Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
Independent, 1100' vertical, great terrain. Why did Mt Abram drop off the Indy Pass?
The Smuggs/Stowe merger would be pretty cool, because it would also help Jay, in a way, by encouraging many to stay on the other side of the pass and be within a short driving distance to Jay Peak. RE would be revitalized over there, which, of course, can be both bad and good, but, I'll take the good. There's too much traffic getting up that Stowe access road on powder weekends, and rooms are hard to find.
Interesting take. IMHO, in no way are the Cranmore /Jiminy /Bromley group too "tony" for the Indy pass. Silver? Tamarack? Brundage? Lutsen? I'd like to see Ikon get Smuggs just to prevent Vail from getting their grubby paws on it. If Tenney reopens next season as they are hinting, they would be perfect for Indy.
Some other current pass options: Cannon and Bretton Woods currently partner on the mid-week Bold & Beautiful pass. During a normal year, this has pretty low usefulness (IMO) due to mid-week deals at Cannon Tues-Thurs (plus, the cross section of skiers that like both areas is probably pretty low). Burke/Jay have a premium priced combined pass valid at both areas.
For Maine top free agents, I would look towards Abram rather than BOM for the Indy Pass. If I remember correctly, I think Abram may have considered the Indy Pass but dropped before locking in. Both are fine candidates for the Indy, I prefer Abram of the two.
For NH top free agents, I like Whaleback more than larger areas like BW and WV. Whaleback best fits the spirit of the Indy Pass, while also offering better terrain than BW or WV (when it actually has enough snow to fill everything in). Dartmouth is another good option.
One problem of having so many Indy Pass candidates is that the pass will not function correctly if there is oversaturation in a region. Too many areas on the Indy could siphon off profits and make the pass collapse if pass sales do not generate enough net profits after paying ski areas.
On the flip side, I'd be happy to pay $500+ for an Indy Pass with a dozen of the top non-corporate areas in the northeast (two days each at Smuggs, Jay, MRG, Burke, Bolton, Cannon, Magic, Saddleback plus supporting areas would be amazing). If adding more areas, Indy Pass could hold the line on the current price but limit tickets to 1 per area then offer a premium pass for more areas with the 2 tickets per area offering.
A lot will change next year in a post COVID-19 season. I suspect bigger areas like Jay and Cannon might fall off the Indy pass, or at least no more larger areas will add on. I don't see the Indy as a long term viable option for larger areas given how little profit they must get per ticket (I am assuming that, considering the low cost for the pass).