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Sugarbush / Mad River Glen 2020-2021

#1
Starting a thread for the Mad River Valley ski resorts. It'll be interesting to see how full the slopes this year with Vermont's (oft-disregarded) travel restrictions and people working remotely from home.

Sugarbush has posted its COVID-19 winter operational plans to its website: https://www.sugarbush.com/plan/winter-operations/

The Cliff's notes version is that Sugarbush's operations plan will be similar to other Alterra resorts:

- no reservations
- limited day tickets
- no group ski lessons
- no singles line, lifts will be loaded with related parties only.

Mad River Glen has made general comments about its operational plans - specifically, that it believes that it will be able to offer unrestricted skiing to passholders and shareholders. That said, it looks like it has temporarily suspended its pass sales as of October 15 due to increased volumes. They are currently evaluating their pass products to formulate a plan for season pass and ticket sales moving into the ski season. Some pass products may not available when they re-introduce sales. COVID-19 info here: http://www.madriverglen.com/COVID-19/

This year I'm switching things up and will be riding Sugarbush on the IKON Base Pass and skiing weekdays at Mad River Glen. I'm looking forward to the season -- snow is tentatively in the forecast for next week!
 

Chris W

Certified Ski Diva
#2
The Cliff's notes version is that Sugarbush's operations plan will be similar to other Alterra resorts:

- no reservations
- limited day tickets
- no group ski lessons
- no singles line, lifts will be loaded with related parties only.
I read it as specific-day advance reservations/tix would be required actually, since day tickets are so limited. Oh, but not for pass holders. Am I reading it right?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
I read it as specific-day advance reservations/tix would be required actually, since day tickets are so limited. Oh, but not for pass holders. Am I reading it right?
Correct, Ikon passholders will not need to make reservations. That's a corporate wide decision for Alterra. With the caveat that the situation could change and that individual resorts will be making decisions based on the local situation as needed. This is the first season that Sugarbush is fully owned by Alterra. It was unlimited on Ikon last season after the sale was announced. But the management changed hadn't happened yet.

The term "reservation" in relation to lift access is mainly for passholders. That can mean 1-location season passes or a multi-resort pass like Ikon or Epic. Some Ikon/Epic holders use it as the season pass for their home mountain, while others have to travel to use those passes.

It's pretty much understood that if someone buys a lift ticket online in advance, then they don't need to make a separate "reservation" in order to use the lift ticket. So if reservations are required then what someone is paying for it a ticket/reservation combo.

A few resorts have opened up for day ticket sales already. Like Liftopia did, there will be warnings when only a "few" tickets are left. I noticed recently that Jan. 30 is already sold out for Big Sky and that there were "only" around 250 tickets left for Jan. 31. The software that Boyne Resorts is using for Big Sky is clearly the same software they are using for Boyne Mountain. Haven't looked to see what Loon or Sunday River ticket sales are like yet.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
This year I'm switching things up and will be riding Sugarbush on the IKON Base Pass and skiing weekdays at Mad River Glen. I'm looking forward to the season -- snow is tentatively in the forecast for next week!
I think people who adjust to the new normal and plan ahead will have a great time on the slopes, especially on weekends when it's traditionally required some patience waiting on lift lines.

Having a good combination of passes, whether 1-location or multi-location, certainly makes a difference. I heard that sales of the Indy Pass are pretty robust. With Jay just added, I bet there are Vermonters who are taking another look at what Indy has to offer in New England.
 

Chris W

Certified Ski Diva
#5
It's pretty much understood that if someone buys a lift ticket online in advance, then they don't need to make a separate "reservation" in order to use the lift ticket. So if reservations are required then what someone is paying for it a ticket/reservation combo.

A few resorts have opened up for day ticket sales already. Like Liftopia did, there will be warnings when only a "few" tickets are left. I noticed recently that Jan. 30 is already sold out for Big Sky and that there were "only" around 250 tickets left for Jan. 31. The software that Boyne Resorts is using for Big Sky is clearly the same software they are using for Boyne Mountain. Haven't looked to see what Loon or Sunday River ticket sales are like yet.
Understood! And agreed on ticket semantics - I am automatically thinking that buying the single-day ticket in advance is essentially my reservation.

Interesting abt Big Sky sellouts already! This is going to be such a tough year to figure out for those of us without passes and still hoping to get a few family trips and sporadic days in.
 

Chris W

Certified Ski Diva
#6
I think people who adjust to the new normal and plan ahead will have a great time on the slopes, especially on weekends when it's traditionally required some patience waiting on lift lines.

Having a good combination of passes, whether 1-location or multi-location, certainly makes a difference. I heard that sales of the Indy Pass are pretty robust. With Jay just added, I bet there are Vermonters who are taking another look at what Indy has to offer in New England.
Agree that passes are clutch this year in particular, but I don't think my family can bite the bullet on it without knowing what the kids' schedules will look like in the coming months.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
Agree that passes are clutch this year in particular, but I don't think my family can bite the bullet on it without knowing what the kids' schedules will look like in the coming months.
If you are willing to do some driving and are ready to be a little adventurous, worth looking into the Indy Pass. There is a kid's price this time. You get 2 days at every location, so it's not hard to do better than break even for $199 for an adult. The Indy locations are the type of places where it normally doesn't get busy enough to need to worry about a reservation system.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
This is going to be such a tough year to figure out for those of us without passes and still hoping to get a few family trips and sporadic days in.
One of the issues may not be finding lift tickets, but the fact that discounted lift tickets pretty much won't exist. So the cost for a long weekend will probably be more than usual even at the smaller mountains.

In Australia it was tricky to get tickets in the first 4-6 weeks of their season. I think Vail Resorts learned from the experience with Perisher, which is a large resort for Australia and stayed open all season. Thredbo only sold day tickets, with major discount for people who had bought season passes. Thredbo refunded all passes before the season started. So two very different approaches that both seemed to work. By mid-season everything seemed reasonably normal for those who were determined to have ski vacation. Relatively few Aussies live within day trip distance of the ski resorts. At least for the people who weren't under travel restrictions in the state of Victoria because of the reaction to outbreaks in Melbourne.
 

Chris W

Certified Ski Diva
#9
If you are willing to do some driving and are ready to be a little adventurous, worth looking into the Indy Pass. There is a kid's price this time. You get 2 days at every location, so it's not hard to do better than break even for $199 for an adult. The Indy locations are the type of places where it normally doesn't get busy enough to need to worry about a reservation system.
I will def consider the Indy...provided that it's still on sale whenever it is we can figure out a plan! Jay is definitely a consideration. And unfort my youngest just turned 13. ;)
 

Chris W

Certified Ski Diva
#10
One of the issues may not be finding lift tickets, but the fact that discounted lift tickets pretty much won't exist. So the cost for a long weekend will probably be more than usual even at the smaller mountains.
You're right - I'm just assuming that if we can go at all, everything will be a fortune. Deals will be a thing of the past and I anticipate lodging to generally be tough to come by.
 
#11
I will def consider the Indy...provided that it's still on sale whenever it is we can figure out a plan! Jay is definitely a consideration. And unfort my youngest just turned 13. ;)
My friend's kids have recent become teens instead of tweens. Definitely makes a difference for all sorts of reasons. My daughter is in college in NC, so she doesn't ski much at the moment.

Indy won't go off sale until the spring. Price goes up in Dec but only $20 I would guess. The entire point of Indy is to allow people to have an option to explore without breaking the bank

I think I saw you are in NJ. There are Indy locations in the Mid-Atlantic too. Nothing like New England skiing but can still be good fun if you go with the right expectations. I went to Bryce for the first time using Indy last season. It's only an hour from Massanutten, my home mountain, but I'd never bothered to go check it out in the last 15 years. In late Feb, I met up with a friend from DC there. We skied Bryce in the morning and then Massanutten in the afternoon. He could use the Spring-price Indy for both, although that may not work this season. I shared my condo with him and a Diva for Sat night. Made for a fun weekend.
 
#12
I was excited to see Jay added to the Indy, but not planning on traveling to VT this season so I'm not getting it for that. I had been hoping it would be Saddleback as the addition which would have probably pushed me to get it haha.
 
#13
I was excited to see Jay added to the Indy, but not planning on traveling to VT this season so I'm not getting it for that. I had been hoping it would be Saddleback as the addition which would have probably pushed me to get it haha.
I was excited to see Jay added as well, but I can’t justify yet another ski pass! (Maybe. I haven’t talked to Dr Pugs about it yet. Lol.)

I’m hoping that 2021-2022 will bring us closer back to normal. I want to do a New England ski safari next season and it sure would be fun to visit some of the independent places! I’m not counting Saddleback out though.
 
#14
I was excited to see Jay added as well, but I can’t justify yet another ski pass! (Maybe. I haven’t talked to Dr Pugs about it yet. Lol.)

I’m hoping that 2021-2022 will bring us closer back to normal. I want to do a New England ski safari next season and it sure would be fun to visit some of the independent places! I’m not counting Saddleback out though.
I’m so excited to go to Saddleback! Maine really needs to get into the Indy.. I was actually going to get it, but then Mt Abram got removed which was my motivator.
 
#15
Gotta say, I’m also excited to check out Mad River Glen. I’ve never skied there, only hiked there. The green trail that I hiked up was tough. Lol.
 

alr

Certified Ski Diva
#17
If you are willing to do some driving and are ready to be a little adventurous, worth looking into the Indy Pass. There is a kid's price this time. You get 2 days at every location, so it's not hard to do better than break even for $199 for an adult. The Indy locations are the type of places where it normally doesn't get busy enough to need to worry about a reservation system.
whoa. this is a pretty cool pass, especially if you want to make a series of weekend trips. I often go to Pat's Peak and even with my discounted tickets thru work, the daily rate would be about $62/day, and I don't even know if I am getting my discount this year...
 
#18
whoa. this is a pretty cool pass, especially if you want to make a series of weekend trips. I often go to Pat's Peak and even with my discounted tickets thru work, the daily rate would be about $62/day, and I don't even know if I am getting my discount this year...
I wouldn't count on any discounted tickets this season. Most of what I'm seeing is that "un-dated vouchers" will not be issued or honored.

What's nice about Indy is that most of the money actually goes back to the ski areas/resorts. So they actually get revenue based on the number of visits using the Indy Pass.
 

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