With Vail’s purchase of Stowe this season, there’s been a good amount of discussion of the ‘Vail Effect’ on Vermont Ski Resorts.   Vail is well known for exorbitant daily lift tickets and reasonably priced season passes that allow for access to multiple mountains.

The first mountain to react was Sugarbush, announcing their intent to join the Mountain Collective for 2017/18 and a 30% discount on their version of the unlimited pass.  The discount on next year’s pricing is questionable, since the 2016/17 adult pass included a free youth pass and next year’s pricing for an adult pass and a youth pass together is the same price as 2016/17.  Basically, you only get a discount if you don’t need the youth pass.

The next resort to react was Mad River Glen, and they did so by not reacting at all.”The second that we start adapting to what other people do, that’s the nail in the coffin for us. We have to be proud of who we are, what we’re about,” said Eric Friedman, Mad River Glen.

This led to speculation on potential changes to the Killington pricing structure.  With some minor changes (the ‘Blackout’ pass is no longer available), Killington recently announced the cheapest pricing for their unlimited pass that I can remember in the past 20 years.

Count me as the #1 fan of this move.  I’m looking forward to a season without K-Tickets, Costco, and the eternal Craigslist/eBay search for cheap tickets.  All the details on pricing for 2017/18 can be found by visiting the official site.

See you on the slopes!

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