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Ikon Pass Changes and New Resorts for 2023

KustyTheKlown

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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.

eww. no. thats not what im talking about all and i'm well on record of preferring dirtbag skiing to any of that shit you list. im not talking about bullshit faux luxe exclusivity. im talking about skiing costing a reasonable amount of money so every resort isnt garbage every weekend.
 

ss20

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A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
After 10 years of this garbage the bean counters finally found the bottom. Not enough staff to run services or even lifts. Parking lots full by 9:30am every weekend. Tons of unhappy customers. Can't wait to start going the other way.

I hope people return to the smaller, feeder hills this sport was built on.
 

snoseek

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After 10 years of this garbage the bean counters finally found the bottom. Not enough staff to run services or even lifts. Parking lots full by 9:30am every weekend. Tons of unhappy customers. Can't wait to start going the other way.

I hope people return to the smaller, feeder hills this sport was built on.
I'm on the tail end of a two week trip in Colorado with an epic pass and most of my time has been skiing bell to bell at powderhorn. I am sold on the mellow local hill experience at this point whether east of west. My one day at vail and one day at beaver creek were not nearly as enjoyable.
 

Smellytele

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Right where I want to be
To me it’s more about the price of a day ticket (and no longer any deals out there) when compared to a season pass. When it takes less than 5 days to justify a season pass.
 

ThatGuy

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To me it’s more about the price of a day ticket (and no longer any deals out there) when compared to a season pass. When it takes less than 5 days to justify a season pass.
The uber high day ticket prices function is to drive people to purchase season passes. Then people will buy a pass, even if they only plan on one trip a year and it locks them in.
 

x10003q

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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.
Alterra already knows that if you mainly ski at SB, unlimited Stratton vs 7 day Stratton does not matter. It is purely marketing and unlimited sounds better. SB and Stratton are over 2 hours apart and probably very little cross visitation. The regular at SB might visit Stratton once or twice per season. The same is true for a Stratton regular. If a regular at Stratton takes a week at SB, most of those days are midweek, so that does not matter for crowding, either.

If you are a weekend day tripper, are you going to lock in only at the unlimited SB and unlimited Stratton or are you going to stop in at the other 5/7 day choices?

In the East, the other unlimited choices are Snowshoe, WVA, Mt Tremblant, Quebec, and Blue Mtn, Ontario. Ikon unlimited in the East is really a non-issue.
 

nycskier

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Alterra already knows that if you mainly ski at SB, unlimited Stratton vs 7 day Stratton does not matter. It is purely marketing and unlimited sounds better. SB and Stratton are over 2 hours apart and probably very little cross visitation. The regular at SB might visit Stratton once or twice per season. The same is true for a Stratton regular. If a regular at Stratton takes a week at SB, most of those days are midweek, so that does not matter for crowding, either.

If you are a weekend day tripper, are you going to lock in only at the unlimited SB and unlimited Stratton or are you going to stop in at the other 5/7 day choices?

In the East, the other unlimited choices are Snowshoe, WVA, Mt Tremblant, Quebec, and Blue Mtn, Ontario. Ikon unlimited in the East is really a non-issue.
Very true. To get to SB from NY area you need to drive past Killington. Why drive an hour past a better ski resort to ski a worst one?
 

kancamagus

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It seems like the hate regarding crowded ski resorts is somewhat falsely pushed entirely towards multi-resort passes, because people like a singular scapegoat. Rather than accepting that it's complicated with myriad reasons for most places.

Part of that fact is that the total number of ski areas has been constantly declining while the climate is getting worse for winter sports. With a fairly constant number of active skiers and riders nationwide, these would naturally be split up into fewer resorts, increasing crowding. And some locations, like SLC and Denver, have seen their metro area populations (including number of skiers and riders) explode over the past few decades. At least SLC is building a few new resorts like Mayflower and Wasatch. But Denver? Let's double the number of skiers/riders that live in day trip driving range, build no new ski resorts, more or less have a single road that is the funnel to get to everything, and then somehow blame passes for the crowding and traffic?

Last season I got in ~20 days in Colorado and New Mexico (I would have had a handful of Vermont days in there if they hadn't been so anal about COVID restrictions. Oh well, their loss). These days were split across all of the Ikon Base pass resorts in those states. If Ikon or Epic wasn't a thing, I probably would have rolled the dice and picked a single ski area for a season pass, and would have gone skiing roughly the same number of days mostly at that one resort. Maybe I would have picked up 1-2 day tickets elsewhere. But overall, I would have contributed the same number of ski area day visits to the CO/NM area. So instead of adding a small amount of added crowding spread out to a bunch of resorts, most areas would have no additional crowding from me not being there, while I would have added a lot more [relative] crowding to one specific ski area.

So which scenario is better for crowding? What if all multi-resort passes poofed out of existence tomorrow and everyone went back to buying a single resort and/or day tickets? Do you really think the cumulative number of skier day visits across all resorts in a given region is suddenly going to collapse? I certainly don't. Folks will just get balkanized again. Just like how the downfall of cable has just ushered in an area when people rotate through Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, Paramount+, Peacock, etc. Folks are probably still watching the same amount of content. Just instead of having access to every channel through cable, they are consuming a lot more of only a few subscription services and none of the others.
 

machski

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Boyne has not announced New England Pass pricing or details yet. They had said they may keep Shawnee separate. We will see if it is added at any level to the NEP. It would land there first before an Ikon landing.
Boyne dropped NEP pass pricing and details, costs increased about 10% across all levels. Want to pau it on a payment plan, you now have to open a credit line. Notably, Shawnee WAS NOT INCLUDED as an unlimited area on the NEP's. All levels now give you unlimited 50% at other Boyne resorts for lift tix and Gold and up give 3 complimentary days first to include Shawnee. So based on this, no way Shawnee gets added to IKON.

Also of note, Crystal has dumped their pay to park next season, mostly due to the large pass price hikes. They will still require reservations Fri-Sun and peak days to park.
 

machski

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I'm on the tail end of a two week trip in Colorado with an epic pass and most of my time has been skiing bell to bell at powderhorn. I am sold on the mellow local hill experience at this point whether east of west. My one day at vail and one day at beaver creek were not nearly as enjoyable.
Same here. Vail wasn't bad, so big you could always find a lift or lifts with little to not traffic (no powder says though). Beaver Creek was a Wednesday and was ski on outside of the morning rush up Centennial. Breck Fri-Mon was an utter $hit show. The Quicksilver lift out of base of 9 should be renamed Silverslug for how slow it moves most of the time with slows and stops. That dual loading curve idea is interesting but ultimately too confusing. All the other 6 seaters there slow and stop A TON. Terrain is awesome, but the crowds have killed it. Flash ahead in Created Butte now, it's like skiing in the East. Ski on every lift today and killer terrain to boot. So much more snow here than the others. Don't think I'll ever do an Epic outright pass again, but might have to grab an Epic 4 day to come back here. All this said, locals told us today the place gets packed on weekends/holidays now, so very Eastern like in that respect.
 

machski

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Boyne tweeaked the lower tiers of the NEP this year too. Silver and Nitro get 50% off unlimited at western Boyne's and Shawnee and have the option at checkout to buy a 2 or 3 Unrestricted NE Day pass for $150/219 to eliminate 2 or 3 blackout days. A three day add onto a Silver still puts it about $220 less than a Gold. Unless you intend to hit Shawnee more than once or ski over the majority of blackouts, this ups the Silver's value. Bronze next year will get early season weekend access at SR/SL thru December 10th and late season Loon/SR/SL weeekend access after March 20th. Loon likely left out of early weekends due to limited terrain and parking (South has never been open that early) and crowds as is on that limited offering.
 

skiur

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I wouldn't say k is better than bush or vice versa, they are both great resorts that I love skiing but they are totally different from each other.
 

thebigo

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Boyne tweeaked the lower tiers of the NEP this year too. Silver and Nitro get 50% off unlimited at western Boyne's and Shawnee and have the option at checkout to buy a 2 or 3 Unrestricted NE Day pass for $150/219 to eliminate 2 or 3 blackout days. A three day add onto a Silver still puts it about $220 less than a Gold. Unless you intend to hit Shawnee more than once or ski over the majority of blackouts, this ups the Silver's value. Bronze next year will get early season weekend access at SR/SL thru December 10th and late season Loon/SR/SL weeekend access after March 20th. Loon likely left out of early weekends due to limited terrain and parking (South has never been open that early) and crowds as is on that limited offering.
Bronze valid on weekends early and late season is compelling. Any idea if the renewal discount applies if you step down a level? Go from silver to bronze?
 

KustyTheKlown

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killington is only 'better' than sugarbush for ease of access, proximity to cheap lodging, and a serious commitment to early/late season

on snow sugarbush is better in like every category. i think that's objective. killington claims 3000 vertical but in practice its a bunch of pods with less than 1400 vertical. sugarbush is true 2000+ vertical

killington has better groomers. only on snow category i would give them. in bounds glades may be equal between the two places.
 
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