Gotta catch ’em all. Telluride is the latest Pokémountain to be captured by the Mountain Collective, along with Revelstoke in B.C. PHOTO: Brett Schreckengost
Just one day after Vail Resorts announced the purchase of Whistler Blackcomb for $1.06 billion, the Mountain Collective announced Tuesday morning the addition of Telluride and Revelstoke to the roster for the 2016/17 season.
Telluride Ski Resort, located in Colorado's San Juan Mountains, tops out at 12,570 feet and adds over 2,000 acres of terrain to The Mountain Collective's expansive empire of 14 destinations across four countries.
Located in British Columbia's Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges, Revelstoke Mountain Resort has the most vertical in North America at 5,620 feet and spans over 3,121 acres of inbound terrain, and over half a million acres accessible via cat, heli or backcountry skiing.
Graham Rennie, President of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, said he hopes to bridge Revelstoke with the other two Canadian resorts in the Collective—Whistler and the Banff-Lake Louise group—to offer pass holders "the opportunity to embark on the ultimate Canadian ski road trip," which speaks volumes about who this pass is designed for.
Bozeman-based skier Sam Cox, 34, has been a Collective pass holder for two years, using it to ski at Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley, Mammoth, and Chamonix. "With the current day ticket price structure at most North American resorts, it’s the only way I’d ski there," says Cox. "[The pass] is a catalyst for me to get out and explore. I think it’s one of the best things to hit the market in the last few years."
Unlike the Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass ($809 or five days worth of window tickets), which is grouped by ownership under Vail Resorts and caters to clusters of destinations—Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Heavenly, North Star, and Kirkwood in California (plus Park City, a few in the Midwest, Japan, and now, beginning the 2017/18 season, Whistler Blackcomb)—the Mountain Collective pass includes two days of skiing at 14 resorts. The widespread line up is better suited for the traveling skier who plans to ski at multiple designations in varied regions during the winter.
So is the Collective a good deal for skiers who want a multi-mountain pass or a gimmick that makes you think you're getting more than you are? Let's do the math, using newly knighted Revelstoke as our example.
An adult window ticket at Revelstoke cost $86 last winter. If you're an adult—by law, not behavior—who buys the Mountain Collective pass at $409 and only skis the two days permitted on the pass, you've just paid more than double—which sounds like a raw deal. If you spent just a little more—$430—on window tickets, you could ski five days at Revelstoke.
However, if you start in Whistler and score two days at the largest resort in North America, then drive the six hours to Revelstoke and cash in on your two days there, followed by a three-hour trip to Ski Banff/Lake Louise/Sunshine Village for dos mas, you've just spent a week skiing some of the best resort terrain in BC for $409, probably saving $200+ which can be put toward
beer travel costs.
So if you're planning on sticking close to Summit County, or Northern California is home this winter, the Mountain Collective doesn't make much sense for you, even with the 50 percent discount on all additional day lift tickets with no blackout dates.
But if you're living some sort of fantasy #vanlife and you're planning to hit the road (or the tarmac) this season, the Collective could be a good fit—so long as the two days you pick to ski aren't followed up by a sneaker powder day that you're not signed up for. If you decide to stay and play, you’ll be opening your wallet again.
For $409, Mountain Collective includes two days of skiing at each of the following:
• Alta/Snowbird, UT
• Aspen Snowmass, CO
• Jackson Hole, WY
• Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine Village, AB
• Mammoth Mountain, CA
• Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC
• Ski Queenstown-Coronet Peak-The Remarkables, NZ
• Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, CA
• Stowe Mountain Resort, VT
• Sun Valley, ID
• Taos, NM
• Thredbo, AU
• Telluride Ski Resort, CO
• Whistler Blackcomb, BC (accessible to Epic Pass holders beginning the 2017/18 winter season)
• Plus two days at each Global Affiliate Destination, Chamonix, Hakuba Valley in Japan, and Valle Nevado, Chile