Updated: Aug 31
There has been so much going on with multi-resort passes over the past few weeks. That said, I thought It would be fun to break down some of my favorites for those skiers and riders in the Midwest.
I want to start by just saying that I love multi-resort passes, and it's been a great way to continue to enjoy skiing in the Midwest, despite our... "lack of vertical." But being able to bounce around and explore different ski areas, vibes, bars, and people is special.
And in my opinion, this is what makes our sport so enjoyable and different from other sports and hobbies. That said, Multi-resort passes have made it easy and super affordable to travel to several ski areas throughout the season. Of course, the passes highlighted here are not your only option, but in my opinion, these are some of the best multi-resort passes for those focused on skiing and riding strictly in the Midwest. So let's dive into them.
The Skiing Wisconsin Passport.
This pass retailed for $179 last season and will get you one lift ticket at 18 ski areas across Wisconsin. Although Granite Peak is missing from the list, resorts such as Cascade, Devil's Head, & Alpine Valley make the pass a great value, especially for those Chicagoans or Southern Wisconsinites.
The pass has very few restrictions or blackout dates, only adding to its value. In fact, this pass is one of the only ways you can ski Cascade Mountain without prior reservations.
These passes are limited as they only sell 500 per year and often sell out about a month after release. Passes can be purchased online at skiingwisconsin.com, and last season, they moved to a digital pass model, where all you need to do is show your ID at the ski area to redeem your ticket.
A set release date has not been announced. However, they typically go on sale around the beginning of September - last season was September 1st. We'll update everyone through our website and social media pages when those passes go on sale. So be sure to like those pages if you haven't already.
The MSIA White/Gold Card
Moving on to Skiing Wisconsin's -Michigan counterpart - the MSIA White/Gold Card will get you a day ticket at 33 of Michigan's top ski areas for just $299. This pass includes ski resorts such as Boyne Mountain, The Highlands, Nub Nob, and much more. And With names like those, it's pretty easy to see the value here.
Purchasers will receive a physical card that gets punched each time a resort ticket is redeemed. The only restriction this pass has is that it cannot be used between December 24th and January 2nd. And other perks of the MSIA White Gold Card include three hot waxes and a coupon for $20.00 off $100 at participating retailers.
Passes can be purchased at several shops around Michigan, and they also sell a limited quality online. Passes typically go on sale around the beginning of September, and they only sell about 400 of these, so similar to the Skiing Wisconsin Passport, you'll need to purchase them quickly when they go on sale.
But this is a great pass for those Michiganders looking to do some traveling throughout the state. And Speaking of Traveling, our next pass is great for all types of traveling.
The Ski Cooper Season Pass
The Ski Cooper Pass, a season pass for a Colorado ski resort, has some fantastic value here in the Midwest. The season pass sells for just $329 in July or $429 in August and September. And You'll get unlimited skiing at Ski Cooper, but its true value shines through its partnered resorts.
With this pass, you will get three days of free skiing at their over 16 resorts across the Midwest. Additionally, their network of over 60 resorts across the country & even Spain makes this pass an excellent value.
Ski Cooper will mail you a physical pass that you can use along with a photo ID to redeem your tickets at each of the resorts. Passes are currently on sale over at skicooper.com, and the rates go up as we get closer to the season. So if you are planning to pick this one up - be sure to do so sooner rather than later.
The Indy Pass.
In recent years the Indy Pass has risen as one of the top value passes across the country, but this is especially true for those Midwesterns. Sporting 24 full partnered resorts and one allied resort across the Midwest, the Indy Pass has a major grasp of the Midwest market. In fact, they hold over 20% of the total Midwestern ski areas, meaning they have a ski area pretty everywhere.
The Indy Pass will grant you two free days at each of their over 90 downhill resorts. Their base pass, which sells for $299, does have a handful of blackout dates, but you can always upgrade to their blackout-free option, the Indy Pass+, for $399.
Additionally, if you are a season pass holder at one of the 25 partnered or allied resorts in the Midwest, you will receive a discount on purchasing a pass through their Indy Pass Add-on Program. A base add-on will cost you $199, and an add-on+ will set you back $309.
Like the Skiing Wisconsin pass, the Indy Pass uses a digital model where you must show your ID at each ski area to redeem your ticket.
Indy Pass's depth in the Midwest and its ever-growing east and west resorts make it an excellent choice for those who enjoy traveling and going on longer ski trips. The blackout dates on the base pass can be a bit of a bummer, but with careful planning - you can easily work through most of these dates without any problems.
It should also be noted that many of these blackout dates are during high-traffic times, so it's not necessarily a bad thing that you're not visiting on those dates. But any way you cut it, Indy is a great value for Midwest skiers and snowboarders.
Which Pass is Best?
So which of these passes reins above them all, well, that's for you to decide. Of course, each of these passes has its pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to your plans for winter, where you like to ski, and the practicality of each pass.
Generally, it's best to work backward - figure out what ski resorts you ski most or would like to visit, then find a pass that hits most of those resorts. This approach will ensure you get the best value out of the pass without going out of your way to make it feel like you get your money's worth.
But there you have it, four of my top picks for the best multi-passes for Midwest skiers and riders. But until next time, I hope all of you have a great week, pray for snow, and I'll see you guys out there!