Cross your t's, not your ski tips.
Home
Ikon verse Epic
62 posts from 17 users
Updated 27 days ago
3,184 views
Jump to Newest Post
9 months ago

https://www.zrankings.com/articles/ikon-pass-vs-epic-pass

So as the season starts to wind down it is time to talk about other topics like Redskin’s quarterback or the Nats chances…NO!  Let’s Talk IKON verse Epic!       Aspen verse Vail!      Big bucks verse….well more big bucks..

This is a good read. I don’t agree (I am epic pass holder) but it is a good read. The reason I don’t agree is that Epic is a deal because the major resorts are co-located. You can stay in Vail and ski Vail, BC, Keystone, Breck and A-basin with out major road trip. You really cant stay at Aspen and drive to Cooper? Same in CA. Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood (epic) crush Mammoth and any SoCal areas (Ikon) for the same reason you can stay in Tahoe and ski 3 different places. It is 5 hours from Mammoth to SoCal.  

In Utah, Park City is really two resorts in one. Sure Deer Valley is nice but it is no Beaver Creek. As to Alta and Snowbird…I hate to say it ….overrated. I would rather pay to ski at Brighton or Solitude, but that is just me.

I will agree that Epic needs a greater East Coast presence. Stowe is nice but I need more variety. I had thought of getting the MAX pass as well for just that reason. But Jay Peak and Burke are for sale, I see Vail sweeping in to raise there East Coast roster.

Jackson Hole and Whistler are destinations if your going there your going there so they balance each other out. 

That is my take what is yours?

JimK - DCSki Columnist
9 months ago

An embarrassment of riches.  Both plans are amazing offerings for those who can afford them.  I wonder how these passes effect skier visits to smaller mtns not on them.  Are the big guys stealing visits from Snowtime and other similar set-ups?

9 months ago

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/22/ikon-pass-mountains-price/

So should Snowshoe pass holders (that go out west) buy the Ridiculous pass or buy the base Ikon pass for $599?

9 months ago

oldensign wrote:

https://www.zrankings.com/articles/ikon-pass-vs-epic-pass

So as the season starts to wind down it is time to talk about other topics like Redskin’s quarterback or the Nats chances…NO!  Let’s Talk IKON verse Epic!       Aspen verse Vail!      Big bucks verse….well more big bucks..

This is a good read. I don’t agree (I am epic pass holder) but it is a good read. The reason I don’t agree is that Epic is a deal because the major resorts are co-located. You can stay in Vail and ski Vail, BC, Keystone, Breck and A-basin with out major road trip. You really cant stay at Aspen and drive to Cooper? Same in CA. Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood (epic) crush Mammoth and any SoCal areas (Ikon) for the same reason you can stay in Tahoe and ski 3 different places. It is 5 hours from Mammoth to SoCal. 

In Utah, Park City is really two resorts in one. Sure Deer Valley is nice but it is no Beaver Creek. As to Alta and Snowbird…I hate to say it ….overrated. I would rather pay to ski at Brighton or Solitude, but that is just me.

I will agree that Epic needs a greater East Coast presence. Stowe is nice but I need more variety. I had thought of getting the MAX pass as well for just that reason. But Jay Peak and Burke are for sale, I see Vail sweeping in to raise there East Coast roster.

Jackson Hole and Whistler are destinations if your going there your going there so they balance each other out.

That is my take what is yours?

My take is that I disagree with just about everything you’ve written there. ;)

For Aspen, you have Ajax, Aspend Highlands and Snowmass. Three fantastic mountains all on the same bus route. Can’t complain about that variety.

I would choose the 3x Aspen areas (for skiing) over Vail, BC, Breck and Keystone.

I like Beaver Creek. But with the new expert terrain (been open a while), DV >> BC.

I like Soli and BRight0n a lot a ski them several times a year. But, Alta/Bird have better terrain. If I could only ski one area on the entire planet, I would probably choose Snowbird.

Tahoe and Mammoth are both hikes from the EC. Haven’t been to Tahoe in decades and have no great desire to return (compared to other spots.)

W/B and Jackson are fundamentally different. Comparing apples to oranges, but I like fruit.

 

 

9 months ago

jimw wrote:

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/22/ikon-pass-mountains-price/

So shlould Snowshoe pass holders (that go out west) buy the Ridiculous pass or buy the base Ikon pass for $599?

No brainer for me - Ikon at $599.   The last few years I’ve done 1 West trip and 1 New England trip.  Combined with my Ridiculous Pass I’m spending at least $900 each year.   

Saving $300 a year basically allows me to extend these trips a couple days each.  I can use those saving and apply them to the cost of lodging.  

 

9 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

jimw wrote:

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/22/ikon-pass-mountains-price/

So shlould Snowshoe pass holders (that go out west) buy the Ridiculous pass or buy the base Ikon pass for $599?

No brainer for me - Ikon at $599.   The last few years I’ve done 1 West trip and 1 New England trip.  Combined with my Ridiculous Pass I’m spending at least $900 each year.   

Saving $300 a year basically allows me to extend these trips a couple days each.  I can use those saving and apply them to the cost of lodging.  

 

Yep that’s what I’m thinking.  One trip out west covers the base pass.  I wonder if they will have an add on for the Ridiculous pass that would be less thatn the $599?

9 months ago

Saw the following:

Kids 12 and under pay $199 for the Ikon Pass and $149 for the Ikon Base Pass with the purchase of an adult’s pass.

If I am reading this correctly, a family of 4 with 2 12-and-under kids would pay 599x2 + 149x2 = $1496. vs. 229x4 = $916 for just the SS ridiculous pass. Seems like a really good deal.

By the way, does anyone know if the “12 and Under” refers to the age at time of purchase or the age at time of use?

 

9 months ago

wgo wrote:

By the way, does anyone know if the “12 and Under” refers to the age at time of purchase or the age at time of use?

Found the answer on the FAQ. (https://www.ikonpass.com/en/faq). Child has to be between 5 and 12 at the time of purchase.

 

9 months ago

Looks like the MAX pass is gone. 

The IKON Base seems like a good deal. Just to bad there is not a IKON Base - EAST. I would like unlimited at the Eastern areas and limited out west.  

9 months ago

We would do 

everyone gets ridiculous pass: 5x229 = 1145

or

everyone gets IKON pass: 2x599 = 1198 + 1x479 + 149x2 = $1975

or

parents get IKON, kids get ridiculous pass: 2x599 = 1198 + 3x229=687 =  $1885

I’d probably lean toward option # 2; the wife and I like to take at least one trip out west, and then for $90 more we can give the kids that option if we get a wild hair to go to New England or Colorado with them.

 

9 months ago

I think if I purchased an Ikon pass for my wife and myself but not my kids there would be a revolt in my household…

 

9 months ago

The pricing schemes behind these passes, as initiated by the so-called “Epic” pass, is still a scam. Granted, we fall for it. They’re smart business people. After all, Vail is traded on the NYSE.

May I explain: even the lowest passes are about $599 (with holiday restrictions, early buys). One buys it saying, “I can pay for it with one trip!”. True, Presuming you do four days at $150 per, instead of the current daily pricing of around $170 as found at most Vail resorts this season. Deal!

No!! Why/how is the daily ticket now acceptable at $170+? “Oh, but I bought an Epic pass. We’re going to go back this season!” Many folks don’t. The industry measures and knows that. But they’ve hooked you into the higher daily lift ticket price. From a business perspective, it’s quite impressive. After all, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Meanwhile, the cost barrier to entry grows. A family can’t just take one trip. Once great, unique towns like Park City and PCMR lose their soul (ok, many variables there). 

For the active trip participant, like those of us on this board, they are great. For the health of the sport and the unique character amongst hills and resorts, not so much. My two bits.   …but if I had to get one, I’d get IKON. It’s not Vail.

9 months ago
Right, you need to make multiple trips, or do a single big trip and use the pass regularly at snowshoe for it to make sense.
9 months ago

The real question is how does this work with the Primo pass?  

Primo = Snowshoe front of the line pass.  Game changer for the frequent snowshoe visitor.  

9 months ago

No need for any family to take a trip to Vail (or Aspen.) And no need for any skier to pay $150-$170 tickets (or buy a $600 pass to save on $150 tickets.)

There are plenty of much lower cost areas out west.

And complain as we should about prices, but The Summit/Eagle County areas are pretty darn crowded on weekends. Along with SLC areas. And Tahoe. And Whistler/Blackcomb. And Stowe. And Killington. And ? Why should they lower prices?

When did Park City really have any soul? For decades back, I always thought it was pretty touristy and over-priced. And PCMR is by most western standards a mediocre area.

 

 

9 months ago

Sschneid wrote:

front of the line pass.  

These, which were common on some individual hill passes, seem to be a casualty to the group passes. A bit elitist, but pretty sweet! Had one on an re-chargeable PCMR pass back in the 2000s, which worked out to around $55/day.

As to other comments on PCMR and Park City’s “soul”. Yes, PCMR is not a good mountain. However, it beat the sloppy, low altitude residential development formerly known as Canyons. Now its siamese twin. DV easily the best in the triumvariate. But it had a mom & pop vibe while being a major western resort. Was often there with family or less engaged skiers. I was fine with that. It was an extension of town, back when many locals and ski bums lived right at the base. That was cool. Drank next to them in the evening. I made and still have many friends initiated back in the 90s, when we were both younger. Summers in PC were even nicer. Heck, Utah has no other real ski town at the base of its slopes.

Eh..not anymore. “Locals” all live down by the ‘junction’, several miles and rush hour away. All those damn Epic pass holders… I’ve got hookups at Brighton and Snowbasin. More days there of late…

9 months ago

90’s are 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, a lot has changed since then, and for Park City, Vail did not bring about that change. Supply and demand. Only so much lodging around ski areas, only so much real estate oceanside, lake side, etc. Prices are going up - some due to commercial development led by Vail, Intrawest, etc., a lot by the fact that more people want to live in or visit those places. We have a bigger population and it seems more international people are flocking to US recreation spots.

I agree with you that things have been lost, but I can’t blame Vail Resorts for most of it.

 

9 months ago

For IKON pass, it appears no discounts after you exhausted the 5 - 7 days at each area? Versus MCP.

9 months ago
Unlimited at some areas, I think - I guess the alterra areas? Limited days at the others. For the base pass, anyway. I guarantee this will not be an issue for me.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

wgo wrote:

Unlimited at some areas, I think - I guess the alterra areas? Limited days at the others. For the base pass, anyway. I guarantee this will not be an issue for me.

Yes, the unlimited locations are owned by Alterra, as opposed to being an Ikon “Partner” like Aspen/Snowmass, Alta, Snowbird, JH, etc.  Note that some but not all of the 2017-18 MCP resorts will be on both Ikon and MCP for 2018-19.  Telluride moved to the Epic Pass with a “longterm agreement” with Vail.  Taos is staying with the MCP, but is not in the Ikon.

9 months ago

If I read the details about the base Ikon $599 pAss. It is good for unlimited day skiing with no blackout dates at Snowshoe.  More expensive than the Ridicilulous pass, not for approximately $370 more you gaine a large number of other resorts it is usable, some with no blackout or days limitation restrictions.  And there are many large New England resorts in the Ikon pass stable, vs just one NE resort, Stowe covered by Vail Resort’s EPIC pass

For a traveling skier who enjoys Snowshoe in the Mid-Atlantic, looks like the IKON pass is a no brainer!!!

MorganB

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

JohnL wrote:

For IKON pass, it appears no discounts after you exhausted the 5 - 7 days at each area? Versus MCP.

Yep.  That’s the way the MAX Pass worked.  Got 5 days at each location and nothing more.

So now the question becomes what will the 2018-19 MCP price be?

I much prefer the MCP locations over the resorts in the Epic Pass.  Other than Aspen, not really feeling driven to go check out the Vail mountains.  Generally not that interested exploring more in Colorado, or returning to Tahoe.  More interested in going farther away from the crowds.

Just spent a few days at Telluride partially because it was on the MCP this season.  The trip was an add-on to a Taos Ski Week.  Was fun to explore Telluride but not likely to push to go back for a while.  Lodging was pricey, even fewer options than Aspen where staying in Basalt or Carbondale isn’t that unreasonable in terms of getting to the slopes in the morning.  My impression is that Telluride matches up well with the people who like the big mountain Vail resorts in terms of amenities and terrain.  Some locals who have Telluride season passes are not excited about the idea of getting 50% discount lift tickets at Vail resorts.  But they do seem to think working with Vail will be good from a business standpoint.

I might end up with both the Ikon Base Pass (5 days at Partners) and the MCP because both Taos and Big Sky are likely destinations next season, with the usual 10+ days at Alta/Snowbird during late season.  For my ski buddy who turned 65, he’ll probably be better off with a Taos or Alta Senior Pass, assuming can get the 50% discount at other MCP locations.  For Taos in 2017-18, getting MCP reciprocity was $100 more for a total of $550.  He lives close enough to Taos to get there >10 days by driving a little less time than it takes me to drive to Massanutten.

9 months ago

One major disappointment with the IKON price structure is the lack of a super senior rate for over 70+ or 75> age skiers.  

Unlike the base “local” Epic pass which has not had special pricing for younger skiers, the IKON pass includes reduced pricing for children, teenagers, college and military folks; so why not reduced price base Ikon pass for those who are a bit long in tooth?  After all it is my generation that carried an exploding ski population over the last 50 years, and infused the love of skiing in our children (3 in my case) and grandchildren (7)!  Seems to me a “Well done true and faithful skier”, we have a “thank you reward” especially for you!!!!

MorganB

aka The Colonel

Denis - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

You’re right Colonel.  I looked at the Ikon web site and can find nothing about senior rates.  Last spring I bought a Squaw Alpine Pass at age 75.  It was about $400 for age 70-76 (too lazy to look it up right now).  I turned 76 last summer and the rate for >76 was $68, basically free plus processing fee and tax.  However, last year was the big snow year and I was out of skiing Nov. - March for recovery from shoulder surgery.  I bought the 17/18 Pass in April and it was good for all of last season after April 1.  I got in 18 days between then and when they closed in July.  I am going to be seriously pi$$ed if Ikon does not offer anything for seniors.  I’m hoping they just haven’t gotten to putting it on the page yet.  

Squaw always stays open as long as possible in the spring.  The Epic Tahoe areas do not.  Kirkwood was the last to close last year in the third week of April.  I have held an epic local for several seasons now, but to me it is basically a Kirkwood Pass.  I care little for Heavenly and not at all for Northstar.

9 months ago

FWIW, as a just-turned-38-year-old, I strongly support greatly reduced pricing for seniors.  Lots of reasons; some obvious, some not so obvious.  Just like I do with military discounts, I feel affinity toward resorts that offer senior discounts.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
9 months ago

Great post by The Colonel about senior rates;  sayz another senior:-)

 

Not only have the seniors participated for many years, but because of their station in life they are still highly likely to be influencers bringing additional friends and family to the slopes.

9 months ago

So what are some major resorts not on any pass? Maybe we stick to ridiculous pass and hit some of those, looking for fewer crowds?

A few off the top of my head (with lift ticket prices on liftopia for Thursday Mar 1)

Solitude UT - $62

Brighton UT - $75

Schweitzer ID - $61

Sun Valley ID - $124 (!)

Taos NM - $84

Grand Targhee WY - $68

Sierra-at-Taho CA - $65

 

So lets say about $65 is a good deal for one of these resorts; the IKON pass is $370 more than a ridiculous pass, that would be 5-6 days of skiing at one of those resorts to make up the difference in cost. 

9 months ago

JimK wrote:

Great post by The Colonel about senior rates;  sayz another senior:-)

 

Not only have the seniors participated for many years, but because of their station in life they are still highly likely to be influencers bringing additional friends and family to the slopes.

On the other hand most seniors who are still skiing are likely to better afford the cost (I know I am) while a young adult might consider a walk up ticket too expensive and also young skiers now raising a family who are more likely to give up the sport all together. And that gets back to FreshPows point about cost barriers to entry level skiers or young families. JimK wrote an excellent article a while back about how to make skiing less expensive and those of us passionate about the sport who must also mind our dollars eventually figure this out but these deal are not an easy find. I do worry about the future health of this sport due to price structures that reward the committed and hurt the first timer.  Even the discount multi-day passes the resorts sell require the prospective beginner or those with a young family to ante up a huge sum up front. Season passes prices are too low while day prices are too high.

9 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

One major disappointment with the IKON price structure is the lack of a super senior rate for over 70+ or 75> age skiers.

Unlike the base “local” Epic pass which has not had special pricing for younger skiers, the IKON pass includes reduced pricing for children, teenagers, college and military folks; so why not reduced price base Ikon pass for those who are a bit long in tooth?  After all it is my generation that carried an exploding ski population over the last 50 years, and infused the love of skiing in our children (3 in my case) and grandchildren (7)!  Seems to me a “Well done true and faithful skier”, we have a “thank you reward” especially for you!!!!

MorganB

aka The Colonel

It would seem the idea here is to make it affordable for families and young people who have minmal resources to spread around for recreation. While I have almost achieved the old geezer discount status, why incentivise getting some rich old baby boomer geezers who can afford to ski, to ski since they’ll probably do it anyway. Hell, we’ll be skiing in the great ski resort in the sky soon anyway. Thus why not insentivize getting new people into the sport by making it affordable and not subsidize the rich old geezers who can afford the condo, lift tickets, ski clothes for the grand kids, the ski mistress….well maybe not that.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

eggraid wrote:

So what are some major resorts not on any pass? Maybe we stick to ridiculous pass and hit some of those, looking for fewer crowds?

A few off the top of my head (with lift ticket prices on liftopia for Thursday Mar 1)

Solitude UT - $62

Brighton UT - $75

Schweitzer ID - $61

Sun Valley ID - $124 (!)

Taos NM - $84

Grand Targhee WY - $68

Sierra-at-Taho CA - $65

 

So lets say about $65 is a good deal for one of these resorts; the IKON pass is $370 more than a ridiculous pass, that would be 5-6 days of skiing at one of those resorts to make up the difference in cost. 

Sun Valley is on the MCP for 2017-18.  Probably for next season too.

For less of a crowd near SLC, consider Powder Mountain.  Not only a less expensive lift ticket, they limit the number of day tickets and the number of season passes.

I would add Bridger to the list.  Good lift ticket and lesson prices since it’s a non-profit that mostly serves locals.  Not small given that there is about 2000 acres, with plenty of excitement available off the Ridge for those who are up for steeps.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

I think the differences in the Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass are starting to make sense to me. The $300 difference between the full Ikon and the Ikon Base is designed to encourage people to avoid the holidays if they can.  The Base Pass for $599 has the standard holiday black out dates (a week at Christmas, 2 days for MLK and Pres. Day weekends) and 5 days except for nine of the less popular Alterra resorts.

How much was the Epic Local for 2017-18?  That includes 10 days or more outside holiday blackout periods.

While some of the Partners like Big Sky, JH, Killington, and Sugarbush get a fixed number of days, other Partners are “destinations.” That’s standard for Aspen (4 mountains), Alta/Snowbird, SkiBig3 around Banff, and the Boyne NE resorts (Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf).

It’s clear that Deer Valley access is limited even for those who shell out $899 for the Ikon Pass that has unlimited days at the other Alterra locations. Presumably there will still be a Deer Valley season pass that is unlimited. The cost for an adult season pass at DV for 2017-18 was $2295. The DV website says that info for next season will be available after March 6, 2018, which is when the Ikon passes go on sale.

$899 Ikon Pass

Unlimited (12 Alterra resorts)
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Eldora; Squaw/Alpine; Mammoth, Big Bear, June; Tremblant, Blue in ONT, Stratton, Snowshoe

7 days each: Revelstoke, Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Deer Valley (Alterra); Killington, Sugarbush

7 days combined: Aspen (4), Alta/Snowbird, Banff SkiBig3 (LL, Sunshine, Norquay), Boyne NE (Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf)

$599 Ikon Base Pass, holiday blackout dates Dec. 26-31, 2018; Jan. 19-20, 2019; Feb. 16-17, 2019

Unlimited (9 Alterra resorts)
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora; Big Bear, June; Tremblant, Blue in ONT, Snowshoe; plus Squaw/Alpine with blackout dates

5 days at 4 Alterra resorts, with black out dates: Mammoth, Deer Valley, Steamboat, Stratton

5 days each at Partners, with black out dates: Revelstoke, Big Sky, Jackson Hole; Killington, Sugarbush

5 days combined, with black out dates: Aspen (4), Alta/Snowbird, Banff SkiBig3 (LL, Sunshine, Norquay), Boyne NE (Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf)

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

Well, things changed quickly after the Ikon tiers were announced.  Mammoth locals were not at all happy with the idea of the Ikon Base pass only includig 5 days at Mammoth.  The changes made were to make Mammoth unlimited except for holiday black out days, and also add black out days to June mountain.

$899 Ikon Pass

Unlimited (12 Alterra resorts)
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Eldora; Squaw/Alpine; Mammoth, Big Bear, June; Tremblant, Blue in ONT, Stratton, Snowshoe

7 days each: Revelstoke, Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Deer Valley (Alterra); Killington, Sugarbush

7 days combined: Aspen (4), Alta/Snowbird, Banff SkiBig3 (LL, Sunshine, Norquay), Boyne NE (Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf)

$599 Ikon Base Pass, holiday blackout dates Dec. 26-31, 2018; Jan. 19-20, 2019; Feb. 16-17, 2019

Unlimited (10 Alterra resorts)
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora; Big Bear; Tremblant, Blue in ONT, Snowshoe; plus Squaw/Alpine, Mammoth, and June with blackout dates

5 days at 4 Alterra resorts, with black out dates: Deer Valley, Steamboat, Stratton

5 days each at Partners, with black out dates: Revelstoke, Big Sky, Jackson Hole; Killington, Sugarbush

5 days combined, with black out dates: Aspen (4), Alta/Snowbird, Banff SkiBig3 (LL, Sunshine, Norquay), Boyne NE (Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf)

Denis - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

And, just for fun, Mad River Glen senior season pass rates:

THE OVER 70 CROWD

 

                                                                 Before 10/15                After 10/15

The Legend Pass (70-79)                       $200                                $250

Shareholder Legend Pass (70-79)           $150                                $200

The Masters Pass (80+)                         $100                                $150

Shareholder Master Pass (80+)               FREE                               FREE

9 months ago

Thanks for this nice summary of the two Ikon passes @marzNC

 

marzNC wrote:

Well, things changed quickly after the Ikon tiers were announced.  Mammoth locals were not at all happy with the idea of the Ikon Base pass only includig 5 days at Mammoth.  The changes made were to make Mammoth unlimited except for holiday black out days, and also add black out days to June mountain.

$899 Ikon Pass

Unlimited (12 Alterra resorts)
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Eldora; Squaw/Alpine; Mammoth, Big Bear, June; Tremblant, Blue in ONT, Stratton, Snowshoe

7 days each: Revelstoke, Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Deer Valley (Alterra); Killington, Sugarbush

7 days combined: Aspen (4), Alta/Snowbird, Banff SkiBig3 (LL, Sunshine, Norquay), Boyne NE (Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf)

$599 Ikon Base Pass, holiday blackout dates Dec. 26-31, 2018; Jan. 19-20, 2019; Feb. 16-17, 2019

Unlimited (10 Alterra resorts)
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora; Big Bear; Tremblant, Blue in ONT, Snowshoe; plus Squaw/Alpine, Mammoth, and June with blackout dates

5 days at 4 Alterra resorts, with black out dates: Deer Valley, Steamboat, Stratton

5 days each at Partners, with black out dates: Revelstoke, Big Sky, Jackson Hole; Killington, Sugarbush

5 days combined, with black out dates: Aspen (4), Alta/Snowbird, Banff SkiBig3 (LL, Sunshine, Norquay), Boyne NE (Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf)

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

Forgot about this thread.  Alterra added a lot to Ikon since July 2018.  Including Solitude, Brighton, splitting up Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf while added Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands, Niseko, and finally Valle Nevado.

There are Ikon flags all over the Boston Ski Expo Nov. 8-11.  Stratton, Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Tremblant, Steamboat, and several partners had busy booths.  Pretty clear the folks in the northeast are far more likely to go for an Ikon pass than Epic.  The Epic booth was off to the side and near the booths for Okemo and Stowe, and Crested Butte.  There were no show specials or other discounts being offered.  On Sat it was pretty quiet at the Epic booths.  The other Vermont resorts were in the large area organized by Ski Vermont in the center of expo.  Lots of people were there.

one month ago

Still miss the large Washington Ski Shows, originally help multi- days at thecDC Armory. Eventually moved to a shell of itself at Ballston in Arlington,  then other than a couple of single day or single evening try’s, it went away.  WHY, there are plenty of skiers in this area?!

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

The Colonel wrote:

Still miss the large Washington Ski Shows, originally help multi- days at thecDC Armory. Eventually moved to a shell of itself at Ballston in Arlington,  then other than a couple of single day or single evening try’s, it went away.  WHY, there are plenty of skiers in this area?!

The company that produces the Boston Ski Expo also does the Denver Ski Expo in the fall.  The amount of support they get from the ski industry goes back decades.

https://www.skisnowexpo.com/about

If I had to guess, what happens in the DC/Baltimore area is that people aren’t willing to drive to DC from Baltimore and vice-versa.  For Boston, people even come from Montreal, Maine, and CT because of they are also driving to ski/board in VT/NH/ME at destination resorts.  Some people are looking for local deals and give-aways for lift tickets and ski weekends.  But others also take trips out west regularly.  So Epic, Ikon, and the MCP destinations in the Rockies are well represented.  I have a nice collection of trail maps that show new lifts.

The other primary sponsor of the Boston Ski Expo is a very large ski shop.  They bring a LOT of inventory and plenty of knowledgeable staff to help people choose skis, boots, and even poles.  For the goggles alone, there were 4-5 people, one for each brand.  I can’t think of one ski shop in the DC area that could pull off the same thing.

The ticket to get into the Boston Ski Expo is $15.  But always can get $3-5 off with coupon codes buying online in advance.  Get a free subscription to SKI and $10 off GetTickets.com so can come out ahead pretty easily.  Especially if win a free lift ticket or want a show special on lift tickets or lodging to some ski area/resort in the northeast.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

Per usual, I kept looking around.  The founder of Ski Expo did expos is multiple cities before settling on Denver and Boston as the most viable venues.  Bernie Weischsel is a New Yorker who started working at ski shows back in the 1960s.  The Boston Ski Show was originally run by someone else.

https://www.skisnowexpo.com/bernie-weichsel-president

1979 TO TODAY: SKI & SNOWBOARD EXPO PRODUCTION - Bernie founded BEWI Productions, Inc. in 1979 and in 1982 purchased the Boston Ski Show from Harry Leonard. Times had changed and crowds were not what they had once been. “We changed the for­mat and brought it back the first year “from the gutter to the curb,” says Weichsel. Bernie further grew the show by moving it to the Bayside Expo Center on the waterfront and joining forces with Ski Market, who staged the region’s largest preseason sale, which resulted in the event growing steadily year over year. Since reviving Boston, BEWI has produced expos in more than 15 cities, including Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle, New York, San Jose, and many more. At present BEWI produces two major consumer expos each year, in Boston and Denver, expos that collectively attract tens of thousands of visitors each year.

one month ago

marzNC wrote:

The Colonel wrote:

Still miss the large Washington Ski Shows, originally help multi- days at thecDC Armory. Eventually moved to a shell of itself at Ballston in Arlington,  then other than a couple of single day or single evening try’s, it went away.  WHY, there are plenty of skiers in this area?!

The company that produces the Boston Ski Expo also does the Denver Ski Expo in the fall.  The amount of support they get from the ski industry goes back decades.

https://www.skisnowexpo.com/about

If I had to guess, what happens in the DC/Baltimore area is that people aren’t willing to drive to DC from Baltimore and vice-versa.  For Boston, people even come from Montreal, Maine, and CT because of they are also driving to ski/board in VT/NH/ME at destination resorts.  Some people are looking for local deals and give-aways for lift tickets and ski weekends.  But others also take trips out west regularly.  So Epic, Ikon, and the MCP destinations in the Rockies are well represented.  I have a nice collection of trail maps that show new lifts.

The other primary sponsor of the Boston Ski Expo is a very large ski shop.  They bring a LOT of inventory and plenty of knowledgeable staff to help people choose skis, boots, and even poles.  For the goggles alone, there were 4-5 people, one for each brand.  I can’t think of one ski shop in the DC area that could pull off the same thing.

The ticket to get into the Boston Ski Expo is $15.  But always can get $3-5 off with coupon codes buying online in advance.  Get a free subscription to SKI and $10 off GetTickets.com so can come out ahead pretty easily.  Especially if win a free lift ticket or want a show special on lift tickets or lodging to some ski area/resort in the northeast.

Ski Chalet with its multiple stores, back in the days of Wilber and Freed, used to sponsor/part sponsor the Washington Ski Show.

MorganB

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

The Colonel wrote:

Ski Chalet with its multiple stores, back in the days of Wilber and Freed, used to sponsor/part sponsor the Washington Ski Show.

MorganB

Did they bring a lot of inventory to the show?

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
29 days ago

eggraid wrote:

So what are some major resorts not on any pass? Maybe we stick to ridiculous pass and hit some of those, looking for fewer crowds?

A few off the top of my head (with lift ticket prices on liftopia for Thursday Mar 1)

Solitude UT - $62

Brighton UT - $75

Schweitzer ID - $61

Sun Valley ID - $124 (!)

Taos NM - $84

Grand Targhee WY - $68

Sierra-at-Taho CA - $65

 

So lets say about $65 is a good deal for one of these resorts; the IKON pass is $370 more than a ridiculous pass, that would be 5-6 days of skiing at one of those resorts to make up the difference in cost. 

Interesting to review how things changed since this thread was started in the spring when the Ikon pass was first announced.  Of the list above, the following were added to Ikon: Solitude, Brighton, Taos.  Alterra bought Solitude.  Also the original Boyne resorts in MI: Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands.  The Boyne resorts in the northeast were separated so get 5/7 days at each instead of 5/7 combined.  Latest additions to Ikon were the international ski resorts on the MCP: Niseko, Valle Nevado (2019 summer).  Late fall prices are $1049/$749.

The Holding ski resorts—Sun Valley and Snowbasin—are the only MCP destinations not also on Ikon for 2018-19.

Vail Resorts finally completed the purchase of Triple Peaks in the fall.  But didn’t really make a difference for Epic passes since Crested Butte, Okemo, and Sunapee were included even before the buy-out was made public.

Zrankings updated their comparison article in August 2018.

https://www.zrankings.com/articles/ikon-pass-vs-epic-pass

 

29 days ago

I’m still so torn about my pass decision.

 

The Ikon looks awesome esp. becauseof it’s New England destinations in addition to the biggest players out west

 

But a Loveland pass gets me The Powder Alliance pass which unfortunately is only %50 off on weekends but provides three free weekdays, also the Loveland pass has it’s own recipricol days without blackouts at every smaller CO resort and Brundage, Whitefish, Red lodge, powder mountain and others

 

The ikon really is a monster though

29 days ago

Good article link MarzNC

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
29 days ago

kemperski wrote:

I’m still so torn about my pass decision.

The Ikon looks awesome esp. becauseof it’s New England destinations in addition to the biggest players out west

But a Loveland pass gets me The Powder Alliance pass which unfortunately is only %50 off on weekends but provides three free weekdays, also the Loveland pass has it’s own recipricol days without blackouts at every smaller CO resort and Brundage, Whitefish, Red lodge, powder mountain and others

The ikon really is a monster though

All depends on where you want to ski, not the cost of the lift ticket.  There was an older man talking to the MCP rep at the Boston Ski Show about skiing in Montana.  Apparently used to own a ski shop at some point.  He was raving about Discovery, Bridger, and Red Lodge.  That trip was a while back and included a couple days at Big Sky.  When I noted that Big Sky has upgraded a lot of lifts, said he never wanted to ski Big Sky again.

Ikon is going to be around for a while.  Something to be said for making use of the Powder Alliance while you’re willing to do the travel required to make it worthwhile.  Especially if you have the flexibility to chase powder storms.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
29 days ago

kemperski wrote:

Good article link MarzNC

It’s in Post #1 of this thread. :-)

29 days ago

that was SO eight months ago

JimK - DCSki Columnist
29 days ago

That updated Zrankings article is very insightful.  However, the situation is so dang fluid.   I don’t believe it mentioned the crazy fact that the Big3 (Lake Louise, Sunshine Banff and Mt. Norquay) are on both Ikon and Epic passes.  Epic gets you skiing at both Whistler and now Banff and that facilitates visits to the two biggest ski towns in western Canada.

29 days ago

I skied Red Mountain in BC last season, it was one of my best skiing experiences ever.  It’s interesting to me that it is not on any multi pass (to my knowledge), same trip I went to Whitewater and Schwietzer which are both on the Powder Alliance

Denis - DCSki Supporter
29 days ago

marzNC wrote:

 

All depends on where you want to ski, not the cost of the lift ticket.  There was an older man talking to the MCP rep at the Boston Ski Show about skiing in Montana.  Apparently used to own a ski shop at some point.  He was raving about Discovery, Bridger, and Red Lodge.  That trip was a while back and included a couple days at Big Sky.  When I noted that Big Sky has upgraded a lot of lifts, said he never wanted to ski Big Sky again.

Makes a lot of sense to me.  5-6 years ago I did my annual western ski road trip in Montana deliberately skiing out of the mainstream places, many of which are virtually unknown outside the state.  They all had great snow, great terrain, and super low ticket prices for age 70+.   Big sky was not among them, IIRC they wanted $70/day.  Bridger was 14, so I spent a few days there.  Then northward to Lost Trail, 14, Discovery Basin, pretty pricey at 40, Montana Snow Bowl, and finally whitefish, free every day for age 70+.  None are as big as Big Sky but the skiing is every bit as good.  I don’t remember if any have less than 2000’ vertical, but if so, not by much.  Every area I visited has some steeps that will scare your socks off.  The areas on or within a few miles of the continental divide get 400” of snow per season.  Discovery, 50 miles to the east, gets half that, but holds its snow well.  I could happily spend the rest of my ski life at Lost Trail, or Whitefish.  Lost Trail is small and family run.  They are closed Monday thru Wednesday.  There is almost always fresh snow on ‘Powder Thursday.’  Whitefish was formerly Big Mountain.  They changed their name back to the name of their town after a growing number of incidents where travel agents would send a family of parents and kids to Big Sky, and other extended family members using different agents, would wind up at Big Mountain, ruining a long planned reunion.  Whitefish is subject to frequent fog and whiteouts.  This is a downer for the week vacationer, but not if you’re on an extended road trip.  The backside has fantastic tree skiing, but heading home down the much less treed frontside in a whiteout can be a challenge.  I used to look for a local in a bright jacket and follow them.  

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
28 days ago

JimK wrote:

That updated Zrankings article is very insightful.  However, the situation is so dang fluid.   I don’t believe it mentioned the crazy fact that the Big3 (Lake Louise, Sunshine Banff and Mt. Norquay) are on both Ikon and Epic passes.  Epic gets you skiing at both Whistler and now Banff and that facilitates visits to the two biggest ski towns in western Canada.

Nope, Lake Louise and Sunshine are not on Epic.  LL and Sunshine are with MCP and Ikon.  Epic started a “long term alliance” with RCR for 2018-19, which includes Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberly in BC, Nakiska in ALB, and Mt Ste Anne and Stoneham in Québec.  But most northeast skiers I know were far more interested in Ikon for this season than Epic.  Tremblant, Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf seem far more interesting to people who aren’t already Stowe regulars.

I finally got around to reading the Oct issue of SKI magazine.  For 2018-19 they didn’t rank resorts, but instead wrote up places that were popular for assorted reasons in the annual survey.  What’s more interesting is that each resort written up shows which multi-resort pass they are connected with.  The possibilities are Ikon, Epic, MCP, Powder Alliance, Power Pass, and Peak.  SKI wrote blurbs for 67 resorts, grouped by region.  The Editors’ Choices tended to be biased towards advanced skiers looking for lack of lift lines, steeps, and deep powder.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
28 days ago

Denis wrote:

Makes a lot of sense to me.  5-6 years ago I did my annual western ski road trip in Montana deliberately skiing out of the mainstream places, many of which are virtually unknown outside the state.  They all had great snow, great terrain, and super low ticket prices for age 70+.   Big sky was not among them, IIRC they wanted $70/day.  Bridger was 14, so I spent a few days there.  Then northward to Lost Trail, 14, Discovery Basin, pretty pricey at 40, Montana Snow Bowl, and finally whitefish, free every day for age 70+.  None are as big as Big Sky but the skiing is every bit as good.  I don’t remember if any have less than 2000’ vertical, but if so, not by much.  Every area I visited has some steeps that will scare your socks off.  The areas on or within a few miles of the continental divide get 400” of snow per season.  Discovery, 50 miles to the east, gets half that, but holds its snow well.  I could happily spend the rest of my ski life at Lost Trail, or Whitefish.  Lost Trail is small and family run.  They are closed Monday thru Wednesday.  There is almost always fresh snow on ‘Powder Thursday.’  Whitefish was formerly Big Mountain.  They changed their name back to the name of their town after a growing number of incidents where travel agents would send a family of parents and kids to Big Sky, and other extended family members using different agents, would wind up at Big Mountain, ruining a long planned reunion.  Whitefish is subject to frequent fog and whiteouts.  This is a downer for the week vacationer, but not if you’re on an extended road trip.  The backside has fantastic tree skiing, but heading home down the much less treed frontside in a whiteout can be a challenge.  I used to look for a local in a bright jacket and follow them.  

If all goes according to plan in Feb, I’ll get a chance to check out Discovery for a couple days before heading to Bozeman to ski Bridger before a week at Big Sky.  That will be Pres. Day weekend.  Meeting my ski buddy in SLC and we can drive north in which ever direction makes the most sense based on road and snow conditions.  Have to admit that being able to ride fast lifts with bubbles at Big Sky is a consideration mid-season when it will probably be fairly cold.

28 days ago

Denis wrote:

 I used to look for a local in a bright jacket and follow them.  

That’s funny, I have gotten into a lot of trouble, lost and cliffed out, trying to follow locals out west.  Hats off to you sir you are a better skier than I am  (although that’s not a high bar)

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
28 days ago

kemperski wrote:

Denis wrote:

 I used to look for a local in a bright jacket and follow them.  

That’s funny, I have gotten into a lot of trouble, lost and cliffed out, trying to follow locals out west.  Hats off to you sir you are a better skier than I am  (although that’s not a high bar)

Hmm, makes me think that one advantage for me at destination resorts is that there are usually plenty of instructors to follow.  Meaning instructors teaching private lessons or small groups of adult advanced/expert skiers.  I’ve also learned about fun trees by noticing where an instructor with a group of advanced older kids is headed.

Denis - DCSki Supporter
28 days ago

Well, You don’t follow just anybody.  If they were young, brave and bold, I’d wait for someone else.  Someone who skied well within their capabilities, and gave at least the iimpression that they knew the mountain and where the hazards lay.   It’s a bit of a guessing game.  The alternative is to stand there in a whiteout in a cold wind.  Too much safety and security is the enemy of adventure.

28 days ago

I did find this by following someone elses tracks…

 

in the interest of staying on topic, you would need the Ikon pass to find it

 

 

 

Image

Image

Denis - DCSki Supporter
27 days ago

Beautiful!  I’m going to guess Big Sky.

27 days ago

No but I really want to ski there… 

used to be part of the Rocky Mountain Super Pass,  which seems alomost quaint one short year later

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
27 days ago

kemperski wrote:

No but I really want to ski there… 

used to be part of the Rocky Mountain Super Pass,  which seems alomost quaint one short year later

Steamboat?  Haven’t been there for a long time.

27 days ago

Mary Jane, probably never find it again

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
27 days ago

kemperski wrote:

Mary Jane, probably never find it again

Ah, never been to Winter Park/Mary Jane.

27 days ago

I’m surprised, You should definately try it esp. the MJ side —make it a side trip on the way to Steamboat?

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
27 days ago

kemperski wrote:

I’m surprised, You should definately try it esp. the MJ side —make it a side trip on the way to Steamboat?

I’ve avoided Colorado in general.  Combination of higher altitude for most places and not really wanting to do the drive from Denver.  I’m lucky enough to not be too price sensitive for plane fares.  The one time I skied at A-Basin was after I spent a week in Denver with my husband who was there for a professional conference.  Was still completely wiped out after a few hours.

Have spent a few days at Aspen and Telluride in recent years because of the MCP but after skiing elsewhere for a week first.  Maybe some time I’ll plan a ski safari in Colorado.  But there are other places I’d rather explore first.  Like those in driving distance of Spokane. :-)

Plus I only started enjoying bumps in the last 5-6 years.  Mostly starting working on them with instructors just to be able to enjoy day-after powder in trees out west.  Took a while to get good enjoy to realize bumps are fun by themselves.  Plus I learned that Walter could teach me more than enough fundamentals at Massanutten for me to improve on bumps just practicing there.

Ad: Canaan Valley Resort

Snowcat got your tongue?
If you'd like to share your own comments, please log in to DCSki.
Don't have a profile? Create one here.
Page load time: 0.23 seconds