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2018-19 Major multi-resort passes: Epic, MCP, Ikon
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Updated 3 days ago
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marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

So who got the email today that the Mountain Collective Pass (MCP) is available for $409 for 2018-19?  Almost the same line up as this season, with Big Sky replacing Telluride.

Ikon passes go on sale on March 6.  $899 for the full version and $599 for Ikon Base that makes more sense for folks living in the Mid-Atlantic.  A lot of overlap with the MCP because Ikon is a mix of Alterra resorts and “Partners” who are offering a limited number of days.  Although Deer Valley was bought by Alterra, the Ikon passes only offer limited days at DV.

Epic passes also go on sale on March 6.  As noted elsewhere, there is a new option for Military folks that is a great deal.  The other addition is that Telluride is starting a long term agreement with Vail.  The offer is a limited number of days at Telluride as a perk to Epic passholders.  From what I saw last week, it’s probably a better fit than the MCP.

8 months ago

Who is trying to decide between MCP and IKON?

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

jimmy wrote:

Who is trying to decide between MCP and IKON?

Pretty sure I’m going to stick with the MCP.  Was seriously considering Ikon because I want to go back to Big Sky, but the MCP will cover a return to Taos and all days that I end up skiing at Alta during late season.  Takes too much travel and planning to do really well with Ikon.  Making the drive to Snowshoe is not happening.  I’m too spoiled by trips out west.

Where would you go if you got the Ikon Base?

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

This comparison by Ski Utah is useful for people who like to ski in Utah.  Has a good table that compares the prices all the options for adults, kids, etc.

https://www.skiutah.com/blog/authors/yeti/epic-pass-ikon-pass-mountain

 

8 months ago

Killington. Big Sky. The MCP would be better for Utah because Snowbasin is included but I have never been to Deer Valley. I would probably get to Snowshoe for the first time in a few years. I think that free days at Kton and snowshoe might make the Ikon a better choice for me.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

jimmy wrote:

Killington. Big Sky. The MCP would be better for Utah because Snowbasin is included but I have never been to Deer Valley. I would probably get to Snowshoe for the first time in a few years. I think that free days at Kton and snowshoe might make the Ikon a better choice for me.

Agree that the Ikon Base is good for that combination.  Just noticed that the Pugski Gathering will be at Big Sky.

Spent a day at Killington during early season when I was in the Boston area.  Mostly just to get a feel for the place so that I can make more sense out of the trail map.  Clearly a good place to drive during late season, meaning after mid-March when most people have quit skiing even when the snow is still quite good.

I would get the Ikon if I thought I could make it up to Sunday River and Sugarloaf as part of a trip to Boston.  My daughter has one more year of school there.  But the problem is that if the snow is good because of a storm in March, the driving can be a pain.  In Jan-Feb, it’s just too cold in the NE most of the time.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

I know Epic passes are not as of much interest to many DCSki folks, but still worth noting that Vail just announced long term agreements for Okemo, Sunapee, and Crested Butte.  Another set of places with the same operator/owner that used to be on the MAX Pass.  Get 4/7 days depending on which Epic pass, plus 50% off additional days.

Press release on 3/14/2018

http://news.vailresorts.com/corporate/cbmr.htm

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

Lets see what Boyne names their pass

https://www.freep.com/story/money/business/2018/03/13/boyne-resorts-ski/421748002/

 

What Boyne Resorts has already is “Boyne Rewards.”  If you spend enough money on season passes, lift tickets, food, and so on, can even use points to buy a season pass.

Boyne has the “New England Pass” for Loon, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf.  Those three are also part of Ikon.  Big Sky is part of Ikon and MCP.  Brighton is part of the SLC SuperPass.  The two Boyne resorts in the midwest are more or less covered by the same season pass, with 50% off on the sister location.

In case anyone cares, Crystal in the PacNW is no longer part of Boyne Resorts.  It’s solely owned by one of the Kircher brothers as of 2017.  John Kircher has been CEO of Crystal ever since he helped buy it for Boyne Resorts in 1997.

Not much will change in the short run with the change in ownership for the six ski resorts.  The question will be what capital improvements happen in the near future now that Boyne has more control.  Hopefully they also have the ability to finance a few big projects besides what is already allocated for Big Sky.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

For parents who are interested in the $1 MCP for a kid, best to buy soon.  That offer usually doesn’t last much past mid-April.  Only one kid MCP for each adult MCP.  First MCP price is $409.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

MCP at $429 probably will be gone after early July, along with the bonus third day at a pre-selected location.

For those who haven’t decided on a multi-resort pass yet, Alterra just announced the purchase of Solitude.

For a flight to SLC:

MCP: Alta, Snowbird, Snowbasin - 2 days plus 50% other days

Ikon Base: DV, Alta and Snowbird combined, Solitude (TBD) - 5 days

Epic: Park City - depends on which version

4 months ago

You would think Ikon would treat Solitude like the other Alterra-owned properties, which means either unlimited access (potentially with holiday-related blackout dates). But of course we won’t know for sure until they announce something.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

dwm8a wrote:

You would think Ikon would treat Solitude like the other Alterra-owned properties, which means either unlimited access (potentially with holiday-related blackout dates). But of course we won’t know for sure until they announce something.

Agree that unlimited, with or without blackout dates, seems likely for Solitude on the Ikon.  Deer Valley is the only Alterra resort with limited days for Ikon passholders.

The initial plan for Mammoth on the Ikon changed after a major outcry from locals based Ikon Base only included 5 days.  Meaning had to pay for the full Ikon to get unlimited.  Ikon Base ended up unlimited with holiday blackout dates for Mammoth and June.

Still plenty of seniors at Alterra resorts who are annoyed there isn’t a senior rate that provides comparable access to what existed for 2017-18.

2 months ago

Just thought I’d pass this on.

Blue Knob’s offering season pass holders to ANY resort $30 day and twilight tickets (weekday, non-holiday, M-F).  Savings of $13 off the normal $43 ticket.

https://blueknob.com/season-pass-tickets-discounts/

2 months ago

superguy wrote:

Just thought I’d pass this on.

Blue Knob’s offering season pass holders to ANY resort $30 day and twilight tickets (weekday, non-holiday, M-F).  Savings of $13 off the normal $43 ticket.

https://blueknob.com/season-pass-tickets-discounts/

Thanks for the heads up.  This is something a few in my crew will definitely take advantage of.

2 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

superguy wrote:

Just thought I’d pass this on.

Blue Knob’s offering season pass holders to ANY resort $30 day and twilight tickets (weekday, non-holiday, M-F).  Savings of $13 off the normal $43 ticket.

https://blueknob.com/season-pass-tickets-discounts/

Thanks for the heads up.  This is something a few in my crew will definitely take advantage of.

Seconded. I was hoping for something like this. I wonder why more resorts don’t do this.

2 months ago

wgo wrote:

Seconded. I was hoping for something like this. I wonder why more resorts don’t do this.

Agreed.  I was hoping to get at least a day or two in up at BK this coming season.  This definitely increases the likelihood of it happening.

$30 weekdays makes it even cheaper the Laurel.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

Ikon just added 5 days at Taos

5 days with blackout dates for Ikon Base or 7 days with Full Ikon.

Alterra is having fun this week.  Promised two more announcements in the next few days.  There are two more MCP locations that aren’t on Ikon at the moment: Snowbasin and Sun Valley.  Have heard complaints from locals and regulars at those two resorts who are annoyed at the growing numbers of travelers on “their” slopes that used to be relatively empty even on weekends.

The list on the Ikon Compare webpage is certainly getting pretty long.

https://www.ikonpass.com/en/compare-the-ikon-passes

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

https://www.ikonpass.com/en/compare-the-ikon-passes

I thought this was unique at the bottom of the page - blackout dates broken into hemispheres

Blackout Dates:
**Northern Hemisphere: Dec 26 - 31, 2018; Jan 19 - 20, 2019; Feb 16 - 17, 2019
Southern Hemisphere: July 7 - 22, 2018

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

marzNC wrote:

https://www.ikonpass.com/en/compare-the-ikon-passes

I thought this was unique at the bottom of the page - blackout dates broken into hemispheres

Blackout Dates:
**Northern Hemisphere: Dec 26 - 31, 2018; Jan 19 - 20, 2019; Feb 16 - 17, 2019
Southern Hemisphere: July 7 - 22, 2018

 

Both Vail Resorts and Alterra are actively going after the Australian market.  So not that surprising that there is mention of blackouts for the Aussie ski resorts (Thredbo, Perisher).  The discussion among the Aussies is interesting because they can choose to buy an Aussie Epic pass or one for N. America.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Boyne Resorts has clearly joined forces with Alterra.  Announcement for 29Aug adds Boyne locations in the east and midwest.  Big Sky was already on Ikon.  EDIT: Loon, SR, Sugarloaf were in Ikon but as a combined count.  Will be 7/5 for each location for 2018-19.

Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain, MI

Loon, NH

Sunday River and Sugarloaf, ME

Summit at Snoqualmie, WA

Cypress, BC

2 months ago

Loon, Sunday River, Sugarloaf now have 7 days each on the full Ikon pass, no black outs and 5 days each with black outs for the base pass.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

The spin on the Boyne Resorts press release makes it clear that they think Ikon will be good for Boyne.  Certainly means that folks in the midwest have an alternative to an Epic pass.  Assuming they are willing to make the drive to Boyne Mountain or Boyne Highlands in northern Michigan.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/boyne-resorts-to-now-offer-ikon-pass-access-at-nine-mountain-destinations-1027493802

“BOYNE FALLS, Mich., Aug. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Boyne Resorts today announced partnering with the Ikon Pass to add new and expanded access at its nine mountain destinations across North America for the 2018/19 winter season.

The Boyne Resorts and Ikon Pass relationship was first formed when aligning to include Boyne’s Big Sky Resort in Montana and three New England resorts, Loon Mountain, Sugarloaf and Sunday River on the Ikon Pass. With benefits evident to both partners, Boyne Resorts recently agreed to expand access for Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass holders to include Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain resorts in Michigan, Brighton Resort in Utah, Cypress Mountain in British Columbia and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington. Increased access at the New England resorts was also part of the recent agreement.

“For 70 years, Boyne Resorts has been guided by a focus to create memorable experiences for our guests and we are deeply committed to maintaining the individual character of each of our destinations,” said Stephen Kircher, president and CEO of Boyne Resorts. ”This is what the Ikon Pass is about, so we are thrilled to add our Pacific Northwest and Midwest destinations to the Ikon Pass community. And by increasing access to our destinations in the East, we are excited to offer a variety of winter experiences throughout North America.”

…”

2 months ago
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Probably not that popular for DCSki folks, but the price for the Epic pass goes up on Sept. 3.  I think you have to buy Epic passes before some time in November.  Never had much interest, partially because I don’t head to Colorado for skiing because of the relatively high altitude for a lot of lodging.  Have skied at the places around north and south Tahoe, but don’t feel much reason to fly farther to ski in CA/NV during mid-season.

With Squaw/Alpine and Mammoth on the Ikon, a pretty good choice for people who can fit in a late season trip in April or even May. I had fun in early May 2018 checking out Mammoth for the first time using the MCP for a couple days.  By then Heavenly and Northstar are closed. I think Kirkwood closed the earliest of the VR locations around Tahoe.

2 months ago

Good article on ski area consolidation by Gregg Blanchard of slopefillers.com:

https://www.saminfo.com/slopefillers-on-sam/9105-the-marketing-ups-and-downs-of-consolidation-top-pros-and-cons

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
16 days ago

There is a new webpage for opening dates for Ikon locations. There is no distinction made between Alterra and the partner destinations that are also on MCP.

The list is arranged mostly by date together with NOW OPEN (Killington, Sunday River) and TBA. As of late Oct, at the TBA list includes Crystal, Sugarloaf, Loon, and Niseko. Most Ikon locations will be open by Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24-25, 2018. Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, The Summit at Snoqualmie, and Revelstoke plan to open the following weekend.

 

I won’t be surprised if Snowbird, Brighton, and/or Solitude move up their opening dates, if Mother Nature cooperates in the next few weeks.

Always better to announce a later opening date and open earlier than the other way around. Snowbird got burned last season when they opened early and then had to close. Imagine there were some pretty unhappy customers who booked Snowbird resort lodging only to find there were no lifts open during their stay. Brighton is mostly a locals mountain since there is essentially no base lodging. Could be that most SLC locals don’t bother to ski before December. Solitude is harder to guess with the ownership changes in recent years and it does have resort lodging.  Perhaps there are small projects that are happening this fall at Solitude because DV sold to Alterra over the summer.

11 days ago

Interesting article about mega-pass sales and the industry

Ikon & Epic

11 days ago

Bonzski wrote:

Interesting article about mega-pass sales and the industry

Ikon & Epic

I was looking at the passes last night.  I found it interesting that the Ikon passes were actually cheaper than the local pass options Brighton and Solitude were offering, unless you were buying a family pack. Not sure why they would price the local passes higher than the multi-resort passes.

11 days ago

marzNC wrote:

There is a new webpage for opening dates for Ikon locations. There is no distinction made between Alterra and the partner destinations that are also on MCP.

The list is arranged mostly by date together with NOW OPEN (Killington, Sunday River) and TBA. As of late Oct, at the TBA list includes Crystal, Sugarloaf, Loon, and Niseko. Most Ikon locations will be open by Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24-25, 2018. Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, The Summit at Snoqualmie, and Revelstoke plan to open the following weekend.

 

I won’t be surprised if Snowbird, Brighton, and/or Solitude move up their opening dates, if Mother Nature cooperates in the next few weeks.

Always better to announce a later opening date and open earlier than the other way around. Snowbird got burned last season when they opened early and then had to close. Imagine there were some pretty unhappy customers who booked Snowbird resort lodging only to find there were no lifts open during their stay. Brighton is mostly a locals mountain since there is essentially no base lodging. Could be that most SLC locals don’t bother to ski before December. Solitude is harder to guess with the ownership changes in recent years and it does have resort lodging.  Perhaps there are small projects that are happening this fall at Solitude because DV sold to Alterra over the summer.

Brighton’s reporting a 12” base but they don’t have anything open yet.  34” total for the year so far.

Their snowmaking was decent on the night skiing areas (Crest Express, Majestic, and Explorer lifts) and they’ve been pretty good about getting those open early.  If the weather holds, I can see them opening in the next couple weeks.  Forecast looks like they’ll have the temps for good snowmaking over the next couple weeks.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
11 days ago

superguy wrote:

I was looking at the passes last night.  I found it interesting that the Ikon passes were actually cheaper than the local pass options Brighton and Solitude were offering, unless you were buying a family pack. Not sure why they would price the local passes higher than the multi-resort passes.

Given the timing of when Brighton and Solitude were added to Ikon, not surprising that the pricing is a little odd for 2018-19.  Whatever offers preceded adding a place to a multi-resort pass usually don’t change.  Although there are usually still a few people who made decisions early on who aren’t super happy.  I would guess that adjustments will be made for 2019-20.  Especially now that Alterra owns Solitude.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
11 days ago

Bonzski wrote:

Interesting article about mega-pass sales and the industry

Ikon & Epic

Interesting to read that the goal for Ikon in the first season was 250,000.  VR is shooting for 1 million for the Epic Pass after reaching 750,000 last season.  The number that remains a closely guarded secret is how many MCP are bought.

11 days ago

marzNC wrote:

superguy wrote:

I was looking at the passes last night.  I found it interesting that the Ikon passes were actually cheaper than the local pass options Brighton and Solitude were offering, unless you were buying a family pack. Not sure why they would price the local passes higher than the multi-resort passes.

Given the timing of when Brighton and Solitude were added to Ikon, not surprising that the pricing is a little odd for 2018-19.  Whatever offers preceded adding a place to a multi-resort pass usually don’t change.  Although there are usually still a few people who made decisions early on who aren’t super happy.  I would guess that adjustments will be made for 2019-20.  Especially now that Alterra owns Solitude.

I’ll be curious to see what happens with the SnowTime passes next year. I think they handled it well with the add on option at a relatively reasonable cost for those that wanted it.  I hope they keep that for next year.  It would really suck to pay around $800 for a ST pass.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
7 days ago

Valle Nevado is the latest MCP location to be added to Ikon.

That leaves Sun Valley and Snowbasin, both owned by the Holding family, as the remaining locations not on Ikon.  The Sun Valley GM made public statements last winter about not wanting to be part of Ikon.  Wondering if he is regretting that now.  Although there are SV and Snowbasin locals and regulars who think the MCP has meant too many people on the slopes in recent years.

3 days ago

I have to make a decision soon, probably Ikon

 

Another possibility is to buy a $449 Loveland pass which gets you in the powder alliance , 3 days at great places BUT not on weekends then 1/2 price

 

Also the Ikon has a lot of New England resorts— I think its gonna be a good year and I am willing to drive there. 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 days ago

Several of the Alterra resorts on Ikon are offering lodging deals at the Boston Ski Expo.  Mostly those in the northeast but Steamboat has a pretty big booth.  The resorts on MCP and Ikon all have an Ikon flag at the booth.  Plus here is a separate Ikon booth.  In constrast not nearly as much going on for Vail Resorts on the Epic pass besides the Epic table, which has nothing special to offer besides the regular prices available online.

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