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Just when we thought that the Ikons and Epics of the world had pretty much monopolized the season pass scene, Stormskiing.com tipped us off about a tiny, unsuspecting mom-and-pop ski area that brings out the big guns with its season pass offering.
That’s right, Ski Cooper, the 470-acre ski area outside of Leadville, Colo., offers a $299 season pass ($249 for renewals) that includes three days at 48 partner ski areas with almost no blackout dates plus unlimited skiing at Cooper itself. (Which, if you didn’t know, has its own cat-skiing operation, Chicago Ridge, with another 2,600 acres of terrain.)
That’s one screamin’ deal. Not to mention the chance to embark on a comprehensive tour of community ski hills that boast more character in their parking lots than some of the larger players have throughout their fake-Bavarian-village-off-the-interstate megaresorts.
Cooper’s season pass isn’t new—though it did add three more ski areas to its 2021-’22 reciprocal pass benefits. Nor is Cooper the only resort to offer impressive reciprocal bennies at other, like-minded resorts. But Cooper’s is one of the most extensive in the country, and is basically the equivalent of skiing at the tiniest, most soulful hills in 21 states (and one resort in Spain!).
Anyone who fancies themselves real skiers will get busy figuring out how to hit Idaho’s Pebble Creek (1,100 acres!), southern Utah’s 600-acre Eagle Point, and Nevada’s tiny Lee Canyon, where you can work in a Vegas pitstop, 35 miles northwest.
East Coast or Midwestern skiers, there’s plenty here for you too, plus a chance to ski at the smallest areas in the big, bad Rockies. Who doesn’t want to notch that claim in their belt? Some of the East Coast partners include the iconic Dartmouth Skiway—100 acres and the training ground for the Dartmouth Ski Team—and such wonderfully undiscovered hills such as N.Y.’s Tussey Mountain and Yawgoo Valley, the only ski resort in Rhode Island. (We admit, we didn’t know there was snow skiing in the Ocean State.)
See a full list of Cooper’s partner resorts here. And if you want to get in on the down-home resort tour at its best price this winter, do it soon: Prices pop up to $399 on August 1.
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