value Pass

Perfect for people who only plan to ski in Summit County.  Prices are $429 for adults, $329 for teens and $219 for children.

Click the links for further details on the Epic Pass or Summit Value Pass.  SummitCove can also help you to find lodging for your Summit County vacation!  Contact one of our vacation planners to get detailed information on our Keystone, Colorado vacation rental properties!



Colorado Ski Pass Sale – Hurry to buy the Summit Value Pass

The Summit Value Pass is one of our favorite offers this year for folks planning a Colorado ski vacation! This pass is perfect for people who only plan to ski in Summit County.  If you are planning a vacation to Keystone, and will be skiing or riding for 4 or more days, look into this option for savings!  Hurry!  Pricing is only guaranteed through this Sunday, October 16th!

Resort Access
Unlimited skiing or riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with limited restrictions at Breckenridge.
$50 pass holder tickets available for purchase during blackout dates at Breckenridge.


Adults $409

Teen $319

Child $209

Additional Tickets
– Six (6) Ski-With-A-Friend ( SWAF) varying discount tickets are automatically loaded onto your pass. Just take your guest to the ticket window and present your pass to receive the discount*
– Half-priced tickets available at Heavenly and Northstar.

Blackout Dates
Breckenridge restricted: 11/25 – 11/26/2011, 12/26-12/31/2011, 1/14/2012 & 2/18-2/19/2012.

Pass Insurance
Purchase Pass Insurance for only $20 ($10 for children ages 5-12) to protect your season pass. If you do not accept pass insurance, you will not be eligible for a refund of any kind.

SummitCove will help you to find the best Keystone Resort lodging for you and your family as you head up to Keystone for your ski and snowboard vacation!

Take Advantage of Early Season Lift Ticket Deals!

Season pass and lift ticket deals are being released, and at SummitCove, we’ve found you some of the best early season deals for Summit County ski areas so that you can make plans for your ski vacation now!

Summit Value Pass

Adults ($409), Teens ($319) and Children ($209) will enjoy unlimited skiing or riding at Keystone or Arapahoe Basin, and Breckenridge with limitations of the following blackout dates:

  • 11/25 – 11/26/2011, 12/26-12/31/2011, 1/14/2012 & 2/18-2/19/2012.
  • $50 pass holder tickets available for purchase during blackout dates at Breckenridge

The Summit Value Pass also includes 6 Ski-With-A-Friend varying discount tickets, which will be automatically loaded on your pass.

Epic Pass

Adults ($649) and Children (at $329) receive unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, heavenly, northstar-at-Tahoe and Arapahoe Basin with no blackout dates.  You also had the added benefit of 6 Ski-With-a-Friend varying discount tickets being automatically loaded on your pass.

Epic Local Pass

Adults ($499), Teens ($379) and Children ($249) will enjoy unlimited skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with limited restrictions at Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe.  This also includes 10 restricted days at Vail or Beaver Creek, 6 Ski-With-a-Friend varying discount tickets built into your pass.  Be aware that there are blackout dates at Vail, Beaver Creek, Heavenly and Northstar on 11/25 – 11/26/2011, 12/26-12/31/2011, 1/14/2012 & 2/18-2/19/2012.

Epic 7 Day Pass

Adults ($499) and Children ($249) will receive a total of 7 unrestricted tickets valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe or Arapahoe Basin and 6 Ski-With-A-Friend varying discount tickets loaded on the pass.

Arapahoe Basin Bonus Pass

Adults ($369) and Children ($299) can enjoy unlimited and unrestricted access to A-Basin for the 2011/2012 season.  You also receive 5 days at Breckenridge or Keystone.  One of those days can even be used for Vail or Beaver Creek with blackout dates.  Take advantage of discounts on retail, lessons and food and beverage as well as discounted tickets for friends and family.

Other ways to get discounts:

  • Purchase a Gems Card
  • Look into Military passes and discounts
  • Purchase a Mountain Sports Club Membership
  • Have a friend with a season pass purchase discounted lift tickets for you (do not attempt to use your friend’s pass)
  • Sign up for email alerts on discounts from Sliding on the Cheap
  • Lodging with SummitCove?  We’ll send you information about lift tickets through our affiliate with your reservation confirmation!
  • Buy and entertainment or coupon book, or stop by retailers like Sports Authority, Christy Sports and REI.