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The most recent Alta blog broke down skier traffic increases this year

abc

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Roughly 50 percent of Ikon Pass holders migrated from a different lift ticket product they purchased in previous years, i.e., window tickets, Mountain Collective passes or a package deal.
Interestingly, the open letter neglected to mention a good chunk of the "pass migration": Colorado skiers who "migrated" from RMSP. When on the chairlift ride, I spoke to my chairmates on every ride. My little survey yielded 50% of them coming from Colorado!

And of the Colorado "pass migrators", more of them were migrating from RMSP. Though some "migrated" from Epic, as the Ikon pass is about the same price as the Epic Local.

We are developing actions to mitigate the crowding and stress points for the long term. Potential measures include eliminating some promotions, raising pricing of Mountain Collective and Ikon and limiting complimentary and discounted tickets.
You got it from the "authority", discount tickets will be "limited".

So all your previous impression that the low pass price goes hand in hand with disappearance of discount ticket is now officially confirmed.

Further, there's no mentioning of adding new or faster lifts.
Solutions? Working with the Teton Village Association we’ve added four morning shuttles between Stilson and the Village, plus a Teton Village employee morning shuttle from the Hampton Inn direct to the Village.
So once the parking situation is improved, the currently 10-15 min lift line could potentially goes longer.

There's no mistaken that JHMR owner doesn't think they can survive without joining either Ikon or Epic. It's probably better for some they did NOT join Epic.

But there's a lot of "spinning away" from IKON being the root cause of the crowding which rings hollow.
 
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snoseek

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Im calling bullshit on these areas like Jackson, alta ect. ..not being able to make it on their own. I dont know about Jackson but alta doesn't even own the lodging. They are in the business of selling tickets and they just cheapened their product. Anyone remember when you had to enter a lottery just to buy a season pass?
 

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Here's my 2 cents.

Ski resort is a business. The goal is making money. To maximize their revenue, ski resorts have been charging different price to different people based on what people are willing to pay (instead of what costs them). The window rates ($100+) are always highest because you have no other choice at the window, online advanced purchases are little cheaper because people may still be shopping, special promotional price like coupon, 4-pack, BOGO, etc... are low ($40-60) to get business from people who are more price conscious, and then annual pass with the lowest daily price (<$40) to lock in revenue early on. This is no different from airlines and many other industries. It's all about money, and the profit margin can be very big.

Then entered multi-resort passes like EPIC pass sold at cheaper price. I think this happened because existing profit margin is so high that you can cut the price by a lot and still making the economics work, while making up revenue from volume. Essentially, competition drove down the price, which is good for customers. For ski resorts, let's don't forget the they are still charging outrageous price for everything else, like $10 a day locker, $17 burger and $900 private lessons. They won't lose money from us visiting just because we have EPIC or IKON passes.

I think independent resorts partnering with Vail/Alterra is also the result of competition. Thru partnership, these resorts are selling lift tickets in bulk to Vail/Alterra at $40-60. They certainly don't lose money at this price because they already have been selling at this low price through promotions. The competiton just forces them to sell more at lower price through the partnership.
 

KustyTheKlown

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Ok..no i heard..i skied Revelstoke last year..zero lines..a 2 bedroom apt..snowed a lot..desolate but who cares..things change..go with the flow..we have no control over it but can choose where we want to ski..i think BC is the solution..at least to insane crowding

yep. this for sure. last year i did fernie/kicking horse on max, this year i did revelstoke/lake louise on ikon. both years i also did copper/winter park. copper/winter park have crowding, traffic, and parking issues (moreso copper than winter park). none of that shit in canada. an excellent exchange rate. cheap hotels for under $60 a night. an suv rental for 7 days for $400. barely any lines, traffic, parking issues, or terrain crowding.

i will most definitely be going back. i wish fernie and kicking horse were still aligned with max/ikon/alterra and not vail/epic. kicking horse is so rad and steep, and fernie is so well rounded and charming.

also, there's a lot of NIMBYism in here. jackson hole and big sky were never big secrets. they are two of the most famous ski areas in the world. ikon didn't make them famous destinations.
 

KustyTheKlown

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big sky was on max for two years and wasn't overcrowded at all during my march 2016 and december 2017 visits
 

abc

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i wish fernie and kicking horse were still aligned with max/ikon/alterra and not vail/epic. kicking horse is so rad and steep, and fernie is so well rounded and charming.
I’m beyond wishing. I think I may very well jump off the crowded Ikon ship and get Epic pass for 19/20 season. Main reason being the Canadian offering, which I sampled last year on my MAX pass. I was a bit miffed when MAX died and Ikon doesn’t include those, though not upset enough to change my plan to do Big Sky again this season.

But now I personally witness the deteriorating condition of BS and Jackson in the Ikon family. I’m disappointed. It’s time to go back to the less glamorous mountains like KH and Kimberly, before Vail turn them into glitzy Disneyland in the next few years that is.

Basically, as long as Vail and Alterra kept on buying resorts, I will use their cheap pass to ski those lessor known and not yet too crowded ones, until they become too crowded for my enjoyment that is. Some day, there may not be any uncrowded ones left. I’ll move on to Europe & Japan.

If one can’t fight them, one can join them. Cowardly, I know I’m.
 

KustyTheKlown

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switching to epic is a silly proposal to solve a problem which seems blown way out of proportion. i dont doubt that alta, jackson, and big sky have had a challenging season with respect to crowds, but there are many factors at play in that, and i simply dont believe that parking and lift lines are problematic during the week. weekends and holidays in excellent snow seasons are going to be crowded. you're part of the crowd, and you aren't a jackson or big sky local. we all are part of the crowd.

but with epic/ikon, in every single market ikon has the better terrain. squaw beats heavenly. cottonwoods beat park city. front range colorado may be a toss up but that whole area is fucked just due to denver bursting at its seams. revelstoke/banff and kicking horse/fernie are a toss up. crystal beats stevens. epic doesn't even have a presence in the northern american rockies (tho is sun valley joining? - in that case, jackson/big sky beat sun valley). ikon's offerings in new england are far more comprehensive, and stowe is the eastern place that's felt the slam of crowds the most due to joining one of the conglomerates.

and epic pass destinations have always been the crowded ones. summit county is barely skiable anymore.

my intention for next season is ikon again, with destinaton trips to banffelstoke, tahoe, and aspen. in tahoe i can ski squaw monday to friday and then dip to sugar bowl for the weekend if the crowds are wild at the majors.
 

abc

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You left out Whistler when you compare Crystal vs Steven

And you also left out Kirkwood when you compare Squaw vs Heavenly.
 
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Pez

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Sounds like I should just bail on my trip to big sky next week. Seems like it sucks now.


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 

Skrn

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Do you think Epic/Ikon increase the total ski visits for the ski industry? If not, as they add new ski resorts into their portfolio, while these new ski resorts may get more crowded than before. The rest of the EPIC/IKON resort should get less crowded as people are spreader out. So it is not all bad?


I’m beyond wishing. I think I may very well jump off the crowded Ikon ship and get Epic pass for 19/20 season. Main reason being the Canadian offering, which I sampled last year on my MAX pass. I was a bit miffed when MAX died and Ikon doesn’t include those, though not upset enough to change my plan to do Big Sky again this season.

But now I personally witness the deteriorating condition of BS and Jackson in the Ikon family. I’m disappointed. It’s time to go back to the less glamorous mountains like KH and Kimberly, before Vail turn them into glitzy Disneyland in the next few years that is.

Basically, as long as Vail and Alterra kept on buying resorts, I will use their cheap pass to ski those lessor known and not yet too crowded ones, until they become too crowded for my enjoyment that is. Some day, there may not be any uncrowded ones left. I’ll move on to Europe & Japan.

If one can’t fight them, one can join them. Cowardly, I know I’m.
 

abc

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Sounds like I should just bail on my trip to big sky next week. Seems like it sucks now.
Don't bail.

"A bad day of skiing out west still beats a good day in the east".

A crowded day in Big Sky is a quiet day by Okemo standard.
 

abc

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Do you think Epic/Ikon increase the total ski visits for the ski industry? If not, as they add new ski resorts into their portfolio, while these new ski resorts may get more crowded than before. The rest of the EPIC/IKON resort should get less crowded as people are spreader out. So it is not all bad?
We don't have hard data to say one way or the other. But my friends who have had Epic pass for years said their mountain were less crowded this year despite good snow record.

And some of their friends who used to have Epic pass had gone over to Ikon.

That's part of my reason to consider an Epic pass next season: the reduced visitation to Vail Resort as a result of the Ikon pass. There're some really rad mountains in the Vail collection that I would love to ski again at some point anyway. And next year may be a good year to do so.
 

BenedictGomez

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big sky was on max for two years and wasn't overcrowded at all during my march 2016 and december 2017 visits

Did the Max pass sell anywhere near 250,000 units though? IKON has.

That's part of my reason to consider an Epic pass next season: the reduced visitation to Vail Resort as a result of the Ikon pass. There're some really rad mountains in the Vail collection that I would love to ski again at some point anyway.

I dont understand why you think the IKON mountains will all be crowded, but the EPIC mountains wont be.

IKON has ramped quickly to an impressive 250,000 units, but EPIC is the more established product, pushing 1M units, and with > 20% YoY growth. I cant imagine EPIC spots getting "less" crowded unless IKON starts to eat their lunch. And Vail is now trying to bring more Aussies over and make more of a push to bring internationals to North America as well.
 

abc

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Read skrm’s question. On the ground report is Epic resorts are less crowded this year than last despite record snow fall.
 

thetrailboss

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https://www.alta.com/blog/weighing-...ntopia&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12070695

Very interesting and insightful data:

While skier visits to Alta show a double-digit increase over last season, we are currently only 6% ahead of the 16-17 ski season. Our day and multi-day ticket visits are down significantly this season due to the migration of many of our skiers to the Ikon Pass. Our net increase in skier visits from the Ikon Pass is currently running roughly 3%. Our largest increase in skier visits is coming from local pass holders whose visits are up 13% compared to the prior season. With that said, powder is our greatest commodity and we applaud our local pass holders for enjoying this year’s plentiful powder days.

Then later..

Alta entered into a multi-year agreement to be a limited Ikon destination in January of 2018. This decision was not made lightly and we are closely monitoring the impact multi-resort passes are having on the ski industry, skier patterns and the Alta experience. Please know that we are committed to preserving the Alta experience by matching the number of skiers visiting Alta with our infrastructure, services and terrain.


It seems that they are aware the annual pass holders were not happy and try to defend their position. Meanwhile the data indicated the increase from ikon pass (3%) only contributed to a small part of increase in traffic. It is ironic that most of the increase in traffic was from locals, which happen to be the ones who are complaining the most.

I've been meaning to chime in because I'm the board's Alta/Bird local. It's not hard to see that his post was meant to address feedback about (1) traffic problems, and (2) the impacts of the Ikon pass. All you need to do is focus on his bold key points. As to the former, Alta has protested the recent "Mountain Accord" deal because, surprise, NOTHING was put out there to resolve the road issue. Now that we have snow, cheap(er) mega passes, and more people in the SLC area, are the pressures being felt. There are a lot of pissed of people with the road situation. I will be watching to see how the rest of the season fares with the road and, more importantly, how things shake out next season. Will less people buy passes to Alta or Snowbird based on the shit show? Will folks who regularly vacationed here now go elsewhere?

As to the Ikon Pass, there are some points that I want to make. First, comparing visits between this season and last is a complete waste of time. Last season SUCKED royally snow-wise and business-wise for ALL Utah resorts. So saying that this season is better leaves me saying, "no duh" to quote Bart Simpson. The bigger question is how do things stack when compared to the average over multiple seasons. Yes, the big reason for the success is because it is snowing. Second, his post certainly tries to downplay the criticisms over Ikon. Though he says Alta was a "limited" destination for the Ikon pass, I think that giving folks up to 7 days at Alta is certainly a lot. Compare that to Mountain Collective where you get only 2 free days at Alta/Snowbird. HUGE difference. We've had Mountain Collective for a long time and since it has rolled out there has NEVER been an issue with crowds. Nobody bitches about that program. Why? There are only 2 free days per resort, not as many as 7! I think that Alta needs to re-evaluate how many days they want to give away to Ikon if they want to keep that "local pass boom" he mentions. Personally, I think they gave too much probably to recoup from the terrible season that was 2017-2018. Now he is hearing it from locals who pay a premium to only buy an Alta pass. I don't blame them. Why pay Alta $999 for an adult pass when you could have bought a cheaper Ikon pass and skied many other places with your "limited" days? Hell, you could ski a total of 21 days at Deer Valley (of all places), Brighton, and Alta before even having to ski at Solitude!

Third, as to saying "3% of skier days isn't a lot", well, maybe not on the surface, but in a busy season that 3% represents a larger number of skier days than one might think. And probably during peak times when its impact can be more easily felt. And the bigger question we have all asked on here is, "how much more revenue are you making?" I would wager not much. They gave away the store and I think they are hearing it now.

So my reaction to the Blog Post is a big meh. In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of those locals who did pay a premium for an Alta/Snowbird Season Pass and do feel that Alta/Snowbird gave away the store this season to the Ikon Pass deal. I think they need to rein it back in before locals start leaving. Honestly, I didn't really consider Ikon because I don't really care much for what was an Unlimited Solitude Pass, but I can see why it works so well for locals here because you have a shit-ton of days at Brighton, Alta/Snowbird, and Deer Valley so that a weekend warrior can be happy with the variety.
 

skiur

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Don't bail.

"A bad day of skiing out west still beats a good day in the east".

A crowded day in Big Sky is a quiet day by Okemo standard.

I think their was a note of sarcasm in Pez's post.
 

kingslug

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One thing I noticed it that my friends in Utah have been going to different places way more than usual. It used to be Alta/Bird/Solitude...now they are moving around more due to the road and crowd issues.
 

snoseek

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One thing I noticed it that my friends in Utah have been going to different places way more than usual. It used to be Alta/Bird/Solitude...now they are moving around more due to the road and crowd issues.

Beaver mountain if you don't need super steep terrain!

In other news it was one of the bigger days of the season yesterday. Not super crazy at alta.
 
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