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

skidrew

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Stratton has been doing it for a long time.


If it wasn't there when I bought my pass (and I don't believe it was) then yes, it's inadequate. That's what @Tony S is referring to - people who bought the Ikon pass before this announcement could rightly consider themselves to have already paid for tram access. So they could potentially be refunded (and I am curious how Ikon would handle that) but it's still a crappy move/problem to have to deal with as a consumer.
I quarrel with "rightly". I agree changing the terms isn't a good look for Ikon (which apparently didn't get the caveat in there initially), but no one has "taken delivery" of anything about a pass that's not valid until this Fall (at least at Big Sky).

If I wanted to use the bike-swap analogy then it would be the bike dealer calls and says "look, I can't provide you with the bike you wanted to buy any more because the manufacturer changed the specs. I can either get you something similar for the same price or you can cancel the order." Either of those is a legitimate option for the business to provide. A discount would be a gesture of goodwill and nothing more.

And, outside of people who have already bought - what is the argument it's "unfair" to exclude tram access for Ikon pass holders equally with all buyers of lift tickets at BS other than one season pass with full privileges?
 

Tony S

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It's not even the money aspect really. It's Alterra showing another "tell" that they are the weaker party when it comes to protecting their customers.
This. Exactly. If what I'm really buying when I buy an Ikon pass amounts to "whatever the partner resorts feel like allowing Ikon holders to do or not do at any given time during the season," then I'm not buying it again.
 

dovski

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It's not even the money aspect really. It's Alterra showing another "tell" that they are the weaker party when it comes to protecting their customers.
Big Sky is a Boyne resort not Alterra. Having skied Big Sky and ridden the tram, I always thought it was a nice feature but not the reason I ski there. Simply put it has very limited capacity and the conditions up top are very weather dependent. On a great day it is amazing but you need to be prepared to wait 3 hours for a single run, not something I am willing to do. I would however be willing to pay a reasonable premium for a single run on a good day. With that in mind I would rather they have say a $10-30 dollar option for a single ride as well as an all you can ride option. This would hopefully eliminate the line while keeping the tram economically accessible. The other option is to upgrade the tram to have a higher capacity system but then you run the risk of too many people skiing the peak which creates other problems.

This is also something that should have been communicated earlier in the season or even tested during the crazy Covid waits to ride the tram. Bottom line is that a three hour wait is a bad experience so something needs to change.
 

dovski

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This. Exactly. If what I'm really buying when I buy an Ikon pass amounts to "whatever the partner resorts feel like allowing Ikon holders to do or not do at any given time during the season," then I'm not buying it again.
Again Big Sky is not an Alterra resort they are owned by Boyne, so one could argue that limiting Ikon access to the tram is a good thing for Big Sky customers who have been impacted by Ikon crowds at their resort. That said tram wait times are not a new problem at Big Sky.
 

PlainsSkier

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It's also not a "localism" issue - it's quite clear this applies to *everyone*, with the one exception of the highest priced season pass. Locals pay; visitors pay; ikon passholders pay. There's zero discrimination and there's zero discount for locals.
Yeah, I don't see this as an issue with Ikon. It is more about lacking infastructure creating a unique issue for Big Sky. To be honest I was a lot more upset with how Big Sky was holding back reservations earlier this year for Ikon passholders
 

Tony S

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Big Sky is a Boyne resort not Alterra.
From the Ikon consumer's point of view, this is a distinction without a difference. Who cares. Ikon sells me a product. It's on them to deliver on that product. If that means hard-nosed negotiations with their partners, that's their job, not mine.
 

givethepigeye

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Totally fine by me and see no issue (although) never been to Big Sky but this would not stop me.

Now do the same at JH, but make it 2x the cost. It was at least a 4-5 box wait last year and if only filled to 25 people this year (25%) can’t even imagine what it was. Never even contemplated it, but when you have patrol set a boot pack up the bowl, seems like there is an issue.
 

Drahtguy Kevin

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I might just have to change my avatar :ogbiggrin:

Open invitation to all here for the sphincter check tour next time your out and it will be tram free, any takers ?
@SBrown @dovski
I’m in. @SBrown has taken me places that have tested my sphincter. And I had a blast!
DA920A1B-F1CA-499F-940E-E035B63D5D7B.jpeg
One example from Taos. Snow was magnificent.
 
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dovski

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From the Ikon consumer's point of view, this is a distinction without a difference. Who cares. Ikon sells me a product. It's on them to deliver on that product. If that means hard-nosed negotiations with their partners, that's their job, not mine.
So in this case you have an Ikon issue not a Big Sky issue, completely agree and they should have communicated this before Ikon passes went on sale
 

givethepigeye

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You miss the point. They pay to not wait. They pay to ski what they want as close to when they want as possible. Waiting in lines is for people who can’t pay.
Happens everywhere, nothing unusual
^ This...all day long. esp when you get the back stairs @ JH tram. Baller move is the early tram upgrade on top.
 

Tricia

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This post speaks to the Ikon situation specifically.

A family from Peoria with two pre-teen kids is visiting New York City and they really want to visit the Statue of Liberty. That’s at the heart of their trip. Telling them about the 1001 other wonderful and special things there are to do in Manhattan doesn’t change that or reduce their disappointment if they don’t get to do it. Nor does it appease their grouchiness if their all-inclusive package tour included that stop, but then they’re told later that it’s going to cost a bunch extra to visit the statue.

Every piece of PR about Big Sky starts and ends with a stunning photo of Lone Peak. Going up there, regardless of your actual ability to ski the terrain, is practically the definition of a signature experience. Boyne perpetuates that for all it’s worth with every single ad. Right? It’s willfully obtuse to suggest that it’s “ just another lift,” as it would be to suggest that Miss Liberty is “just another attraction” in New York.

Let me try to use the Socratic method here and reflect the argument my opponents in this discussion are presenting. Being able to do this is a first principle of debate.

The argument, though not explicitly articulated, is clearly this:

The Ikon pass is an amazing value. You get so much skiing for your money. If Ikon and its partner resorts are nibbling away at the edges of what you were told you were getting, so what? By complaining you are looking a gift horse in the mouth. Instead, you should shut up, count your blessings, and stop being so greedy.

Is that not basically what many of you are saying?

If so, well, I just don't agree. It is not greedy to expect to receive something that you paid for. The fact that it was a good deal doesn’t change that in the slightest. On the contrary, the fact that it was that good a deal – notably including the signature Big Sky experience – may have convinced you to close the sale in the first place, much to the benefit of the seller. (How much do you want to bet that there is - or was - a prominent photo of Lone Peak and the tram somewhere on the Ikon site?)

My bike shop advertises a Colnago Model X road bike for $2,000. Wow. That’s a great deal. Sold. Here’s my credit card. Now delivery day arrives and it’s not a Colnago, it’s a Trek. Same component package. I say, “I paid for a Colnago, not a Trek.” Bike shop says, “Yeah, but this Trek is an amazing bike. For $2,000 you were crazy to expect a Colnago. Even the Trek is WAY underpriced at $2,000. What makes you think you deserve a Colnago for only $2,000?” Um, the fact that my sales receipt says I was supposed to get a Colnago?

Not that I think it should matter, but yes, by the way, I have been up there, and I have skied other routes besides Liberty, and it is quite an amazing experience, even knowing first-hand how good the skiing at Headwaters and other parts of the mountain also is.

I am not planning a trip to Big Sky next year, but if I were you can be sure I’d be on the phone with Ikon about this. Say I’d booked a 7-day trip. I might reasonably expect to ride the tram on 3 of those 7 days, thinking conservatively about weather and what have you. At $50 a pop, hypothetically, that is not pocket change. $150 extra for the week.

Now let’s say every marquis area starts doing this. That’s an extra $150 for each week at each area. If I take three trips I’ve paid $1,450 for my Ikon experience instead of $1,000. Almost a 50% increase. No. Sheesh.
For someone who's not planning a trip to Big Sky, you seem pretty outraged.
Maybe you should give that $$ to @BS Slarver for his below tram line sphincter tour.

As for the bike analogy, I think about that every time I sell an entry level bike to someone.
First the bike, but wait....
Now you need pedals, shoes, padded shorts, gloves, helmet....
 

Tricia

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I might just have to change my avatar :ogbiggrin:

Open invitation to all here for the sphincter check tour next time your out and it will be tram free, any takers ?
@SBrown @dovski
As long as @BS Slarver is not actually checking sphincters we are in, but if he is ... put us down as a maybe :rolleyes::roflmao:
I’m in. @SBrown has taken me places that have tested my sphincter. And I had a blast!
There is something about this chain of conversation that has me. :geek: and :roflmao:
 

KingGrump

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mdf

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It's Alterra showing another "tell" that they are the weaker party when it comes to protecting their customers.
Definitely. The separate reservation pool for Ikon this year (that gets sold out while other tickets are available) is another. That doesn't make me outraged, unless Alterra pretends otherwise.

But it does make me discouraged, because it means the Ikon will gradually stop being a great deal for use at Partner Resorts.
 

fatbob

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Again Big Sky is not an Alterra resort they are owned by Boyne, so one could argue that limiting Ikon access to the tram is a good thing for Big Sky customers who have been impacted by Ikon crowds at their resort. That said tram wait times are not a new problem at Big Sky.
No one has said they are an Alterra resort but they ARE an Alterra partner resort. Many of us have zero chance of ever being a local customer at Big Sky but the issue is relevant in terms of future travel plans and more generally just how far Alterra will let partner resorts degrade their customer experience/opportunity.

I tend to regard big lines as a self managing issue - ultimately those that want it more pay the price by lining up for longer. That is the way it has generally worked for decades in the ski industry. I doubt Ikon has ruined Big Sky as much as the population growth in Bozeman.
 

givethepigeye

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Pebble Beach is +$500 a round
Pinehurst #2 is +$400 a round
Kiawah Ocean is $380 a round

If you want cheaper there are numerous smaller less “fancy” courses and Muni’s, just like there are smaller ski hills. Even with a $50 charge on top, seems like BS is a top tier hill and w/ IKON makes it reasonable.
 

Philpug

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OK...am I seeing this right? The Ikon Pass was offered at an earlier date for renewal, this was announced at a later date? So, if you bought your Ikon pass between the two dates and you want you money back, I am sure the would accommodate you. Otherwise you know what you are dealing with moving forward.
 

DanoT

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When we had the Tahoe gathering back in 2012 there was a group of members who pooled their $$ to hire @Sinecure for a full day private so they could get line cuts at Squaw on a powder day...
So, yeah, sometimes people are willing to pony up for a special experience.
I was thinking about the above and how the above type of thing impacts me. Those that pay ski instructors $ to go to the front of the line ahead of me get to ski powder turns that I might have otherwise got to ski.:nono:

However in the case of paying extra to ski Lone Peak, it is something that I would not be doing but in this case I would be enjoying the impact of those that pay extra to ride the tram because it would mean that I would be skiing other parts of the mountain and not really competing for pow turns with tram riding skiers. So I get more pow turns and pay less $. Whats not to like? :ogbiggrin:

I would add that paying extra to ski Lone Peak at least once for a bucket list kind of thing or even for the view and not ski if the terrain is beyond ones comfort zone, for most ski-weekers it is worth the experience.
 
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fatbob

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Pebble Beach is +$500 a round
Pinehurst #2 is +$400 a round
Kiawah Ocean is $380 a round

If you want cheaper there are numerous smaller less “fancy” courses and Muni’s, just like there are smaller ski hills. Even with a $50 charge on top, seems like BS is a top tier hill and w/ IKON makes it reasonable.

Nah strictly Championship maybe even First Division on a global basis.....
 
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