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Superpasses: more crowds?

xlr8r

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As I've said before, I foresee the full pass being altered where you identify a home mountain for anytime skiing, and for all other mountains you need to "reserve" your spot on holidays and weekends. For the 2nd tier pass you always need to reserve for non blacked out weekends.

interesting idea.

But how do you think reserving would work though. There needs to be a cost for reserving, or a penalty for people who reserve but then do not show up. Otherwise everyone will just reserve days every weekend/holiday long in advance to keep their options open, then only ski a portion of their reserved days
 

drjeff

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I think some of what needs to be balanced, is the perceived value of "personalizing" one's pass, and then the likely for many who don't pay as much attention to what that personalization means when they go to another resort on their pass and the time it takes to figure out what the issue is, verses the ease of basically having the same pass, with the same benefits, for all.

In the case of combined sales for Epic and Ikon passes these days, that could be in theory almost 1.5 million different types of passes out there, and that could create a guest services nightmare.

Limited restrictions certainly creates some issues. Over specialized passes also creates some issues. Which way is better? That's probably a personal preference....
 

cdskier

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interesting idea.

But how do you think reserving would work though. There needs to be a cost for reserving, or a penalty for people who reserve but then do not show up. Otherwise everyone will just reserve days every weekend/holiday long in advance to keep their options open, then only ski a portion of their reserved days

You could do something similar to how Deer Valley handles Ikon. They require reservations for all Ikon usage and specifically state that if you make a reservation and don't use it, then they reserve the right to count it as one of your used days anyway. If they see abuse, they simply invoke that clause. Of course this system works best with places that you only have a limited number of Ikon days to begin with. If you had a situation where you had an unlimited number of Ikon days at a resort but still had to make a reservation to use them, they'd have to come up with another solution. It could be something simple where if you miss "x" number of reservations you lose your reservation privileges going forward for that mountain.
 

deadheadskier

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As I've said before, I foresee the full pass being altered where you identify a home mountain for anytime skiing, and for all other mountains you need to "reserve" your spot on holidays and weekends. For the 2nd tier pass you always need to reserve for non blacked out weekends.
I would not be down with this concept unless you could select multiple "home mountains."

Big selling points for me on a season pass in addition to cost savings, (especially with a multi-mountain pass) is convenience, flexibility and spontaneity. It takes the planning and guessing work out of skiing. I've got multiple options in different geographic locations where I can make my decision where to go at the last minute based upon weather and conditions. In my case sometimes it's forecasted to be nasty cold in the Mount Washington Valley, so I'll just go ski at Crotched or Sunapee. Maybe NH is powder starved for awhile, but Northern VT gets in an upslope cycle and I head to Stowe.

I think Epic is set up just fine with the full Epic vs Local. The places in the East on that pass that are crowded have always been crowded. People have known for years what they're getting into hitting, Snow, Okemo, Stowe or Sunapee on a weekend. If this also means a bit more crowding at the NH mountains I ski, so be it.

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BenedictGomez

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thebigo

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The original super pass was asc. In college I could only afford the bronze, it was blacked out xmas week, mlk weekend and feb vacation weekends. I would deal hunt on blackout dates, prebought vouchers/nh resident day at cannon, etc. The effect for killington/sunday river was higher yields at peak times. Black out the local/base pass on Saturdays and holidays = your crowding problem is gone.
 

BenedictGomez

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Black out the local/base pass on Saturdays and holidays = your crowding problem is gone.

Black out the local/base pass on Saturdays = your crowding problem is gone, but now you likely have a revenue problem. FWIW, I also think Sundays would get more crowded.
 

Greg

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Posted on K-Zone:

...

The final misconception I want to address is that Ikon Pass is responsible for longer lift lines. This is simply not true. Ikon Pass visits are an important part of our business, but they are not contributing significantly to longer lift lines. As the season pass landscape has shifted due to multi-resort passes like Ikon, the products that people purchase to access our resort is changing, but the overall number of visitors remains relatively stable.


...


Michael Solimano
President & General Manager
Killington Resort
The Beast
 

JimG.

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K can sing that tune until the cows come home and it is probably true. But the conception (or mis-) will remain and will be an issue.

I still have no idea what a resort like K can possibly gain from being a part of Ikon other than putting fannies in chairs so that post by Mike is mostly self-serving. Which is his job.

I wonder if K wants season passholders like me to become Ikon passholders?
 

machski

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K can sing that tune until the cows come home and it is probably true. But the conception (or mis-) will remain and will be an issue.

I still have no idea what a resort like K can possibly gain from being a part of Ikon other than putting fannies in chairs so that post by Mike is mostly self-serving. Which is his job.

I wonder if K wants season passholders like me to become Ikon passholders?
Do you only plan to ski Killington 5 or 7 days a season? If so, grab an Ikon, if not stick with a K pass. For the non owned (full pass) resorts, what they get out being Ikon (or Epic for those few that are just partners on there) is access to skiers that perhaps like to mix up their skiing. Maybe they get a few who otherwise woud not hve ventured to that resort. And maybe a few of those find they like it there enough to switch to full pass holders at those resorts. Now I will grant this last group is probably pretty small, but that opportunity is there. And at the least, they make a bit more revenue. For partner resorts, the super passes don't add substantially to the total skier visits I bet, but many probably hoard their days and go when EVERYONE ELSE is going (big snowfalls, holidays for non blacked out passes). And since EVERYONE is already there thse days, it gives the optics that Ikon/Epic are killing the resort, which they are not doing.

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JimG.

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Do you only plan to ski Killington 5 or 7 days a season? If so, grab an Ikon, if not stick with a K pass. For the non owned (full pass) resorts, what they get out being Ikon (or Epic for those few that are just partners on there) is access to skiers that perhaps like to mix up their skiing. Maybe they get a few who otherwise woud not hve ventured to that resort. And maybe a few of those find they like it there enough to switch to full pass holders at those resorts. Now I will grant this last group is probably pretty small, but that opportunity is there. And at the least, they make a bit more revenue. For partner resorts, the super passes don't add substantially to the total skier visits I bet, but many probably hoard their days and go when EVERYONE ELSE is going (big snowfalls, holidays for non blacked out passes). And since EVERYONE is already there thse days, it gives the optics that Ikon/Epic are killing the resort, which they are not doing.

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So they get nothing but fannies in chairs, and mostly when conditions are at their best.

Surely you can see why the season passholder has no love lost for Ikon.
 

BenedictGomez

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For the non owned (full pass) resorts, what they get out being Ikon (or Epic for those few that are just partners on there) is access to skiers that perhaps like to mix up their skiing. Maybe they get a few who otherwise woud not hve ventured to that resort.

Which makes that Killingon GM's comments rather puzzling.

He's doing the same ski area CEO/President/GM/marketing guy thing claiming IKON & EPIC do not lead to increased crowds. But he's even going to the extent he's claiming the number of people skiing Killington is the SAME pre & post IKON, it's just that way more of that "same number" of people now ski Killington by paying Alterra first. Huh?
 
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machski

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Which makes that Killingon GM's comments rather puzzling.

He's doing the same ski area CEO/President/GM/marketing guy thing claiming IKON & EPIC do not lead to increased crowds. But he's even going to the extent he's claiming the number of people skiing Killington is the SAME pre & post IKON, it's just that way more of that "same number" of people now ski Killington by paying Alterra first. Huh?
Why is this so far fetched? If you did two long weekend trips to K pre Ikon and now you still do those same two trips but goto any of the other Ikon East resorts as well and maybe venture out west for a long trip or two, why wouldn't some choose this?

I'm Sunday River based and yeah, it seems we have a few more people on the hill, but the vast majority of passes vs tickets (technically Ikon needs to visit ticket window and get a ticket still) is still NEP skiers/riders from my unscientific observations in lift lines. Killington would be very difficult to impossible to even casually observe these days thanks to RFID passes. All I can say is, when we had snow or even just over big holiday weekends, when has Killington never been crowded?

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JimG.

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Will K be better off when current season passholders bail and buy Ikon passes instead? I know they think they have a captive audience of current passholders and more importantly property owners who won't/can't go elsewhere. I have worked for several companies who took the approach that current customers are "theirs" for life. That does not last and is a horrible and flawed business assumption.

Again, I just don't see what the benefit is for Killington.
 

cdskier

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Will K be better off when current season passholders bail and buy Ikon passes instead? I know they think they have a captive audience of current passholders and more importantly property owners who won't/can't go elsewhere. I have worked for several companies who took the approach that current customers are "theirs" for life. That does not last and is a horrible and flawed business assumption.

Again, I just don't see what the benefit is for Killington.

I'm not sure I fully understand the logic on why you think season passholders would bail in favor of Ikon. Like machski said, it comes down to the number of days you ski at K. If you're a K passholder, chances are that means you want to ski more than 5/7 days at K otherwise you wouldn't be spending 1K on a season pass there to begin with. So are you saying these people will trade skiing more than 5/7 days at K for skiing days at other Ikon resorts? For some people that may work if they're flexible on lodging, but for people that either own or do seasonal rentals around K, I just don't see them bailing for Ikon and now having to drive to ski elsewhere.

And there's more benefits than just getting people to the mountain. Obviously none of us here have access to the financial information, but there absolutely HAS to be some amount of revenue that K is getting per Ikon visit. Sure it is less than if people bought direct from K, but you also have to think about what would happen if you're the only major resort not part of a multi-pass and all your competitors are. At that point you'd be left with your dedicated passholders that for whatever reason don't want to go elsewhere (i.e. people with property ties to the area). People that were just doing day trips or random weekend trips here and there may now say "Fuck it, I'll skip K and get <insert multi-pass here> that lets me ski at xx number of other places instead". So now K could potentially LOSE visitors by not being part of a multi-pass if all their competitors are part of one. So the benefit is avoidance of losing market-share to competitors.

Again, none of us have access to the data that drives these decisions. If they truly believe there are enough "non-loyal" people that will jump ship if they can get a better value on a multi-pass, then it very well may be a prudent decision to be part of that pass to avoid losing those people. They obviously believe the benefit of not losing those people is greater than the amount of "loyal" passholder they could "piss off".

I mentioned this at some point once before, but Chris Diamond's Ski Inc 2020 book really has some interesting insight into this topic.
 

JimG.

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If they truly believe there are enough "non-loyal" people that will jump ship if they can get a better value on a multi-pass, then it very well may be a prudent decision to be part of that pass to avoid losing those people. They obviously believe the benefit of not losing those people is greater than the amount of "loyal" passholder they could "piss off".

I don't think anything for sure, we're just having a discussion. The part of your response I left is the only topic I truly disagree with. I think they are going to pay a price for thinking folks who ski there 5-7 days a year are more important to keep than season passholders. That's just plain ridiculous if they really think that.

Tell you what, I wouldn't want to be a realtor in a ski town if what you say here is really true. Actually, I wouldn't want to be any business in a ski town where the ski area thinks like that.
 

Smellytele

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I don't think anything for sure, we're just having a discussion. The part of your response I left is the only topic I truly disagree with. I think they are going to pay a price for thinking folks who ski there 5-7 days a year are more important to keep than season passholders. That's just plain ridiculous if they really think that.

Tell you what, I wouldn't want to be a realtor in a ski town if what you say here is really true. Actually, I wouldn't want to be any business in a ski town where the ski area thinks like that.

So how are they dissing you and the other passholders if skier visits are still the same?
 

cdskier

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I don't think anything for sure, we're just having a discussion. The part of your response I left is the only topic I truly disagree with. I think they are going to pay a price for thinking folks who ski there 5-7 days a year are more important to keep than season passholders. That's just plain ridiculous if they really think that.

Tell you what, I wouldn't want to be a realtor in a ski town if what you say here is really true. Actually, I wouldn't want to be any business in a ski town where the ski area thinks like that.

I never said "more important". They simply don't think there are truly that many passholders that are going to be pissed off by partnering with Ikon. I'm a passholder at a Ikon partner resort (for now...obviously that changes next year). But I don't quite understand why I'm supposed to be upset or angry about Ikon people visiting my resort. But then again, I trust in the management at my resort and believe they are doing what is necessary to ensure that I have a sustainable, viable mountain to ski at for the foreseeable future.

I also don't understand the realtor part. People are going to sell their homes/condos and go where exactly? A lot of people that own second homes/condos near ski areas have a certain type of mentality. They like the convenience of having their own place. They like not having to truck their gear around every week. These people are suddenly going to make rather large changes to their behavior because they think their mountain is more crowded? They're going to start renting different lodging every weekend at a different resort? They're going to switch to a day trip model? I don't buy it...

So how are they dissing you and the other passholders if skier visits are still the same?

The problem is everyone thinks the resorts are "lying" about the numbers with Ikon. Of course no one has any proof at all of this other than anecdotal "well it seems busier to me" stories.
 

JimG.

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Well, I'm not coming from the feeling dissed angle like you guys think. I ski weekdays, I don't really care. And since this is only my second year as a K passholder it's not like I'm a loyal and long time skier there.

Just trying to figure out how K profits from the current set up. I don't see any chance that K would become an unlimited Ikon resort. I would do nothing to annoy any season passholders anywhere. Clearly that has happened at some ski areas, probably not so much K.

Trying to figure out the endgame.
 
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