Updated: Jul 19, 2022
This morning The Indy Pass announced that it would be adding seven resorts (six downhill + one cross country) to its impressive lineup. The Midwest saw the addition of Paul Bunyan in Lakewood, Wisconsin. This addition brings the Midwest resort total to 25 partnered ski areas across the Midwest. The full breakdown is as follows;
New Alpine Resorts - Two free days:
Black Mountain of Maine
Meadowlark Ski Resort, Wyoming
Aomori Spring, Japan
New Cross Country Resort - Two free days
Black Mountain of Maine Nordic Center
New Allied Resorts - 25 to 50% off lift tickets
Paul Bunyan, Wisconsin
King Pine, New Hampshire
Cherry Peak, Utah
Paul Bunyan Ski Hill:
Paul Bunyan is a small family-friendly ski area in Lakewood, WI, that recently reopened after a twenty-five-year hiatus. The hill offers 150 feet of vertical drop serviced by 1967 Hall T-Bar, and 4 rope tows. Despite its size, Paul Bunyan has a surprising variety of skiable terrain that skiers and riders of all abilities can enjoy. They also offer night skiing and tubing. Paul Bunyan is a prime example of a ski hill that keeps things simple and affordable, giving families and newcomers great value for winter recreation.
What Is An Allied Resort?
Unlike previous Midwest additions, Paul Bunyan was added as an Allied Resort - a new form of partnership for Indy Pass introduced this past season. As a result, Indy Passholders receive discounts (ranging from 25 to 50%) on daily lift tickets but no free days. But most importantly, Paul Bunyan season pass holders can now purchase an Indy AddOn Pass, which saves skiers/riders $100 on a standard pass and $90 on an Indy+ Pass. This is a massive benefit to smaller independent ski hill and their pass holders, especially as we continue to move toward more and more multi-resort pass consolidation. This allows Paul Bunyan to beef up their offering without disrupting Indy Passes ski resort reimbursement model.
Allied Resort Discount Guide:
-50% off posted midweek and non-peak weekend prices,
-25% off posted holidays and peak weekends between December 24 and March 12, 2023.
Size Matters Not
The addition of Paul Buyan marks one of the smallest Indy Pass resort additions that we have seen in the passes history, and I couldn't be more excited about it! I love that Doug Fish continues to look for ways to involve all levels of ski resorts and skiers - not just those headliners acquired to move the needle. Will we see tons of Indy Pass holders redeeming their 25% off their already low $25 lift tickets? Probably not, but giving their pass holders the ability to join the Indy Pass family at a discounted rate is a fantastic benefit and speaks volumes about what Doug Fish values for his pass.
Could We More Smaller Additions?
This news begins to beg the question - could we see more additions similar to this one? The Midwest is riddled with smaller surface lift hills that sadly get little attention across skiing media. I use the word sadly because these hills serve such an essential part of the ski community - introducing newcomers to the sport at a great value. Additionally, plenty of skiers, such as myself, that love taking quick local laps - especially if I only have a few hours. Having these hills partner with a Pass like Indy Pass allows those individuals to explore bigger ski hills and future their skills while maintaining excellent value for the skier.
Could this be a peek into the future of more partnerships with smaller resorts? Only time will tell, but I have to applaud the Indy Pass and Doug Fish for recognizing that not everything in the ski industry is about stats.