Indy Passes Go Off Sale Monday, April 10; Mt. Hood Meadows to Return to Indy Pass for 2023-24 Ski Season
Passes may return for sale this fall
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It was a strange quirk of Indy Pass that you could buy it all ski season. Epic and Ikon and Mountain Collective turn off the lights in December. But roll up to Jay Peak for a February weekend, see $109-per-day for a lift ticket, say “no thanks,” buy an Indy Pass on your phone, cash in your days, then ski the rest of the season on it all over New England. For several years, Indy’s price actually dropped in March. For a spring-breaking family on a New England swing, this thing was a godsend.
But this year, Indy did not sell a spring pass for the first time in its brief history. Indy didn’t provide a reason, but two weeks later, Entabeni Systems purchased the pass. At first, not much changed. Indy introduced a renewing passholders’ period and a waitlist, but kept prices low: $279 for renewals, $299 for waitlist, $319 for the general public.
But on Sunday, a far-reaching change: Indy will stop selling 2023-24 passes on Monday, April 10 - tonight - at midnight. They may sell more passes this fall. But maybe not. Half a year before next ski season starts, and eight months before it begins in earnest, one of the greatest discount products in the history of lift-served skiing will sell out.
“To preserve the independent and uncrowded skiing experience we all know and love, we are pumping the brakes on pass sales,” said Indy Pass founder Doug Fish. “During the offseason, we will work with our partner resorts to assess their peak-day capacity while we strive to expand our overall capacity by signing new resorts.”
This is the Indy Pass growing up and realizing its power. Trying not to break the thing – independent ski areas – that it loves. Siding with experience and atmosphere over profit and volume. Many ski areas – Jackson Hole, Baker, Sugar Bowl, Wachusett – limit season pass sales by number rather than date. Indy is hedging against chaos using a proven strategy to do so.
Still, it’s a tough change to process. No one – not passholders, not Indy ski area operators – seems to be asking for this change. Indy partners can already tap up to 32 blackout dates, limit per-day Indy redemptions, and require reservations to manage skier volume. Cutting off sales so early grants the pass’ competitors a half-year with one less alternative for would-be buyers to contemplate. It risks alienating potential customers at the exact moment the product is finally gaining mass-market momentum. And this extremely early cutoff creates a headache for skiers who would like to purchase an Indy AddOn Pass, but whose home mountains have not yet begun 2023-24 season pass sales.
In a less ambiguous bit of news, Indy also announced on Sunday that Mount Hood Meadows, the coalition’s fourth-largest ski area and a legitimate destination, would re-join the pass for next season. That gives Indy a near-perfect 104 out of 105 alpine-partner retention rate from the 2022-23 ski season to 2023-24. The only loss is Snow Valley, California, which Alterra purchased in January and added to the Ikon Pass.
“It is remarkable that every single resort that had a choice chose to double down on the #IndyRevolution for next season,” Entabeni Systems and Indy Pass owner Erik Mogensen wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
He’s right. Indy is a killer product, tailored to this confounding and thrilling moment in skiing, where a lift ticket to the same ski area on the same day can cost $400 or 75 cents, depending on how good you are at spreadsheets and thinking ahead. And it works. Skiers get access to a large collection of interesting ski areas, an anti-corporate edge, and a fiscal bragging point. Ski areas get the skiers’ money, with very little administrative overhead or marketing expense.
So, is a sales cutoff nearly a full year ahead of the pass’ historic off-sale date a clever evolution of the product or a miscalculation that could stall – or even reverse – Indy’s amazing growth? Let’s take a deeper look:
Below the paid subscriber jump: aren’t blackouts enough?, frustrated would-be Indy Add On passholders, why Mt. Hood Meadows matters, and more.