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Ikon Pass Changes and New Resorts for 2023

mikec142

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How many days do you ski at SB? If you own property (or have access to property) then paying for unlimited use is worth the premium to restore the skiing experience. It's called skiing after all, not "standing in line." If you don't own property then 7 days is plenty because you get 7 more at Killington and 7 more at Stratton.....

Don't worry. I don't see this changing anytime soon. The 22/23 season is already set.

A full season pass at JHMR is on the order of $2,500+ I believe.
I ski at SB 10-15x a season and don't own property there. I get that I could use my 7 days at Killington and Stratton. Neither of which has the soul/vibe of SB and in the case of Stratton, the terrain isn't comparable.

You're right...nothing is changing soon so I'm not exactly worried. But in the case of SB, in the past 2-3 years I can't remember waiting in line for more than a few minutes with the exception of the Castlerock lift and its designed to have a very low uphill capacity.

I appreciate the response.
 

Zermatt

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I ski at SB 10-15x a season and don't own property there. I get that I could use my 7 days at Killington and Stratton. Neither of which has the soul/vibe of SB and in the case of Stratton, the terrain isn't comparable.

You're right...nothing is changing soon so I'm not exactly worried. But in the case of SB, in the past 2-3 years I can't remember waiting in line for more than a few minutes with the exception of the Castlerock lift and its designed to have a very low uphill capacity.

I apprciate the response.
SB has held up well since it is not easy to get to and has limited places to stay locally, so may not be the best example.

The places that are an easy trip from cities with millions of people are hit the hardest (Denver, Salt Lake, Seattle for example). Anything with unlimited access in the 2 hour drive range is just trashed on the weekends and criminal on holiday weekends.
 

mikec142

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I've long thought it would make sense to have to pick a "home" mountain with passes like Ikon where you get unlimited there and then everywhere else (even the ones owned by Alterra) have limits. I don't think it would be that complicated as Alterra could simply limit your "home" mountain choices to the ones they currently offer as unlimited options (i.e. mainly the ones they own). It would still have a ton of flexibility and value even with having to pick a home mountain for most people.
I'm with you. I understand how this would work, but the cost of the pass would have to be reduced. Nobody is going to purchase something that they get today for $1x when the next time you purchase it costs the same $1x but you receive less value.
 

KustyTheKlown

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I'm with you. I understand how this would work, but the cost of the pass would have to be reduced. Nobody is going to purchase something that they get today for $1x when the next time you purchase it costs the same $1x but you receive less value.

thats the idea. more expensive, less free shit, less people buying, restoration of sanity.

if you ski 15 days at any place, you should have a season pass to that place, not some multi-pass.
 

mikec142

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SB has held up well since it is not easy to get to and has limited places to stay locally, so may not be the best example.

The places that are an easy trip from cities with millions of people are hit the hardest (Denver, Salt Lake, Seattle for example). Anything with unlimited access in the 2 hour drive range is just trashed on the weekends and criminal on holiday weekends.
I 100% understand that. Which is why I mentioned Alta/Bird, etc. as facing issues.

Side note, I skied Vail over this past Presidents Day weekend. Skied Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun. It was a father/daughter trip and we had an extremely generous host who paid for an instructor to ski with us all four days which allowed us to cut the lines. It wouldn't have made a huge difference on Thur/Fri, but man was it appreciated on Sat/Sun.
 

mikec142

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thats the idea. more expensive, less free shit, less people buying, restoration of sanity.

if you ski 15 days at any place, you should have a season pass to that place, not some multi-pass.
This season has been a bit of an aberation for me. But last season I skied 13 days at Sugarbush, 2 days at Windham, and 3 days at Aspen. Addtionally, I used 7 of my ten friends and family passes for my kids at Sugarbush. If I had a season pass to Sugarbush alone, I most likely would have paid more for that pass and still had to pay for the other 5 ski days and the approximately $150 savings I got from the F&F.

You ski SB a lot. Unless we have totally different definitions of crowded, I don't understand what you're referring to as a restoration of sanity. If you're talking about what's happening at Alta/Crystal/etc. Maybe...but considering I'm lucky to get out west once a season, I'm not too worried about it.
 

KustyTheKlown

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then in my opinion you should be a sugarbush season pass holder with an ikon base add on. and sugarbush should give you some sort of season pass holder friends and family deals, not ikon. and you should spend more money - we all should.

this is all meaningless anyway because this is just me thinking out loud. i just strongly believe that full season passes should be expensive and limited to single mountains, and that multi passes should be limited and also more expensive.
 

ThatGuy

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I agree Kusty. A season pass should not cost 4-5 days to breakeven, thats insane. Multi mountain passes should be expensive and not unlimited. Day tickets need to come down as well because at this point their function is to make season passes more alluring.
 

mikec142

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then in my opinion you should be a sugarbush season pass holder with an ikon base add on. and sugarbush should give you some sort of season pass holder friends and family deals, not ikon. and you should spend more money - we all should.

this is all meaningless anyway because this is just me thinking out loud. i just strongly believe that full season passes should be expensive and limited to single mountains, and that multi passes should be limited and also more expensive.
As you said, it's all meaningless.

Until two years ago, the cost of a SB full pass amortized over the amount that I ski didn't make sense. It only started to make sense when they went Ikon and Windham was added.

Now, SB gets me there more than I previously would have been and I spend on lodging and food.
 

KustyTheKlown

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As you said, it's all meaningless.

Until two years ago, the cost of a SB full pass amortized over the amount that I ski didn't make sense. It only started to make sense when they went Ikon and Windham was added.

Now, SB gets me there more than I previously would have been and I spend on lodging and food.

thats my whole point tho. theyve made it too easy to make sense. it needs to be harder.

the predecessor of ikon was the max pass. that was it for me. 5 days each at great places. not enough anywhere to meaningfully fuck their operations every week.
 

cdskier

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I'm with you. I understand how this would work, but the cost of the pass would have to be reduced. Nobody is going to purchase something that they get today for $1x when the next time you purchase it costs the same $1x but you receive less value.

I disagree that they'd have to reduce the cost of the pass to do it with the "only unlimited as your home mountain" setup. A stand-alone SB pass was around $1200 not too long ago. Honestly I think that was a pretty fair price simply for SB. If they were to charge that price for a pass that gave you unlimited at SB PLUS a certain number of days at all the other Ikon resorts, I think that's a pretty amazing value. The only people that really would actually "lose" on that are people that use the pass for a good number of days at multiple resorts that are unlimited today. So if someone is splitting time at Stratton and SB...they might not be happy.

Again though, this is all irrelevant at least for another year since we know a change like this isn't happening this coming year.
 

mikec142

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I disagree that they'd have to reduce the cost of the pass to do it with the "only unlimited as your home mountain" setup. A stand-alone SB pass was around $1200 not too long ago. Honestly I think that was a pretty fair price simply for SB. If they were to charge that price for a pass that gave you unlimited at SB PLUS a certain number of days at all the other Ikon resorts, I think that's a pretty amazing value. The only people that really would actually "lose" on that are people that use the pass for a good number of days at multiple resorts that are unlimited today. So if someone is splitting time at Stratton and SB...they might not be happy.

Again though, this is all irrelevant at least for another year since we know a change like this isn't happening this coming year.
All fair points. And you're right. Irrelevant for now.

Two caveats. First is that there is a cohort of people that would actually lose. Second, you're a SB regular, have you noticed any unusual crowding that I haven't seen?
 

boston_e

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As you said, it's all meaningless.

Until two years ago, the cost of a SB full pass amortized over the amount that I ski didn't make sense. It only started to make sense when they went Ikon and Windham was added.

Now, SB gets me there more than I previously would have been and I spend on lodging and food.

I think this is the exact point Krusty is making - you end up going to Sugarbush more because of the insanely cheap multi resort mountain pass which is unlimited at Sugarbush.

I don't blame you for doing so, since those are the passes being offered, but when you multiply that by many many people it increases the crowds and degrades the skiing experience.

I think there is validity in the point that all these season passes are too easy to justify for people, which has increased overall crowding.

(I should add that I have not been to Sugarbush in the IKON era, so i can't comment on what the crowds have done in the past few years, but I understand the point Krusty is making)
 

cdskier

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All fair points. And you're right. Irrelevant for now.

Two caveats. First is that there is a cohort of people that would actually lose. Second, you're a SB regular, have you noticed any unusual crowding that I haven't seen?

To be fair, I think some "loss" is acceptable because as others have stated, many of these passes are offering TOO good of a deal.

That said the crowding question is very difficult to accurately answer because I feel the data set is somewhat limited. Last year was impacted by all the travel restrictions so you can't use that data. This year has been so up and down weather wise with both extreme cold on weekends plus extreme thaws that I feel that skews it as well. There are some days that "seem" more crowded while there are also other days that seem less crowded than you would expect. But I also have to ask, what time-frame are people comparing crowds against? I mentioned it at some previous point in another thread, but I feel like SB in general started seeing more "crowds" with the advent of the quad pack tickets. I don't know that there's a noticeable difference between the "Pre-Ikon but cheap quad pack" era vs the "Ikon" era. However if you compare Ikon to pre-quad pack, then maybe yes.

The "storm" days do seem more crowded, but again there are a lot of variables at play. People in general seem more aware of storms now and "hunt" them more compared to years ago (at least in my view). Storms being hyped on the Internet so much these days is a factor that can't be ignored. With remote work being more viable, you also have more people that will get up to the mountains earlier to beat a storm there. That was more difficult to do in the past unless you were willing to use a vacation day in some cases.

There also seems to be a slightly different clientele on the mountain now and for some of them I don't think SB is really the right "fit". You've had some new people to SB via Ikon that haven't been impressed with it (they complain about not enough snowmaking, not enough grooming, etc). If those people choose not to come back, maybe SB's crowds drop a bit and we'll get back to having more of the people that love SB for what makes it unique and less of the new people that want substantial changes. Whenever you have a disruptive change, it takes time to reach stabilization to understand the true impact.
 

Teleskier

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Playing Devil’s Advocate…

Don't we already have what Krusty is pushing for now - in the form of the Haystack Hermitage and Deer Valley?

Higher prices, higher class clientele, more untracked powder, concierge class snow experiences, less skiers, less cars, less kids, less riff raff, less snowboarders, less newbie first-timers… More mountain for solely you.

No more hot dogs in the caf, replaced with $50 wagu beef entrees. No more PBR, replaced with bottles of Veuve Cliquot.

Curiously enough, one can make the same arguments about air travel. It used to be civil and elegant when afforded by the few. Now with lower prices it’s become akin to taking the public bus.

“Make flying expensive again”

I wonder if the "exclusive private club" ski resorts will see an uptick. "I'll pay more money for a higher quality product to escape the NYC crowds."

Heck, I was spoiled by having an entire gondola to myself during COVID. Sharing one now with its tiny enclosed space with 8 other unmasked people for 20-minutes feels akin to torture by comparison.

Then again, shopping Newbury Street (higher prices, lower crowds) was always different than Filene's Basement (low prices, big crowds). It's the same dynamic playing out - flying, skiing, retail.
 

pinion247

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I get what you are saying but both Deer Valley and Hermitage are experiencing increased crowds relative to prior years due to increased popularity of the sport and their brands - DV very much so to the point of weekend insanity, and Hermitage to the point that weekends sometimes have something resembling a lift line. And though Hermitage is still “exclusive”, DV is not unless you snowboard.
 
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Apple Country

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  1. Playing Devil’s Advocate…

    Don't we already have what Krusty is pushing for now - in the form of the Haystack Hermitage and Deer Valley?

    Higher prices, higher class clientele, more untracked powder, concierge class snow experiences, less skiers, less cars, less kids, less riff raff, less snowboarders, less newbie first-timers… More mountain for solely you.
    Isn't any mountain not on a pass kind of like this? Bromley, MRG, Smuggs, Bretton Woods come to mind. A unrestricted Bromley pass right around $1000.
 

boston_e

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Playing Devil’s Advocate…

Don't we already have what Krusty is pushing for now - in the form of the Haystack Hermitage and Deer Valley?

Higher prices, higher class clientele, more untracked powder, concierge class snow experiences, less skiers, less cars, less kids, less riff raff, less snowboarders, less newbie first-timers… More mountain for solely you.

No more hot dogs in the caf, replaced with $50 wagu beef entrees. No more PBR, replaced with bottles of Veuve Cliquot.

Curiously enough, one can make the same arguments about air travel. It used to be civil and elegant when afforded by the few. Now with lower prices it’s become akin to taking the public bus.

“Make flying expensive again”

I wonder if the "exclusive private club" ski resorts will see an uptick. "I'll pay more money for a higher quality product to escape the NYC crowds."

Heck, I was spoiled by having an entire gondola to myself during COVID. Sharing one now with its tiny enclosed space with 8 other unmasked people for 20-minutes feels akin to torture by comparison.

Then again, shopping Newbury Street (higher prices, lower crowds) was always different than Filene's Basement (low prices, big crowds). It's the same dynamic playing out - flying, skiing, retail.

Eh - I'm not really feeling the comparison between a private members only club and a hypothetical $1100-ish Sugarbush-only pass when compared to a 13 destination unlimited pass plus another 5 days at 30 other resorts for $769.
 

Teleskier

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It's all just a matter of degree, no? Hand over $10,000 and you're in the club vs $2,500 vs $1,500 vs $700 to be in the club. (Club "Ski Whenever You Want")
 
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