With Alterra Mountain Co.’s Ikon Pass replacing the MAX Pass, the season pass game has changed again. Several resorts have joined either Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass or Ikon, either for advantage or to limit losses. Who will emerge victorious over the other—or will both succeed? And will independent resorts gain or lose in all this?
So much remains in flux, if only because the big battle has just begun. In an exclusive interview with SAM (we’ll have the full interview in the July 2018 issue), Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory said the Ikon Pass is selling “incredibly, incredibly well. I’d love to give you numbers but I can’t. It’s still too soon to tell where it’s all going to end up. As prices change, volume goes up. We really won’t know until next season, but we are pretty significantly exceeding our forecasts. But the forecasts were a guess.”
And VR and Alterra are not the only players. The Mountain Collective and Powder Alliance remain intact, too, and both have gained members. Individual resorts are sweetening their offerings to customers, also. Again, from Gregory: “We are all forced to think differently, but at the end of the day that will be good for the consumer, because we are clawing and scratching for ways to connect with them better, in ways they want to experience mountains. ... If we keep doing this, you will see growth, and not just the regurgitation of market share.”
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