The Gift of a Season Pass

Forget about racking your brain trying to find cousin Al the perfect holiday gift.  Never mind giving Uncle Jim and Aunt Irene the same fruitcake-of-the-month subscription for Christmas.  This year, give your hard-to-buy-for loved ones the gift of a season pass.

It doesn’t matter if your gift recipient is a seasoned traveler or one who only hits the road twice a year, a season pass to a ski resort or amusement park is a practical present which can be used throughout the year.

For decades, season passes were marketed exclusively to locals, but now the tide is changing.  Several popular ski resorts in the United States are offering season passes at unbelievably low prices, hoping that the reduced rates inspire visitors from around the world to take advantage of the deal.  For example, this year, the Mountain Collective Pass is good for two free days each at Colorado’s Aspen/Snowmass, Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Utah’s Alta and Wyoming’s Jackson Hole.  In addition, passholders get 50% discounts on lift tickets after the two free days are used.  You get all of that for the low, low price of just $349.

You can also stretch your dollar going the pass route thanks to Vail Resorts’ acquisition of Tahoe’s Kirkwood.  The move means Kirkwood skiers and snowboarders are eligible for Vail’s Epic Pass program, which offers unlimited season access to Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Vail, plus Tahoe’s Heavenly and Northstar, for just $699.  Do the math and you’ll discover that the rate is less than a seven-day holiday lift ticket for Vail. The deal also includes six discounted “Ski with a Friend” tickets for companions and automatic enrollment in EpicMix, Vail Resorts’ online and social media program that tracks skiers’ progress on the slopes.

Finally, if your loved one is not a snow bunny, consider gifting him or her with a season pass to a theme park.  Six Flags is offering an amazing deal on a 2013 season pass.  For just under $75 you get unlimited visits all season, free tickets for your friends, free admission to Six Flags’ water parks, free parking, early entry to all Six Flags’ properties, plus, a coupon book which includes discounts on food, souvenirs and various other in-park amenities.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.