Sure, it's something of a gamble given a slight uncertainty in weather patterns, but massive investment in sophisticated snowmaking systems at resorts across the nation all but ensure good winter trail conditions.
Areas continue to upgrade technology so they can seize even small windows of snowmaking weather and cover trails quickly, and so they can groom trails into excellent skiing surfaces. The technology is more energy efficient, and thus cost efficient, which makes the investment a twofer in terms of ops.
As for passes, there are lots of options out there.
Stratton, for example, has an array of passes that give skiers and riders a choice of how much to pay for what level of service.
An adult Sunday pass at Stratton costs $229 now, and will increase to $319 Oct. 13. An adult Midweek Super Pass costs $349 now, then increases to $449. A Value Pass good for skiing except during holiday periods costs $579, then $629. A Value Plus Pass good for non-holiday skiing at Stratton, Okemo, and Sunapee, costs $659, then $$759. A Standard Pass valid every day of the ski season costs $979, then $1,109. A Premier Pass good every day of the season, with early lift access, costs $1,249, then $1,399.
Visit Stratton's tickets and passes page for more information.
Other Vermont areas also have pass and lift ticket deals, including 15 percent off at Stowe Mountain Resort for multi-day lift tickets purchased seven days in advance; savings on lift tickets at Okemo of 50 percent weekdays and 25 percent weekends by purchasing a $99 Flex Card; car pool Wednesdays at Magic Mountain, when the whole carload skis for $80; $39 midweek tickets at Mad River Glen; Killington/Pico's Express Card, which offers direct lift access and at least $10 off daily ticket rates; $100 off Bromley season passes purchased by Oct. 15.