Maybe, maybe not. I’m referring to today’s ski pass world both in the US and Europe with the Epic, Ikon, a new one, the Indy, and Magic in Switzerland. It’s complicated and changing all the time. Right now, it looks like Vail (Epic) and Alterra (Ikon) are splitting the spoils of the American ski resorts. So far, they’re only wooing European resorts with their passes. But some resorts require stays in certain accommodations to use those passes. Some allow a few days of skiing depending on the type pass, others a full week. So, if you have one and plan to ski Europe, check the fine print first.
In Our Resorts
This past winter the heavy snows hit eastern Switzerland and the Arlberg. I haven’t seen that much snow in more than three decades. This year it was Lech that was closed off at various times whereas last year it was Zermatt.
The really big resort news comes from the Jungfrau Region of Grindelwald and Wengen. Their huge investment in extensive new lifts, including their V-Bahn, enters its first phase of completion for December (for futher information see page 4). Then Val d’Isère’s Solaise redesign is complete, now, with France’s highest elevation hotel. Its nearby sister, Tignes, has a new open top cable car up to the Grande Motte glacier. The rest are pretty quiet for the upcoming winter.
In The Hotels
There are two new Lech hotels that meet the above parameters. They are the Haus Alpina and the Haldenhof. Both are family run and very comfy places to hang your hat for a while. Dr. Otto Murr’s in St. Anton is in the midst of a major redo, as is the Chabichou in Courchevel. Both will be ready for December openings.
Alps vs. The Rockies
Again, this year, below are some valid apples to apples comparisons of basic ski package costs for the West versus the Alps. And again, to me, Europe is still a no brainer. But I’m a little biased.
|7 Nights’ Accommodations, round-trip transfers, 6-day ski pass, all taxes, & no dining||7 Resort nights + 8th in gateway city, round trip transportation, 6-day ski pass, minimally with buffet breakfast, final night in a 5-star hotel with buffet breakfast, all taxes & service|
|January 25 – February 1|
|Inn at Lost Creek (4*), Telluride – Junior suite with fireplace, Jacuzzi & ski back: $2,420.00/person||Hotel Lagacio (4*), San Cassiano, Italy – In an eco-friendly suite with kitchenette, spa with Jacuzzi & hot tub: $2,275.00.00/person|
|February 1 – 22|
|The Limelight (4* Superior), Aspen – Deluxe king double, pool, hot tub, ski concierge & valet: $3,435.00/person||Châlet d’Adrien (5*), Verbier, Switzerland – Relais & Châteaux ski back hotel, standard double, spa with infinity pool, whirpool & hamman: $ 2,990.00 per/person|
|March 7 – 14|
|Hotel Park City (4*) – Park City – An executive suite with kitchenette, pool Jacuzzi, on the golf course: $3,475.00||Hotel Christiana (5*), Val d’Isère, France – Ski-in, ski-out location, in standard double with five-course dinner, pool & extensive spa faciities: $2,690.00|
Resorts Dates to Make or Break
|December||14/15||St Moritz: FIS World Cup – Women
Val d’Isère: FIS World Cup – Men
|17||Courchevel: FIS World Cup – Women|
|21/22||Val d’Isère: FIS World Cup – Women|
|22/23||Alta Badia: FIS World Cup – Men|
|20/Jan 4||European Resorts: Christmas/New Year’s holiday
|January||1||Klosters: Annual New Year’s Pig Races|
|17/19||Wengen: 89th Lauberhorn FIS World Cup – Men|
|21/24||Davos/Klosters: World Economic Forum|
|22/25||Mürren: 92nd Inferno Race|
|24/26||Kitzbuhel: 78th Hahnenkamm FIS World Cup – Men|
|St Moritz: 36th Polo-on-the-Snow Tournament|
|31/Feb 8||St Moritz: 27th Gourmet Festival|
||St Moritz: 112th “White Turf” Horse Racing|
|2/Mar. 7||France: School Holidays|
|2/8||Chamonix: FIS World Cup, Men|
|14/24||Switzerland & UK: Half-Term Holidays|
|15/23||US: President’s Week|
|20/25||German Speaking Resorts: Carnival|
|March||8||St Moritz: 52nd Cross-Country Marathon|
|20/21||St Moritz: Free Ski World Cup|
|April||4/13||Europe: Easter Holidays|