Northern Rockies/Alberta Big Sky Cuts Tram Access to Lone Peak for Ikon Pass Holders and others......

fatbob

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Seems like a con job on Ikon passholders. Not that I bothered lining up for the tram when I was there last year.
 

Johnny V.

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With the price of a IKON amortized over how many days you get to use
This. If I can't get way more than my 650 bucks worth of skiing on the base IKON without riding the BS tram, shame on me. Probably won't make it Big Sky next year anyway (although I'd like to) so it's a moot point. As @BS Slarver says, there are local BS passes that don't include the tram either, so IKON and MC are not singled out.
 

BS Slarver

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Sounds like the collective beef here is with IKON for putting their passes out prematurely.
This decision has been swirling around big sky for over a year along with not being a part of the pass at all.
How can IKON sell there pass before getting 44 mountains complete information, greed ?

From what I had heard the IKON contract had expired with big Sky after 3 years and was re-negotiated for the next term, clearly they IKON jumped the gun.
It is clearly noted on the IKON site today and maybe epic isn’t looking so bad after all ?
 

Ulmerhutte

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Thread drift (sorry)… I would not be surprised to see more resorts place limits on season’s passes, using the need to limit capacity for covid as a cover story.

Many would have taken a significant hit to their balance sheets over the last 2 seasons, and limiting season ski days could be one source of additional revenue. That might be done through black-out days or capped ski days, with additional fees to remove such restrictions. Their headline advertising would say something like, ”No price increase for 2021/22…”, but with some fine print at the bottom of the page. Call me a cynic…
 

RJS

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Big Sky seems like a really interesting case where the increased crowding issue is limited to the tram while the rest of the mountain is, relatively speaking, uncrowded. Compare that with a place like Jackson Hole, Alta, or Snowbird, where the increased crowding is more uniformly distributed across the lifts on the mountain. Given how ambitious Big Sky's future development plans are, I would be surprised if they did not want to continue increasing overall visitation, with the caveat that they need to control visitation at the tram.

While I do not love this idea as a skier as it increases the costs of me visiting Big Sky, I am intrigued from a business standpoint. From an Econ 101 perspective, when the supply of expert terrain is limited and demand keeps rising, it makes sense that prices will increase. Big Sky's strategy is quite interesting: they are increasing their overall visitation by accepting customers with Ikon Passes, but getting (presumably) less revenue per ticket from Ikon than they would from day ticket sales, but now increasing the price of their supply-constrained lift in order to better manage limited resources and make additional revenue.

Curious to see how this plays out. Do expert destination skiers (possibly along with their family and friends) revolt and decide to ski other mountains? Or, does tram access not factor into their decision-making? After all, like someone posted, the cost of adding tram access while on a vacation is probably trivial compared with the overall cost of the vacation. Do tram lines actually decrease? If so, that's a win for folks who purchase tram access. And if tram lines don't decrease? Big Sky makes more money.

I expect to see more creativity in pricing at the most sought-after ski areas in order to manage crowds and increase revenue.
 

skidrew

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All that is totally true and totally beside the point. My car will get me to California just as well with matte paint as it will with metallic paint. Nevertheless if I paid for the car with the expectation that it would have metallic paint, and then later someone else in the chain of commerce decided that there would would be an upcharge for metallic paint, then I am either owed a refund or I am owed a car with metallic paint.
So contact Ikon and tell them that you no longer want the pass because you can't use it on the tram for the price you initially paid for the 7 days of access you get. I bet they refund you, probably without even escalating. Until they deny you I don't see what your issue is.

FWIW, the Ikon pass website now states that Tram access is not included at Big Sky
 

skidrew

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From an Econ 101 perspective, when the supply of expert terrain is limited and demand keeps rising, it makes sense that prices will increase.
More technically here is the limit on access to expert terrain - there's no shortage of terrain off the Peak (though, yes, there are limits on the Big and North Summit).
 
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skidrew

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2021-2022 Big Sky Passes & Prices. Most options don't include tram access.
View attachment 130636
Not sure if these reflect the "early season" discount from last year, but here you are:


Double Black (equivalent to Gold) - $1499
Black (equivalent to Double Black, but only 7 tram days) - $1299
Blue (similar to Blue) - $809.
 

CascadeConcrete

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Crowding on the tram has been an obvious and growing problem for years. It's not a surprise to anyone who's been to Big Sky, and certainly not to management. There have been rumors for awhile about plans to run a lift up the Liberty Bowl side or to increase the capacity of the tram itself. I'm not against using costs to control capacity when there are no other good options. But it seems like Big Sky just wanted to do other things instead of fixing the biggest bottleneck on the mountain and now this is their "solution". And, as others have said, destination skiers aren't particularly cost sensitive so I'm not convinced this will even work all that well.
 

DanoT

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When Aspen and Jackson Hole added $150 to the Ikon Base Pass for access to their mountains, I speculated on another thread that Big Sky could be next.

With the above in mind, not adding $150 but instead dropping Ikon access to the BS Tram seems to be a better solution as it addresses the area of greatest crowding at Big Sky and gives the pass holder more options for extra $ or not.
 

skidrew

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Crowding on the tram has been an obvious and growing problem for years. It's not a surprise to anyone who's been to Big Sky, and certainly not to management. There have been rumors for awhile about plans to run a lift up the Liberty Bowl side or to increase the capacity of the tram itself. I'm not against using costs to control capacity when there are no other good options. But it seems like Big Sky just wanted to do other things instead of fixing the biggest bottleneck on the mountain and now this is their "solution". And, as others have said, destination skiers aren't particularly cost sensitive so I'm not convinced this will even work all that well.
BS does have a plan to fix it with a new tram (presumably with more capacity) but they can only install so many lifts at once and base lifts are more important.
 

CascadeConcrete

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I'm sure resort management knows things I don't. I'm not even a local, so I'm not there all the time and may be way off base. But as far as I can tell, a lot of the lower mountain lifts are way over provisioned, especially in comparison to the tram. I suspect they've avoided addressing it because it's an expensive and complicated project. But they desperately need to do so, and this policy seems like a band-aid on a self-inflicted wound they got from continuing to try to drive traffic to the mountain while ignoring the most severe bottleneck on it.
 

David Chaus

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It is very likely that with the Ikon pass that I intend on renewing, should I go to Big Sky, and the conditions be favorable and the lines at the Tram tolerable, that I would pay the daily charge for the Tram. $20 sure, $50 maybe, $80 maybe not. Then again, I don’t plan to go during peak holidays either.

People pay for early access/fresh tracks sessions all the time (Steamboat for example). I don’t see this as much different.
 

DanoT

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And Copper has its special lift line you can pay extra to use.
Not any more.
I was at Copper a few seasons ago on the Monday of Presidents Day Weekend. It had started snowing at noon the previous day and was still snowing when I got to the lift (a 6 pack if memory serves) at 8:40am for a 9am opening. There was a special 8:30 lift opening line for those who had stayed the night before at a certain lodge.

There were 20-30 people ahead of me in the 9am line and a similar amount or less that utilized the 8:30 opening. I was surprised.

When the lift opened I headed to some lower mountain fixed grip lifts where there were little to no lines and I skied mid shin pow all morning...on a holiday weekend. :ogbiggrin:
 
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