A few Vail-spurned resort chains have decided to take on the Epic Pass with an impressive offering of their own. Boyne, Powdr, and Intrawest have banded together to create the M.A.X. Pass, a collective pass that includes 22 mountains across the Northwest, including Midwest and East Coast representatives.
The pass operates similar to the Mountain Collective, providing five days of skiing at each of the 22 participating resorts, rather than the Epic Pass promise of unlimited skiing. Still at $699 for adults, the M.A.X. boasts a cheaper price tag (albeit just barely), and covers more resorts.
However the real winner of the new M.A.X. Pass is New Englander. As the craze for multi-resort passes has crescendoed in recent years, the East has been left in the dark, save for a few small partnerships. Now, for the first time since American Skiing Company banded six of the big New England resorts together under its All East Pass in the mid-90s, Ice Coasters can jump from state to state with one piece of plastic. Five days at Killington, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Stratton? That’s a pretty good winter for a fraction of the price.
The creators of the M.A.X. Pass also announced that it can be purchased as an add-on to a normal season pass for just $249, letting skiers shred their home mountain all season long with the option of five days at each of the other 21 resorts in their back pocket for a rainy day (or season).
It may not be the perfect answer, but the owners of Boyne, Powdr, and Intrawest have certainly thrown their hat in the ring in a big way. Let the feeding frenzy begin.