SAM Magazine—Portland, Ore., Feb. 15, 2022—Sunlight Mountain has become the first Colorado ski area to join the Indy Pass. For the remainder of winter 2021-22 and the entire 2022-2023 season, Indy Pass holders will get two days at Sunlight with no blackout dates.
“The timing was right for Sunlight to go Indy,” said Sunlight marketing and sales director Troy Hawks, who was happy to report that the deal was hashed out the “old school” way—“while riding the chair.”
“The entire team here at Sunlight is excited to join the Indy Pass family of independent ski areas, and we can’t wait for more skiers and riders to come and enjoy a two-day taste test,” Hawks added in a statement.
Hawks has expressed concern in the past that Indy’s multi-mountain pass product could shrink rather than expand the independent ski area market. The opportunity he sees in joining now is a marketing one. “As the Indy Pass has gained more relevance this past year, so too has its ability to reach more and more skiers and riders nationwide,” said Hawks. “We signed on to Indy because we recognize its potential to bring new out-of-state skiers and riders to Sunlight.”
Indy Pass, Hawks explained, will give skiers and riders a chance to test out the three-chair ski area and help drive overnight and out-of-state visitation. Sunlight is viewing Indy Pass as a lift ticket deal rather than a pass product, said Hawks. Not unlike the Freedom Pass, which Sunlight will continue to partner with as well for the same reasons.
The partnership with Sunlight is Indy Pass’ first foray into Colorado. "Adding Sunlight is a huge win for Indy Passholders,” said Indy founder Doug Fish. “Colorado is North America's ground zero for skiing and snowboarding, and now we have access to one of the most cherished indie mountains remaining in that great state.”
Fish said he was blown away by the ski area’s terrain, and after visiting, was eager to add Sunlight to Indy’s growing list of partner resorts. “The mountain skis much bigger than it looks on paper, and the base operation is as authentic and laid back as anything you'll find in the West," he added in a statement.
Located between Vail and Aspen, just south of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Sunlight Mountain has 2,010 feet of vertical, a summit elevation of 9,995 feet, and 72 trails, accessed via three lifts.
As of now, Sunlight has no plans to require reservations for Indy Pass holders. There are eight resorts on the Indy Pass that require reservations for some or all dates of operation. That number has dropped dramatically from last year, when 50 of Indy’s 81 partner resorts required advance reservations.