2016-17 opening dates and season passes for Copper, Keystone, Breckenridge and A-Basin | SummitDaily.com

2016-17 opening dates and season passes for Copper, Keystone, Breckenridge and A-Basin

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Don't have a season pass yet? Don't worry — there's plenty of time for your annual tithe to the ski gods.

All blasphemy aside, the ski season is rapidly approaching and that means a ski-pass investment. Passes from Copper Mountain and Vail Resorts (aka the Epic Pass) all jumped in price after Labor Day, and, as usual, prices will jump again at least once before lifts start spinning at Arapahoe Basin in mid-October and Copper on Nov. 11. If you don't have one by then, expect to pay $800 (or more) just to sit on a chairlift.

Passes might be more expensive now than ever before — the original Epic Pass with unlimited riding at six resorts cost about $579 when it debuted in 2008, compared to $829 now with 13 resorts — but everything from Copper's partnership with the M.A.X. Pass to the free Epic SchoolKids program has made a season pass more attractive than ever, especially for folks living in our ski town Mecca. You might never make it to Perisher, but hey, at least five of the 13 Epic Pass resorts are within spitting distance.

Here's a look at 2016-17 season pass pricing for Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, Copper and Loveland. Don't say we didn't tell you.

Epic Pass

After Labor Day, the entire suite of Epic Pass products jumped in price for the final time until the beginning of the winter season. Pricing ranges from $249 to $829 until Oct. 9, when they’ll jump again by $10 to $20.

Recommended Stories For You

Epic Pass: Ski unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for $829 (adult). The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over five days of skiing or snowboarding. Grants full access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia for the 2017 season; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. A child pass (ages 5 to 12) is $429.

Epic Local Pass: The taste-test option. For $629 ($499 for teens), receive unlimited and unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. You also get a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions. A child pass (ages 5 to 12) is $329.

Summit Value Pass: For the locals. The Summit Value Pass pays for itself in just over three days and features unlimited skiing or riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, with limited restrictions at Breckenridge. Cost is $529 for adults, $419 for teens and $309 for children (ages 5 to 12).

Keystone A-Basin Pass: Another locals option. Unlimited access to Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, with limited holiday restrictions. Cost is $329 for adults and $249 for children (ages 5 to 12).

Epic SchoolKids

This free program provides Colorado elementary schoolers (kindergarten through fifth grade) with 16 free days of skiing and riding: four days each at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, and one free first-timer ski or snowboard lesson with free equipment rental.

Registration closes on Oct. 9, and you must sign up at a Colorado Ski and Golf location on the Front Range (no online registration for this one).

Copper Mountain

Copper's is making it affordable to ski Copper and only Copper, with extra days at Monarch, Purgatory and Taos Valley in New Mexico: $409 for adults (18-64 years old), $319 for college students (including CMC), teens and seniors; and $239 for children (8-12 years old). All prices jump $10 to $20 on Sept. 20.

New this year is the Copper All Access Pass. This brand-new pass option provides unlimited skiing and riding at Copper Mountain for the upcoming winter season, as well as full access to the Woodward Copper Barn from the date of purchase until April 2017.

Yep, you read that right: access to Copper and the Woodward Barn on one pass. The pass is currently on sale for $559 for adults (ages 18 years and older), $469 for teens (ages 13 to 17 years old) and $389 for children (ages 6 to 12 years old).

Passes can be purchased online at http://www.CopperColorado.com or http://www.WoodwardCopper.com or by calling 888-219-2441. (Already purchased a Copper season pass or a barn pass? Upgrade to the All Access Pass by calling central reservations at 888-219-2441.)

The All Access Pass is $30 more than a 2015-16 Secret! Season Pass with early riding before the lifts opened. All Access Pass passholders receive all the benefits and perks of a Copper Mountain season pass, including three free days at Purgatory Resort, Monarch Mountain and Taos Ski Valley. Passholders also receive free skiing at Grand Targhee Resort with the purchase of Grand Targhee lodging. This pass includes 10 Copper Mountain friends and family discounted lift tickets and a variety of activity, retail and food discounts around the resort.

M.A.X. Pass

For $229, upgrade any Copper Mountain season pass to the M.A.X. Pass, a relatively new option from a Denver-based company with 32 partner resorts across the U.S. and Canada. It's the rest of the ski industry's response to the Epic Pass, which includes a comparatively measly

All M.A.X. Pass holders get unlimited riding at the home resort, like Copper, plus five days each at the partner resorts. Upgrade when you buy your Copper Pass or add it after the fact at http://www.themaxpass.com.

Loveland Ski Area

Loveland is one of the final holdouts from the olden days of season passes, with a range of options for just about anyone (no overseas travel required).

A new season pass is $389 for adults, $289 for young adults (15-22 years old), $179 for children (6-14 years old) and $89 for seniors (70 years and older). If you've had a pass before, a renewal is $20 cheaper for all but the senior pass (children are $10 cheaper). All of these passes come with three free days at Monarch Mountain, Crested Butte, Purgatory and Powderhorn Mountain Resort and Powder Mountain in Utah. They also come with a ton of discounts and deals, including 10-percent off childcare and discounted friend passes.

The midweek pass, good Monday through Friday, is $279 for newbies and $269 for renewals. This one comes with three days of riding at Monarch and all the tasty discounts. Order online through http://www.skiloveland.com.

2016-17 opening dates

It’s the question everyone started asking when we got snow in mid-August: When will the slopes open for business? Here’s a tentative look at our local ski hills, plus a few more. Keep in mind these dates can (and often do) change.

Arapahoe Basin — Mid-October (exact date TBA)

Loveland Ski Area — Mid-October (exact date TBA)

Wolf Creek — Friday, Nov. 4

Keystone Resort — Friday, Nov. 4

Copper Mountain — Friday, Nov. 11

Breckenridge Resort — Friday, Nov. 11

Winter Park — Wednesday, Nov. 16

Vail Mountain — Friday, Nov. 18

Beaver Creek Resort — Wednesday, Nov. 23

Steamboat Springs — Wednesday, Nov. 23

Aspen Mountain — Thursday, Nov. 24

Snowmass — Thursday, Nov. 24