New season pass from Ski Cooper offers 3 days at 58 other independent ski areas

Ski Cooper offers wide, uncrowded slopes for families seeking an alternative to the crowded megapass resorts.
Vail Daily archive

Ski Cooper, located on Tennessee Pass in Eagle and Lake counties, will begin selling season passes for the 2022-23 season on Friday, with 13 new partner resorts added to the pass.

The family-run ski area is offering guests ages 15-74 unlimited access for $329 through the end of July, which is the same price Ski Cooper offered during the 2019-20 season. Prices will increase on Aug. 1.

“Our core mission is to keep skiing as affordable as possible and we take tremendous pride in our ability to do that through our pass,” said Ski Cooper CEO Dan Torsell. “The family atmosphere and excellent quality of service we’ve been able to maintain is a credit to our team and only adds to the value we provide our pass holders. That we’re also able to provide access to a host of like-minded resorts across the US is just icing on the cake.”

While Ski Cooper itself is not a member of the popular Indy Pass, which groups independent ski areas together for those looking to save on travel, a Ski Cooper pass functions similarly to an Indy Pass. The $299 Indy Pass offers two days of skiing at 92 ski areas; a Ski Cooper season pass offers three days at 58 of its partner ski areas, in addition to unlimited skiing at Ski Cooper.

Ski Cooper added 13 new partner ski areas to its pass for this season, bringing the number to 58. New for this year are Mt. Spokane, Washington; Mt. Shasta, California; White Pine, Wyoming; Terry Peak, South Dakota; Snowstar, Illinois; Giants Ridge, Minnesota; Whitecap Mountains, Wisconsin; Marquette Mountain, Michigan; Blue Knob, Bear Creek and Mount Pleasant in Pennsylvania; and Beech Mountain, North Carolina.

Support Local Journalism

It’s a jump in offerings for the Ski Cooper Pass, which has been steadily increasing its partner offerings over the past few years.

Ski Cooper director of marketing and sales Dana Johnson said just a few years ago, Ski Cooper offered about a dozen or so partner ski areas.

“When I had extra time during the COVID break, I made a lot of phone calls and got a lot of things rolling,” Johnson said.

Johnson has worked for Ski Cooper for six years, and in that time has seen the ski area expand along with the ski area’s ski pass. Ski Cooper put in a new surface lift and some difficult terrain in the Tennessee Creek Basin on the backside of the ski mountain in 2019.

While Johnson hasn’t yet been to Masella, Spain, the one international offering on the Ski Cooper ski pass, she did get a chance to visit Eaglecrest in Alaska.

Ski Cooper is usually seen as a locals’ ski area, (it’s community-owned by Lake County and family-run by Torsell and his son,) but the fact that its season pass offering boasts partners from coast to coast, as well as Alaska, makes it especially appealing to travelers, Johnson said.

“It’s really a nice, dispersed group of partners all over the country,” Johnson said.

Support Local Journalism