It seems that MC's price has been steadily creeping up without a parallel increase in access. For almost $500 dollars early season it seems much more compelling to buy an Ikon Base Pass for the extra ~$150 as long as you aren't specifically targeting Jackson Hole or Aspen Snowmass (or upgrade to an Epic Local with the recent price drop if we aren't exactly comparing apples to apples). I love the idea of the MC for a sick week in Wyoming/Idaho skiing JHMR and Targhee, possibly using your extra day at one of these, or an Alta/Snowbird trip (was an amazing offering when Snowbasin was also on the MC!). It is hugely compelling partnered with another pass like an Indy for a powder highway road trip considering it has the unique offerings of Sun Peaks and Panorama. Aside from some really specific use cases though, mainly for destination focused skiers, it just seems a little too limiting to pull the trigger on so far. I 110% agree it has huge potential, but I think it needs some tweaks. Possibly some more Northeast presence, but I am biased as a east coast skier, or a double down on aspirational areas like BC, Utah, or Tahoe.

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The Indy Pass continues to rapidly expand! Ever since I bought my Indy Pass in the late spring or early summer of this year, my pass has already seemingly increased in value like 20%...

On the other hand, you have the Mountain Collective, which I refer to as the Boujee Indy Pass. It has that same model where you can get mild lodging discounts at the resorts on the pass, two days free at each resort, and 50% off additional days. And most of the resorts on the Mountain Collective are independent operations like the resorts on the Indy Pass, although of course the Mountain Collective is composed of some of the most iconic ski resorts while the Indy Pass shines a light on the hidden gems and local treasures. But the Mountain Collective seems to be shrinking, opposite of the Indy Pass! I've seen old articles online, and the Mountain Collective used to have Sun Valley, Snowbasin, Mt. Norquay and even Whistler Blackcomb on it. It's slowly being eaten up by Vail acquisitions and partnerships, and Alterra's concurrent Ikon Pass partnerships with resorts on the Mountain Collective.

While I have utmost confidence in the future of the Indy Pass, that same model doesn't seem to be working so well for the Mountain Collective, and I'm really wondering if it'll continue to be around, although the Jackson Hole and Aspen Mountain CEO seemed confident it would. Maybe I'm wrong - maybe tons more people than I realize purchase the Mountain Collective. It certainly would work well for anyone living in or near the Canadian Rockies.

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Dec 14, 2021Liked by Stuart Winchester

We skied Blacktail last year during a late season trip to whitefish. We met the general manager and the first thing I said was “we have to find out how to get you on the Indy pass.” I’m happy to read he listened! Such a fun mountain to ski and other than having a waitress who seemingly refused to serve us because we had the audacity to wear masks inside the restaurant, Lakeside is an extraordinarily beautiful town. I’m not sure how people navigate the road in mid-winter, however. For whatever it’s worth we had a lot of fun skiing Blacktail and I would go back if given the chance.

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