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Overcrowding at Epic and Ikon resorts

This is similar to why Arapahoe is leaving Epic, right? This might be the next wave of change - partner resorts leaving Alterra or Vail due to infrastructure overloads
The ABasin relationship to Vail Resorts and Epic is unique because of the long standing partnership based on the original ownership of Keystone and another Colorado resort.

Although all contracts are subject to change if both parties are in agreement, all the press releases about Ikon and Epic partnerships in the last year or two state that the agreements are long term. Too much marketing effort being done to have a resort decide to jump ship.
 
+1

One day while waiting to load Ram8 (base lift, new 8-seater) there was a guy behind me who yelled "THIS LIFT IS CLOSED TO IKON PASSHOLDERS" just see if he could get a reaction. It was afternoon and the people within earshot ignored him. Afterwards I heard him tell his friend next to him that he'd done the same waiting in line for Swifty (other base lift) when it was pretty crowded. Got the impression that in that case, there were people who took him seriously, much to his delight.
What an ass.
 

rhymeandreason

Certified Ski Diva
This is similar to why Arapahoe is leaving Epic, right? This might be the next wave of change - partner resorts leaving Alterra or Vail due to infrastructure overloads.

I saw an interview of Bill Jensen, CEO of Telluride. He said that Telluride received payment from Vail each day skied on an Epic pass. No surprise there. But what did surprise me is that he said they received the equivalent of the daily rate of a Telluride 5-6 day pass, which is basically only 15% off the window rate, as far as I can tell. I am surprised that they receive such a big percentage of the window rate. Maybe Telluride has a preferential rate compared to other independents, but it totally makes sense why they would partner with Vail. Perhaps they pay Vail a fee for marketing, scan technology, etc. I wonder what the other resorts partnered with Vail and Alterra get?
More info on how Telluride is faring with Vail. If they are seeing 350 Epic visits/weekday, they they are making over 200K from midweek visits, plus filling hotels with guests who also need to eat and drink.

https://coloradosun.com/2019/03/12/epic-pass-ikon-pass-lines-aspen-telluride/
 

rhymeandreason

Certified Ski Diva
^^I tried to edit above - Bill Jensen seems like he does a lot of cheerleading for Vail, and lo and behold, he formerly worked for Vail for 11 years. I am guessing he still has some Vail stock!
 
Sounds like Telluride has found a way to balance the increase in visitation. Smart.

Sun Valley and Snowbasin took the extra step of allowing two days — with blackout dates — for Epic Local Pass skiers, maybe hoping to draw weekend visitors from Salt Lake City, where Epic Pass skiers access Vail Resorts’ sprawling Park City resort.

“I’m not doing that here. Vail asked if I wanted to do two Epic Local days and I said no. Because they are all going to show up on a Saturday and Sunday on a crazy weekend with a ton of snow and I’m going to get 1,500 Epic Pass people and 1,500 season pass holders and all of a sudden, everyone will be going ‘What happened to Telluride?’” said Jensen, who expects to see about 9,000 to 10,000 Epic Pass visitors this season. “I’m not interested in growing our volume. That’s not what we want. We want to offer this great experience and want to maximize our yield and help grow business in our community.”
 
I'm actually noticing heavier weekday crowds at Sugarloaf than usual for this time of year (and day of week). However, we get a lot of vacationers from Canadian provinces, which rotate their vacation weeks. So 2 provinces one week, 2 or 3 others the next.

This crowd situation just seems like a lot more than in years past. Ikon-effect??? :noidea: (Ikon passholders get, I believe, 5 days at Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Loon.)
 

BlizzardBabe

Certified Ski Diva
Liberty, Whitetail, Roundtop have gone to Peak. Season passes are only Peak passes and they are more expensive. We'll see. I only ski those areas during the week but Whitetail has had a bad rep for years for having ridiculous weekend crowds - long before the advent of collective passes.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
It will be interesting to see, when the current multi-year partnerships that the partner resorts entered into with Ikon, come to an end, who will renew their partnership and who will decide to drop out.
 
^^I tried to edit above - Bill Jensen seems like he does a lot of cheerleading for Vail, and lo and behold, he formerly worked for Vail for 11 years. I am guessing he still has some Vail stock!
I noticed Jensen's former connection to Vail Resorts. But after spending a few days at Telluride last season when it was on the MCP, I think it fits in well with VR resorts in general. Telluride needs travelers who are willing to spend a bit more time and money to get to a destination resort where they intend to stay for a full week. While some MCP holders ski 4-5 days, there are also MCP holders who only ski 2-3 days before moving on or heading home because that's what's included.
 
This crowd situation just seems like a lot more than in years past. Ikon-effect??? :noidea: (Ikon passholders get, I believe, 5 days at Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Loon.)
Interesting. When Ikon was first announced in 2018, the deal for Sugarloaf, SR, and Loon was 5 days combined. Later on, when Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands were added, Ikon Base holders could get 5 days each at the three northeast Boyne resorts. I can see that having an impact during late season as people decide to squeeze in another ski weekend in Maine as long as conditions are decent.
 
It will be interesting to see, when the current multi-year partnerships that the partner resorts entered into with Ikon, come to an end, who will renew their partnership and who will decide to drop out.
My guess is that the list of partners will evolve, regardless of what the current agreements say.
 
I can see that having an impact during late season as people decide to squeeze in another ski weekend in Maine as long as conditions are decent.
Scratch the weekend - it has been busy all week. (At Sugarloaf, that would mean the first 3 main parking lots filled.) And apparently, last Saturday was MAX. There literally was NOWHERE to park at the resort (I, thankfully, was NOT there) after a short while.

I'm following a thread on another forum regarding all this, and the problem appears to be similar at many resorts now. Some are scrambling trying to figure out how to deal with it.
 
Scratch the weekend - it has been busy all week. (At Sugarloaf, that would mean the first 3 main parking lots filled.) And apparently, last Saturday was MAX. There literally was NOWHERE to park at the resort (I, thankfully, was NOT there) after a short while.

I'm following a thread on another forum regarding all this, and the problem appears to be similar at many resorts now. Some are scrambling trying to figure out how to deal with it.
Last week or this week? Looks like this week, March 11-15, is spring break for some colleges in MA. (Didn't check other New England states.) Wonder if that's a factor?

Definitely hard to tease out what is the impact of Ikon vs the big snowstorms that have been making the news this winter in pretty much all the regions that could be called "ski country" in the U.S.
 
Last week or this week? Looks like this week, March 11-15, is spring break for some colleges in MA. (Didn't check other New England states.) Wonder if that's a factor?
Both last week and this week. I've been skiing this resort for quite a few years now, and while March can be busy, they're seeing weekend-size crowds EVERY Friday - and, yes, college vacations likely are factoring in, in addition to the Canadian province spring vacations. Weekday census is also much above past years. I won't say it's quite crushing during the week - but it's "normal weekend" busy. I'm sure great snow is also a factor.

There's a lot of things going on here. Come April 21, when Sunday River has announced its closing date, some of those skiers/riders will likely travel up to Sugarloaf. With the amount of snow up there, we should go into May this year (barring a heat wave - which has happened). How deep into May is TBD.
 

rhymeandreason

Certified Ski Diva
Last week or this week? Looks like this week, March 11-15, is spring break for some colleges in MA. (Didn't check other New England states.) Wonder if that's a factor?

Definitely hard to tease out what is the impact of Ikon vs the big snowstorms that have been making the news this winter in pretty much all the regions that could be called "ski country" in the U.S.
Here is a blog post on the Alta site - looks like just as in Jackson Hole, the slopes are mostly full of season pass holders who are reveling in the great snow!

https://www.alta.com/blog/weighing-...ntopia&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12070695
 
Here is a blog post on the Alta site - looks like just as in Jackson Hole, the slopes are mostly full of season pass holders who are reveling in the great snow!

https://www.alta.com/blog/weighing-...ntopia&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12070695
I noted the comment about this winter's snow compared to recent years. The increase in ski days by local pass holders is clearly a bigger factor for Alta than travelers using Ikon.

". . .
After six of the last seven seasons with less than average snowfall, we are now enjoying an above average snow year. As of March 11th, we have received 462 inches of snow which is 110% of our 40-year average.
. . .
Snowfall across the nation has brought skiers out in force. 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.
. . ."
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Tremblant has been busy since Presidents week. Next week things should calm down as the holiday period is over. I think the Mexicans are off next week. Some come up to ski.

We were on the Max pass the last few years. I noticed an increase in American license plates in the parking lots. So I'm thinking the Ikon pass is bringing even more people. And the 30% on the dollar the Americans are getting on exchange.
 

VTsnowflower

Certified Ski Diva
Just skimming through this thread...it all seems anecdotal. I would be interested in real data about number of skiers, pass holders, etc. as well as numbers related to holiday periods, weather, and conditions.
 

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