Early-bird season-pass deals at Colorado resorts, through September 1

Gotta love Colorado, where Labor Day has come to be synonymous with winter gear sales like Sniagrab and Ski Rex, and the dog days of summer serve as a tidy reminder that the best deals on season ski passes are on right now. We spent a day huddled by the air conditioner sipping on Slurpees and scoping out some of the best deals available from now until Labor Day. [jump] Adult season passes to the Vail Resorts start at $409 for the Summit Value Pass (unlimited skiing and riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, plus restricted dates at Breckenridge), $499 for the Epic Local Pass (unlimited days at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin plus 10 restricted days at Vail or Beaver Creek and limited restricted days at Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe; formerly sold as the Colorado Pass) or $649 for the unlimited Epic Pass, which Shaun White recently picked up.

The folks at Colorado Ski Country USA have helpfully put together a guide to early-bird deals at the rest of the resorts in the state, including all 22 of its members.

For the best bargain close to home, try Echo Mountain (early bird price is $159, down from the list price of $299), and for a bit more diversity check out some of the following bundled deals:

  • The $459 Rocky Mountain Super Pass includes unlimited days at Copper Mountain and Winter Park plus six unrestricted days at Steamboat: Make sure to use those Steamboat days, which make it one of the best buys in the state.
  • Monarch's $399 pass is the biggest bundle on offer, including some skiing/riding days at partner resorts Loveland, Ski Cooper, Telluride, Powderhorn, Silverton, Durango, Sunlight, Angel Fire, Ski Apache, Pajarito, Sipapu, Alta, Grand Targhee, Indianhead, Arizona Snowbowl, Revelstoke, Sol Vista, Red River, Taos and China Peak.
  • For the hardcore amongst us, don't miss Silverton Mountain's $399 (half price) early bird pass deal, which also gets you half-price heli drops and includes 15 days (five each) at partner resorts Loveland, Monarch and A-Basin.
  • The $369 deal at A-Basin comes with restricted days at Breck, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek and Bear Valley, CA.
  • And Loveland passes go on sale over Labor Day weekend (price to be announced) and include three days each at Monarch Mountain and Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.

If price is not a factor, splurge for the $3,000 transferable Colorado Ski Country USA Gold Pass, which will get you a knowing nod from lifties everywhere and includes unlimited skiing/riding at Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Purgatory, Echo, Eldora, Howelson, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Snowmass, SolVista, Steamboat, Sunlight, Telluride, Winter Park and Wolf Creek.

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