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Season Pass Options/Considerations

dblskifanatic

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This this larger conversation started in the Sugarbush thread and is in other threads as well. I thought it deserves its own discussion!

With all the new options and deadline changes insurance/assurances there is a lot going on!

The way I read it is that I got $200 off next year from IKON. If I had an Epic I would get $145 back because I would have had a full pass and skied over 40 days in 19/20. So explain to me how Epic one-uped me?

It amazes me how f-ing cheap most people are. This is skiing. it is not a right, it's a privilege of people who actually have the money to ski.

Mountain do not owe any of us anything and I think IKON has been more than generous. Considering how much I used my pass I was expecting nothing.

The first part I do not think people are being cheap! I think you buy the experience you want like I mentioned in the earlier post. A lot come into play like “Will I travel?” or “Do I want to ski resorts that are closer?” or “Do I like the resorts on the pass making a fur the drive worth it?”. There is also the bang for the buck! Which I think you refer to as being cheap. I used to ski Cannon for $273 per season could I have skied elsewhere? Absolutely! But for the price it was worth choosing Cannon because the experience was good and the price was right.

I do not think that anyone on this forum expects Ikon or Epic or independents owe them anything but t here are those that do, hence the class action suits. As a result, new offerings have been crafted. So people are looking at the choices which differ for everyone.



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thetrailboss

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This this larger conversation started in the Sugarbush thread and is in other threads as well. I thought it deserves its own discussion!

With all the new options and deadline changes insurance/assurances there is a lot going on!



The first part I do not think people are being cheap! I think you buy the experience you want like I mentioned in the earlier post. A lot come into play like “Will I travel?” or “Do I want to ski resorts that are closer?” or “Do I like the resorts on the pass making a fur the drive worth it?”. There is also the bang for the buck! Which I think you refer to as being cheap. I used to ski Cannon for $273 per season could I have skied elsewhere? Absolutely! But for the price it was worth choosing Cannon because the experience was good and the price was right.

I do not think that anyone on this forum expects Ikon or Epic or independents owe them anything but t here are those that do, hence the class action suits. As a result, new offerings have been crafted. So people are looking at the choices which differ for everyone.



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As to the part about people judging others as cheap or complaining, we have no idea what other folks are going through financially. I think that in a time like this a little bit of empathy goes a long ways.

As to our pass situation, we have one IKON passholder (my wife) and she is luke warm about renewing for other reasons. Our local areas are all still in a holding position. As far as I am concerned it is a good thing. We can wait.
 

mbedle

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And for this I am so glad that I only basically ski at Stowe, with a trip out west each year. The credit, pass insurance and 20% off food and beverage is a nice bonus.
 

gregnye

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As to our pass situation, we have one IKON passholder (my wife) and she is luke warm about renewing for other reasons. Our local areas are all still in a holding position. As far as I am concerned it is a good thing. We can wait.

The whole idea that people should purchases passes by now is crazy when you stop to think about it.

Recently, early March is when the passes are released. There's still 2 months left of the year skiing-wise (normally), and they already want you to start thinking about the next year.

Prior to Epic/Ikon, I don't remember it being this early. It's like stores putting out christmas merchandise right after September ends--kind of unnecessary.

I mean normally it's uncertain what the next year will be like when you purchase in March. You could move. You could break your leg/arm and be unable to ski. This year with COVID-19 it really just highlights how much of a gamble the early purchasing of passes are for the customers.
 

BenedictGomez

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Book your travel now as you'll never get a cheaper vacation. You can get ski season flights out west for about 1/2 price to 2/3 price, and there are some pretty crazy lodging deals going on now as well.
 

cdskier

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The whole idea that people should purchases passes by now is crazy when you stop to think about it.

Recently, early March is when the passes are released. There's still 2 months left of the year skiing-wise (normally), and they already want you to start thinking about the next year.

Prior to Epic/Ikon, I don't remember it being this early.

Looks like 15 years ago (as far back as my Sugarbush e-mails go), season passes went on sale in early April with an early May early price deadline. I think a lot of the on sale dates shifting earlier has happened for 2 reasons:
1) Coinciding more with "spring pass" sales where they started giving people the option of buying next year's pass and being able to use it from mid/late March through the end of the current season.
2) Competition of various resorts and products trying to outdo others to capture more market-share.

As for the notion that giving resorts money now is pointless, I disagree. Resorts spend a significant amount of money during the summer to prepare for next season. Giving them money now helps ensure they have the money to do that yearly work. Even giving money to a "big" company like Alterra still helps ensure they can filter some of it down to the local level to help out the people working for those resorts in those local communities. (I'm sure someone will argue the resorts could have planned better or had more money in the bank, etc...but at least I have some personal sense that I'm somehow helping the locals at my resort whether it is true or not).

This may also be a bit of an odd reason, but for Ikon at least, buying now has a bit of a benefit from an insurance perspective (if you plan to take the optional insurance). The loss of job clause kicks in 30 days after the effective date. The effective date is when you pay the policy premium (i.e. when you purchase your pass). As long as I have the money now, I'd rather lock that clause in as early as possible just in case something did happen down the road.
 

dblskifanatic

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I think the early sales often have spring skiing opportunity attached to hook new pass holders and get existing pass holders to bite by offering $50 less if they renew early


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thetrailboss

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The whole idea that people should purchases passes by now is crazy when you stop to think about it.

Recently, early March is when the passes are released. There's still 2 months left of the year skiing-wise (normally), and they already want you to start thinking about the next year.

Prior to Epic/Ikon, I don't remember it being this early. It's like stores putting out christmas merchandise right after September ends--kind of unnecessary.

Bingo. At least in my experience, when I was back east, ski areas sold passes at a discount starting in like March or April with cutoffs being somewhere in May or June usually. I figured it was due to competition.

Out here I was stunned in 2011 to see that Alta and Snowbird in particular did not even release pass prices until July or so and the cutoff for early discounts was late August or September. That has inched up pretty much every year although in 2017-2018, a terrible ski season out here, the dates all of the sudden became price release in March, early discount cutoff in early May. A huge change. They stuck with that last year, in part I imagine to compete with IKON/EPIC because honestly some folks won't take a "wait and see" approach and gamble on a higher price. They had started down that same path of pushing passes in early-March but then yanked everything off the market. Snowbird is promising "something" for their (declining) "loyal passholders" to make up for the early closure. We'll see what happens.
 

slatham

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Hum, interesting.

I speculate this all has to do with snowmaking. It seems that historically it was the eastern areas that had early season pass sales. Was this caused by a higher and historical reliance on snowmaking? I would guess that 20-30 years ago, most western areas had very limited snowmaking, and thus little summer maintenance, at least vs eastern areas. Does this hold water?
 

thetrailboss

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Hum, interesting.

I speculate this all has to do with snowmaking. It seems that historically it was the eastern areas that had early season pass sales. Was this caused by a higher and historical reliance on snowmaking? I would guess that 20-30 years ago, most western areas had very limited snowmaking, and thus little summer maintenance, at least vs eastern areas. Does this hold water?

I think it is that, as well as competition. And at least in the past a lot of areas did these things called capital improvements and expansion in the summer.
 

1dog

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The larger and most efficent resorts make their money way ahead of the weather curve, as the below link indicates. The time/vaue of money is the most important factor.

If like the season ticket holder of say the Patriots or the Green Bay Packers have very early season purchases - guaranteeing a more even cash flow and a cash flow at all when 20-30 years ago it wss a weather and econimic crap-shoot.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/09/29/is-vail-resorts-a-buy.aspx

You'll see Vail increasing its annual early season buy in by rasing day prices and growing season ticket sales from 35% in 2017 to 47% on 2018/19.

Its just good business. How they treat their customer is another argument.

But driving the day prices up to drive the season pass purchases up is brilliant - can't do that withoyrt some volume of resorts to offer for some economies of scale.

I don't own an Epic - I'm an Ikon holder - but I sure wish I purhcased the stock a few years ago. . . . .
 

dblskifanatic

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Do western areas have impressive snowmaking today? I've not really noticed that.

Monarch has zero snowmaking! Obviously Silverton does not make snow. Loveland and A Basin have enough snowmaking to compete for early opening. Breck and Keystone have significant snowmaking to get a base down on many groomers but percentage wise most have maybe 15-20 percent snowmaking coverage at least here in Colorado.


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icecoast1

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Do western areas have impressive snowmaking today? I've not really noticed that.

Depends on how you look at it. In terms of percentage of acres covered, not really. But in terms of pumping capacity, there are some large snowmaking systems out west
 

Smellytele

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Looks like 15 years ago (as far back as my Sugarbush e-mails go), season passes went on sale in early April with an early May early price deadline. I think a lot of the on sale dates shifting earlier has happened for 2 reasons:
1) Coinciding more with "spring pass" sales where they started giving people the option of buying next year's pass and being able to use it from mid/late March through the end of the current season.
2) Competition of various resorts and products trying to outdo others to capture more market-share.

As for the notion that giving resorts money now is pointless, I disagree. Resorts spend a significant amount of money during the summer to prepare for next season. Giving them money now helps ensure they have the money to do that yearly work. Even giving money to a "big" company like Alterra still helps ensure they can filter some of it down to the local level to help out the people working for those resorts in those local communities. (I'm sure someone will argue the resorts could have planned better or had more money in the bank, etc...but at least I have some personal sense that I'm somehow helping the locals at my resort whether it is true or not).

This may also be a bit of an odd reason, but for Ikon at least, buying now has a bit of a benefit from an insurance perspective (if you plan to take the optional insurance). The loss of job clause kicks in 30 days after the effective date. The effective date is when you pay the policy premium (i.e. when you purchase your pass). As long as I have the money now, I'd rather lock that clause in as early as possible just in case something did happen down the road.

you save emails for 15 years?
 

thetrailboss

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Do western areas have impressive snowmaking today? I've not really noticed that.

Some do; some don't. You'd be surprised how much Alta and Snowbird have. Not as much % wise as on the east coast.

Deer Valley and Park City have a lot relatively speaking. In fact, when LBO bought Park West and made it Canyons locals were perplexed as to why he spent so much on snowmaking. Many laughed about it.
 

snoseek

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Heavenly claims like the most powerful in the country but there's just no way they hang with killington sunday river or even loon or cannon imho.
 

dblskifanatic

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Depends on how you look at it. In terms of percentage of acres covered, not really. But in terms of pumping capacity, there are some large snowmaking systems out west

Breck and Keystone can lay it down and open terrain like nobody’s business! But have about 600 acres of snowmaking out of 3000+ acres. They open 600 acres fast! They have the largest snowmaking systems in Colorado as well as Beaver Creek.


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