Epic pass products will only be that price until MAYBE November. If you can plan and purchase ahead of time, that's the best way to do it. Even the epic local pass......
Denver airport to Vail is 2 hours in decent winter driving conditions. If there is weather or traffic, 3 hours is not abnormal.
My house to Silverton is 4 hours in winter weather.
I would book your first weekend in advance, weekends fill up everywhere. If you get in a pinch you are welcome to a bed here. Frisco is central but not at the resort base. It is also relatively inexpensive.
Storms will hit the whole area but some mountain might gut 20" while the rest get 2". The roads will be kept clear, not like Europe were you can have a road closed for days. Usually if you get an early start you will avoid road closures too. Every resort has free parking options of sone sort too, make sure you get that info to save $10 or $30 a day.