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Lutsen to offer MAX Pass

Skiers at Lutsen Mountain try the slopes at Minnesota's largest ski resort. The resort is now offering the MAX Pass, which offers access to Lutsen and 43 other resorts across the U.S. and Canada. (Photo courtesy of Lutsen Mountains)

Frequent visitors to Lutsen Mountain now have a new way take a few days at the ski lodge and access 43 other ski resorts across the U.S. and Canada.

The Cook County resort is now offering the "Multi-Alpine Experience" (MAX) Pass, a collection of 44 resorts that offers five days of skiing at any of the resorts on the list for $629 for an adult pass. What's more, Lutsen season pass holders can add the MAX Pass on to their season pass for just $329.

"What it does is it encourages people to ski a little bit more, that's good for the entire industry," Lutsen marketing manager Jim Vick said. "If you have the pass, either you take an extra day because you can or maybe you sneak in another trip somewhere.

"For that matter, if you're a northern resident and you have to go down to the Twin Cities for something else, you have a day at Buck Hill and you might as well go out and ski for a couple hours."

Vick said he was talking to a Lutsen season pass holder from Two Harbors who had recently returned from a ski trip to the Rocky Mountains and they had paid more than $329 for just three days of skiing. Many northern Minnesota skiers who travel to resorts end up going to Big Sky Resort near Bozeman, Mont., because of its proximity to Interstate 94 and a single day adult lift ticket for the biggest resort in the U.S. was $119 this past season.

"When you start to use it, the average daily cost to users really drops dramatically," Vick said. "What might be $139 lift ticket out West drops to $50 a day or something."

With four mountains, Lutsen Mountain offers a "different character" than other Midwest ski hills, according to Vick. The resort has lodging on the mountain, similar to many of the Rocky Mountain resorts, and also offers more runs that are longer and, most enticingly for many alpine skiers, steeper than those typically found in other places in Minnesota.

Vick believes that if people buy the pass and use it, they will see the value offered and will continue to buy it in years to come, which is a good thing for both skiers and the alpine skiing industry.

"I think what we'll see if folks continue to buy it, they will explore a little bit more," he said. "The first year they will go somewhere they've been before or heard of because they know it, and then the next year they'll say, 'Let's go somewhere else because we can.' That's just good for the industry, it makes it more interesting and it gets people to explore a little more, that's what the MAX Pass group is looking for."

For more information about season passes and the MAX Pass, visit

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle in August 2015. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and previously worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. He is the beat writer for the Lake County Board of Commissioners, Lake Superior School District board of education and high school sports in Lake County. 

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