Indy Pass Signs California’s Mountain High, Dodge Ridge
Indy now delivers two days each at 94 downhills ski areas for $299
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When the Indy Pass went on sale for the first time in September 2019, it delivered two days each at 34 ski areas for $199.
That was, for those of you who math bad, just three years ago. Today, as Indy adds the jointly owned California duo of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge to its roster, the pass will get skiers on the lifts at 94 downhill ski areas for the 2022-23 ski season. It also gives them discounts at 10 more, and throws in 14 cross-country resorts because why the hell not?
Let’s pause there for a moment. This is remarkable. One hundred and eighteen ski areas are now united under a brand that did not exist when Vail bought Peak Resorts in the summer of 2019. Most of you have food in your refrigerator that’s older than that.
Some perspective: the National Ski Areas Association counted 473 active U.S. ski areas during the 2021-22 ski season. Eighty-five of them are full Indy Pass partners (the remainder of Indy’s downhill resorts are located in Canada or Japan). That means that the Indy Pass is good at approximately 18 percent of all ski areas in America. Even more impressive: if you subtract the 37 Epic Pass U.S. partner areas and the 40 Ikon ones, Indy’s penetration jumps even higher – the pass is good at 21.6 percent of non-Epkon U.S. American ski areas. If I were to subtract the number of non-chairlift ski areas, Indy’s access percentage would probably be between 30 and 40 percent.
Sure, Indy’s price has climbed. The Indy Base Pass is now $299 (it debuted this spring at $279). The no-blackout version is $399. But as the price has ticked 50 percent higher, the number of partners has increased 176 percent:
2019: $199, 34 ski areas
2020: $199, 52 ski areas
2021: $279, 66 ski areas
2022: $279, 82 ski areas (debut price/partner number; now $299, 94 ski areas)
And besides, have you seen the price of eggs lately? Or gasoline? Or a draft beer in Manhattan? Or a single-day lift ticket at Steamboat? Those top out at $269 next year. For an extra $30, you can get yourself a whole season of skiing on an Indy Pass. Even more remarkable: Indy isn’t even done – more partners are coming next month.
OK cool Brah what about my Cali shreds?
Ahem. Yes. Mountain High and Dodge Ridge. Two California resorts owned and operated by industry veteran Karl Kapuscinski, who gee what a coincidence I just had on the podcast in June (funny how that keeps happening). These are important additions, bringing much-needed density in U.S. America’s second-most-important ski state. Mountain High is an improbable snowy oasis floating 7,000 feet over Los Angeles. Dodge Ridge is your typical snow-bombed Northern California end-of-the-roader with the unfortunate attribute of being Not Tahoe. They are Indy’s fourth and fifth California partners, joining Snow Valley, China Peak, and Mount Shasta Ski Park. Neither ski area will have blackout dates on the Indy Base Pass. Here’s what the pass’ roster looks like with today’s additions:
These are important incremental additions as Indy looks to slowly build market share in the sprawling and brutal California market, where Alterra owns four ski areas (which used to be six ski areas, as Big Bear absorbed Snow Summit and Palisades Tahoe joined the former Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows), and Vail owns three around Lake Tahoe. With Big Bear as its anchor and a pipeline north to Mammoth and Palisades Tahoe, the Ikon Pass currently dominates Southern California. Today’s Indy additions are unlikely to materially change that. But with Mountain High now paired with Snow Valley, another LA-area resort, Indy has a better argument to make as a frequent skier’s supplemental pass, or as an infrequent skier’s one-pass quiver.
“This offseason, we've worked very hard to increase our number of western partnerships, and Mountain High and Dodge Ridge are two outstanding mountains joining our family of resorts,” said Indy Pass founder Doug Fish. “The Indy Pass now has more West Coast U.S. resorts than all other passes combined.”
That’s true: five Washington ski areas plus three in Oregon plus five in California plus three in BC gives Indy passholders 32 days at 16 ski areas, including recently signed Mt. Hood Meadows. It’s an awesome network. Here’s a bit more about Mountain High and Dodge Ridge, and what their addition means for Indy Pass, its passholders, and California skiers in general:
Below the subscriber jump: a full breakdown of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge, an inventory of California’s most eligible remaining indies, and what this means for the Powder Alliance (which is administered by Mountain High).