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Vail to buy Stowe?

sugarbushskier9

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To clarify on the mountain collective, I think it was 389 early with the third bonus day at a mountain of your choice. As a flatlander who gets to Stowe about 10 days a season I very much like the product. By the end of the season I will have 16 days at a combination of Stowe, Jackson and Snowbird for under 1k... will put me aroud 60 a day. For me that's not bad given the caliber of terrain.

If I was sugarbush I'd definitely try and get added to the MC... I know the Stowe folks said it sold pretty well the past two seasons.

I heard from someone at Ski Vermont that Sugarbush will be on the Mountain Collective, taking Stowe's spot because MC needs a higher end Vermont resort on their list to do essentially what Vail is doing with Stowe...get the big city skiers on their pass for western trips.

They lost Stowe so the next obvious choice would be Sugarbush and it sounds like Win is on-board. To be announced this spring.
 

sugarbushskier9

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Also heard that Stowe will be on the Epic pass next season for the same price as the other Vail resorts. So it would seem like Stowe seasons passes just got a lot cheaper ($850 or so). Jay Peak and Smuggs are still less than that I think but Sugarbush likely will be the most expensive pass in the state for unrestricted adult pass now. The pass pricing this spring should be interesting to see once everyone releases their price list.

Big changes coming to the VT ski industry.
 

VTKilarney

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Does Killington need to reconsider their pricing, or are they a big enough player far enough away?
 

Jcb890

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I heard from someone at Ski Vermont that Sugarbush will be on the Mountain Collective, taking Stowe's spot because MC needs a higher end Vermont resort on their list to do essentially what Vail is doing with Stowe...get the big city skiers on their pass for western trips.

They lost Stowe so the next obvious choice would be Sugarbush and it sounds like Win is on-board. To be announced this spring.
The Mountain Collective still seems to be a less desireable pass option unless you are specifically targeting one (or most likely more) of the resorts from the list.

Also heard that Stowe will be on the Epic pass next season for the same price as the other Vail resorts. So it would seem like Stowe seasons passes just got a lot cheaper ($850 or so). Jay Peak and Smuggs are still less than that I think but Sugarbush likely will be the most expensive pass in the state for unrestricted adult pass now. The pass pricing this spring should be interesting to see once everyone releases their price list.

Big changes coming to the VT ski industry.
This seems to be the most common line of thinking and would be nice.

Does Killington need to reconsider their pricing, or are they a big enough player far enough away?
They probably all should to compete (let's hope).
 

sugarbushskier9

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Not to turn this into another Sugarbush thread, but you have to admit that Win is indeed concerned. They've always been sandwiched in between Stowe to the north and its lofty reputation and Killington to the south and its reputation. Stowe was just sold to a HUGE ski resort player. And I've read that Killington's Base Area expansion was finally approved....whether it happens or not we have yet to see. So once again Sugarbush has to try to distinguish itself from these two.

And for the record I like Win. Always have. He's done a great job. But let's understand that it is a tough business and competition is fierce.

Of course Win is concerned. That's what that email was about. Please consider us before jumping ship...and buy some real estate.

There's abosolutely no reason to issue that email. I ski both Stowe and Sugarbush on the 30s passes but from what I've seen the crowd issue at Stowe is vastly overstated. It's really only holidays and Lincoln Peak was no picnic last weekend waiting for Heavens Gate. If anything I've skied pretty equal days at both places and think the fixed grip lifts at Sugarbush build longer lines than anything I've seen at the resort to the north though I haven't hit Stowe on a holiday weekend so there's that. Mon-Fri the place is empty. And they run a slick operation. In poor snow conditions I think they are way above with their snow management, grooming, snowmaking, etc.

To me Mount Ellen is Sugarbush's best asset. I'm not a fan of the Stowe base village at Spruce but when parking at Mansfield it's basically two lifts that go top to bottom, a parking lot and two old base lodges. You don't have to walk a long distance through a base area and it seems very similar to Mt Ellen in that regard. You park, boot up next to your car which is next to the snow surface. When done you just ski to your car.

But Stowe and Mt Ellen don't have Castlerock and Lincoln Peak seems to have more narrow New England trails like Moonshine and Twist.

I like having multiple passes as you can play the weather, crowds and your mood. I'm already thinking of an Epic Pass and Sugarbush 30s pass for next year. Living in Montpelier it's easy to get to both.
 

sugarbushskier9

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The Mountain Collective still seems to be a less desireable pass option unless you are specifically targeting one (or most likely more) of the resorts from the list.


This seems to be the most common line of thinking and would be nice.


They probably all should to compete (let's hope).

The Mountain Collective addition though should be big plus for Sugarbush pass holders that take western trips. As a session pass holder you get unlimited 50% tickets to the other MC mountains. Like this year my Stowe young adult pass gets me 50% day tickets at Jackson, Alta, Aspen, etc which is a nice perk. You don't have to pay extra for it. Next year I'll have those options but on my Sugarbush pass while my Stowe pass will get me all Vail resorts, haha. Huge options for western trips.
 

thetrailboss

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The Mountain Collective addition though should be big plus for Sugarbush pass holders that take western trips. As a session pass holder you get unlimited 50% tickets to the other MC mountains. Like this year my Stowe young adult pass gets me 50% day tickets at Jackson, Alta, Aspen, etc which is a nice perk. You don't have to pay extra for it. Next year I'll have those options but on my Sugarbush pass while my Stowe pass will get me all Vail resorts, haha. Huge options for western trips.

Good point--forgot about that. One big benefit is that if your resort is in the MC your season pass at that resort gets you 50% off at the other resorts....as you mention. That is a nice perk. How much have I used mine? Zero.
 

sugarbushskier9

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Good point--forgot about that. One big benefit is that if your resort is in the MC your season pass at that resort gets you 50% off at the other resorts....as you mention. That is a nice perk. How much have I used mine? Zero.

Ha right. But for sales it's a perk for the family from Boston who owns a place in the MRV and buys a pass but then is trying to decide on the yearly western trip. All the sudden the whole family gets 50% at Jackson Hole so guess where they are going on vacation? This is why MC needs to stay at a Vermont resort.

From what I've heard from my Ski Vermont contact is that it's been wildly successful at Stowe as it also brings new customers to the place who wouldn't normally or who never have been butjust happen to have either days to use of 50% off. Those people will go to Sugarbush next season and be like wow this is a cool place. And then you've captured them.
 

thetrailboss

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Ha right. But for sales it's a perk for the family from Boston who owns a place in the MRV and buys a pass but then is trying to decide on the yearly western trip. All the sudden the whole family gets 50% at Jackson Hole so guess where they are going on vacation? This is why MC needs to stay at a Vermont resort.

From what I've heard from my Ski Vermont contact is that it's been wildly successful at Stowe as it also brings new customers to the place who wouldn't normally or who never have been butjust happen to have either days to use of 50% off. Those people will go to Sugarbush next season and be like wow this is a cool place. And then you've captured them.

Yep. Exactly. Had there been better snow, I would have used my benefit at Stowe last year (Alta/Snowbird Passholder)
 

hovercraft

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Ha right. But for sales it's a perk for the family from Boston who owns a place in the MRV and buys a pass but then is trying to decide on the yearly western trip. All the sudden the whole family gets 50% at Jackson Hole so guess where they are going on vacation? This is why MC needs to stay at a Vermont resort.

From what I've heard from my Ski Vermont contact is that it's been wildly successful at Stowe as it also brings new customers to the place who wouldn't normally or who never have been butjust happen to have either days to use of 50% off. Those people will go to Sugarbush next season and be like wow this is a cool place. And then you've captured them.

I agree with you about the crowds @ Stowe being overstated. On the MC, case in point my whole family has season passes @ Stowe. Being part of the MC we went to Jackson this year and used our Stowe pass for 50% off. So lift tickets were only 63 instead of 126. It was a nice perk. SB should join the MC in my opinion.
 

Jcb890

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Ha right. But for sales it's a perk for the family from Boston who owns a place in the MRV and buys a pass but then is trying to decide on the yearly western trip. All the sudden the whole family gets 50% at Jackson Hole so guess where they are going on vacation? This is why MC needs to stay at a Vermont resort.

From what I've heard from my Ski Vermont contact is that it's been wildly successful at Stowe as it also brings new customers to the place who wouldn't normally or who never have been butjust happen to have either days to use of 50% off. Those people will go to Sugarbush next season and be like wow this is a cool place. And then you've captured them.
Not if they only plan to visit said resort due to the pass, which is how a lot of people operate.

I've got the MAX Pass this season, so I've been to Loon for the first time in maybe 10+ years. I'm not hooked or captured. If Loon decides to drop from the MAX Pass next season or there is a better option than the MAX Pass that does not include Loon, guess what, I won't be riding at Loon next season.

Still, a nice perk to have attached to the standard season pass if you already plan to buy one and they're on it.

Let's say you don't have a Western trip planned and bought the pass for $349 last season. What did that get you? 2 days at Stowe which is nice. But, you haven't paid off the pass yet even at the $129/day window price, you're now at $258 based on the window price (which almost nobody pays anyways). Your 3rd and any more Stowe days costs $64.50 which isn't bad. It takes you 2 additional Stowe trips to get your /day average down under $100 (4 total days).

How many days do you need to go back to Stowe to get your average down to something reasonable? Even at 10 days you're looking at $349 (MC) + $517 ($64.50 x 8 days). Your average with 10 days at Stowe is still $86.60 per day. When purchasing a pass, that is honestly ridiculous and you're doing a bad job of saving money.

Maybe I'm looking at this illogically, but this is how I looked at it to begin the season. With only 1 New England option, it just makes no sense unless you have at least 1-2 Western trips planned to those specific resorts. And even then, it still seems like there are better options... just not to those specific resorts.
 

sugarbushskier9

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Not if they only plan to visit said resort due to the pass, which is how a lot of people operate.

I've got the MAX Pass this season, so I've been to Loon for the first time in maybe 10+ years.
I'm not hooked or captured. If Loon decides to drop from the MAX Pass next season or there is a better option than the MAX Pass that does not include Loon, guess what, I won't be riding at Loon next season.

Still, a nice perk to have attached to the standard season pass if you already plan to buy one and they're on it.

Let's say you don't have a Western trip planned and bought the pass for $349 last season. What did that get you? 2 days at Stowe which is nice. But, you haven't paid off the pass yet even at the $129/day window price, you're now at $258 based on the window price (which almost nobody pays anyways). Your 3rd and any more Stowe days costs $64.50 which isn't bad. It takes you 2 additional Stowe trips to get your /day average down under $100 (4 total days).

How many days do you need to go back to Stowe to get your average down to something reasonable? Even at 10 days you're looking at $349 (MC) + $517 ($64.50 x 8 days). Your average with 10 days at Stowe is still $86.60 per day. When purchasing a pass, that is honestly ridiculous and you're doing a bad job of saving money.

Maybe I'm looking at this illogically, but this is how I looked at it to begin the season. With only 1 New England option, it just makes no sense unless you have at least 1-2 Western trips planned to those specific resorts. And even then, it still seems like there are better options... just not to those specific resorts.

Yeah so you weren't that thrilled with Loon...BUT it did get you there to at least try it. That's the main point. As a resort you then have to wow those people. In order to have the opportunity to impress people you have to get them there in the first place. Of course many won't be wowed (it could be something as simple as the weather on the day you went wasn't that good) but these types of pass products at least get you to that specific resort. This year the Max Pass gave Loon a chance to wow you, but it failed. That's an issue for Loon but in the end it did get you to that resort that you might otherwise never have visited.

I do think the industry is heading towards consolidation in passes, people like the variety and it adds value in their minds.

The Collective Pass though isn't meant to be for just one resort, so if you frequent one spot it makes no sense. Its for people who get around and have the means and financial resources to visit places all over the place during the winter.
 

hovercraft

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The other benefit to a pass holder who's mountain is part of the collective is having 1/2 price lift tickets to the other mountains. It's a nice perk that add's value to the product. Win/Win
 
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