Northern Rockies/Alberta IKON Pass arrives in Idaho With the Addition of Schweitzer for Winter 2021-2022

Tricia

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IKON PASS ARRIVES IN IDAHO WITH THE ADDITION OF SCHWEITZER FOR WINTER 21/22
21/22 Ikon Pass On Sale Now



DENVER, CO, April 21, 2021 – The Ikon Pass community expands its access and terrain in the Pacific Northwest with the addition of Schweitzer in Idaho, known for its big terrain, big views and big powder days. Ikon Pass holders can now take advantage of 45 destinations for the 21/22 winter season. The Ikon Pass is on sale now at ikonpass.com.

Schweitzer is located in the Selkirk Mountains overlooking the picturesque town of Sandpoint, Idaho, only 80 miles from Spokane, WA. This beloved hidden gem of a destination offers 2,900 acres of big mountain terrain with stunning views of Lake Pend Oreille, two neighboring states, and Canada. Schweitzer is the largest ski area in Idaho and Washington, often recognized for its renowned tree skiing and family fun.

“We are excited to invite Ikon Pass holders to Idaho to discover the big terrain and special culture of Schweitzer,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “Schweitzer is a unique and independent mountain that is ideal for the Ikon Pass community.”

Ikon Pass holders will have access to seven days at Schweitzer with no blackout dates, and Ikon Base Pass holders will have access to five days each, with select blackout dates. Schweitzer is also available on the Ikon Session Pass.

“Schweitzer is home to a passionate group of skiers and riders who are deeply attached to this place and each other. When new skiers discover Schweitzer for the first time, it's always amazing to see how quickly they connect with the vibe on the mountain,” said Tom Chasse, President & CEO, Schweitzer. “That's what skiing is all about and we are excited to join the Ikon Pass community and look forward to welcoming new skiers and riders to the Schweitzer family.”

Each Ikon Pass comes with Adventure Assurance that offers options to Ikon Pass holders that help provide flexibility and alleviate some uncertainty throughout the winter season. This year, Adventure Assurance comes free with every 21/22 Ikon Pass product.

The Ikon Pass unlocks adventure with access to 45 iconic winter destinations across the Americas, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and is a collaboration of industry leaders - Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, SkiBig3, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, RED Mountain, Taos Ski Valley, Windham Mountain, Schweitzer, Zermatt, Thredbo, Mt Buller, Niseko United, Valle Nevado, and NZ Ski. Each demonstrates integrity, character and independence that is reflected in their mountains and guests.

The Ikon Pass is available now at www.ikonpass.com.

About Ikon Pass

The Ikon Pass welcomes skiers and riders to a community of inspiring mountain destinations and the people who live and play among them across the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Brought to you by Alterra Mountain Company, the Ikon Pass unlocks adventure at iconic and unique destinations including Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper Mountain Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, and Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming; Big Sky Resort in Montana; Stratton, Sugarbush Resort, and Killington in Vermont; Windham Mountain in New York; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain in Michigan; Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington; Mt. Bachelor in Oregon; Schweitzer in Idaho; Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada; SkiBig3 in Alberta, Canada; Revelstoke Mountain Resort, RED Mountain, and Cypress Mountain in British Columbia, Canada; Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico; Deer Valley Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, Brighton Resort, Alta Ski Area, and Snowbird in Utah; Zermatt in Switzerland; Thredbo and Mt Buller in Australia; Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt in New Zealand; Niseko United in Japan, and Valle Nevado in Chile. Special offers are available at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, the world’s largest heli-skiing and heli-accessed hiking operation. For more information, please visit www.ikonpass.com.

About Schweitzer

Considered by many as the best skiing in Idaho and the best family-friendly resort in the Pacific Northwest, Schweitzer is independently owned and proud of it. The resort ranks as one of the nation’s top winter destinations with 2,900 acres of amazing terrain thanks to two massive bowls and renowned tree skiing. Located in the rugged Selkirk Mountains of the northern Idaho panhandle, and only 80 miles from Spokane, WA, Schweitzer overlooks the town of Sandpoint, ID and offers breathtaking views of three states, Canada and the impressive Lake Pend Oreille. For more information on Schweitzer, visit www.schweitzer.com.
 

Slide of Hans

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from FAQs
You’re just bringing more people to the mountain I already love and it’s going to get overcrowded!

The truth is that the area is growing whether we like it or not and our goal is to manage the growth at Schweitzer so the place, the feel and the vibe doesn’t change. Being a partner on the Ikon Pass just gives us the opportunity to invite our skier friends from other places to come enjoy Schweitzer too. And with the addition of the “Voyager Pass,” you can hit the road too and enjoy some world class mountains. It’s all about sharing the stoke. Independently.

The Ikon Pass does NOT offer unrestricted, unlimited access to Schweitzer. The Ikon Pass offers 7 days with no blackout dates and the Ikon Base Pass offers 5 days with some holiday blackout dates. The only pass that offers unlimited days at Schweitzer is a Schweitzer Season Pass. With 2900 acres and a network of updated, high-speed lifts, we know the Schweitzer family can spread out quickly on the mountain.

One way to look at it: For 7 years, we were a part of the Powder Alliance and the most visited resort out of all 18 areas that were members. Powder Alliance generated about 5,000 visits across the season – that works out to an extra 40 people/day. On a mountain of our size, that number was easy to absorb. It will be very similar but given some improvements we plan to make, the redemption process at Guest Services will be much more streamlined.

As mentioned before, we know our area is growing. Spokane is growing, the Rathdrum Prairie is growing and Sandpoint is growing. That means more people on the mountain. We estimate that will see continued growth of about 5%-10% over the next couple of years. And we are going to work hard and make continued investments to help the mountain continue to absorb that growth.

Here are a few things we’re doing THIS YEAR to help:
  1. We look forward to future years where we do not have to limit capacity on our lifts due to Covid-19 – we can fill chairs full, utilize singles and maintain more efficient loading procedures.
  2. We plan to spend over $250,000 to increase the capacity of the Stella Express by 15% (or 235 people/hour). This will be done by adding an additional 14 chairs to the lift.
  3. We plan to spend almost $500,000 to upgrade our ticketing system to support Direct-To-Lift (DTL) tickets with RFID technology and provide ticket kiosks in the village. This will allow guests to purchase online, pick up their ticket at a kiosk and go directly to the lift. We also plan to utilize reloadable ticket media so single/multi day lift tickets can be reloaded online (from home) and reused without visiting a kiosk or Guest Services. What’s it all mean? Faster time from the lot to the lift. For everyone.
  4. We know it can get a little tight indoors at lunch, so we are going to expand our dining options. This includes the opening of Crow’s Bench, the new restaurant inside Humbird and we are excited to add an additional on-mountain food/beverage location at the “Chair 5 Saddle” – the saddle between the top of Stella and Down the Hatch.
Parking is already limited, now it’s just gonna be worse!
  1. Parking is another area that was greatly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. We plan to reinvigorate our campaign to urge guests to carpool and utilize the FREE public transportation up/down the mountain from the Red Barn Parking lot. This past fall, we increased the size of that lot to support an additional 100 cars.
  2. We also hope that the Selkirk Recreation District shuttle will resume, decreasing the number of cars in the mountain parking lots from our on-mountain community members.
  3. In a couple more years, we hope to replace Musical Chairs with a high-speed quad and span the creek to a new parking area with room for an estimated 1,500 additional cars.
 
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Truberski

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Love it!!! One of my all time favorite ski trips was flying into Spokane, rent car, ski Schweitzer for one day, and jump into Canada to ski Red Mountain and Whitewater. Need the border to re-open but I really liked this quieter side of BC, Nelson is a really cool town, and both resorts have some great terrain (and no crowds).

Will be tough call on which “big trip” to do next season.....
 

AmyPJ

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I've skied Schweitzer a couple of times. It's a great mountain!
 

David Chaus

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Love it!!! One of my all time favorite ski trips was flying into Spokane, rent car, ski Schweitzer for one day, and jump into Canada to ski Red Mountain and Whitewater. Need the border to re-open but I really liked this quieter side of BC, Nelson is a really cool town, and both resorts have some great terrain (and no crowds).

Will be tough call on which “big trip” to do next season.....
Yes, with Red and Schweitzer both on the Ikon Pass, it makes for a great trip. They’re about 3 1/2 hours apart, Schweitzer is under 2 hours from Spokane airport and Red under 3 hours.

This also makes renewing my Ikon Pass a no-brainer, even if I weren’t planning to go to Aspen for the Gathering. I can drive to Schweitzer in 6 hours and Red in about 7 hours.
 

Bad Bob

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If you are going to do a Schweitzer/Red Mountain trip the "shortest" drive is Highway 2 up to Usk, WA cross on Flowery Trail Rd. to Chewelah then North on 395. You will go right by 49° North (maybe a 1 hour drive from Sandpoint), but do not stop, you won't like it. Don't even look to your left just drive by, nothing to see here. :ogcool:
 

Bad Bob

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Sounds like Whitefish
I don't want to talk about it! :ogcool:
Next season brings some major improvements to the hill. Biggest is a new high speed quad to do 1900 vert laps with a 7 minute chair ride, and a lot more tree thinning. Lots more stuff in the following years.
Hope this Ikon expansion is a kick off for our region. There soo much good skiing so close with easy access. Even if the boarder is still closed you can easily do a 5 mountain vacation in Northeastern WA, North ID. All are good and none are expensive. You did not see this here from me though.
 

Willy

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As a Schweitzer local, I have some trepidation about this. On one hand, I understand the business side of this and can appreciate that. On the other, as a local, our crowds and skier days have seemingly been increasing every year. It's good to see Tom has some solid answers to those concerns so maybe this will be fine without screwing it all up for the locals. Time will tell...
 

Willy

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I don't want to talk about it! :ogcool:
Next season brings some major improvements to the hill. Biggest is a new high speed quad to do 1900 vert laps with a 7 minute chair ride, and a lot more tree thinning. Lots more stuff in the following years.
Hope this Ikon expansion is a kick off for our region. There soo much good skiing so close with easy access. Even if the boarder is still closed you can easily do a 5 mountain vacation in Northeastern WA, North ID. All are good and none are expensive. You did not see this here from me though.

Would you quiet down, already?? :)
 

PlainsSkier

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Love it!!! One of my all time favorite ski trips was flying into Spokane, rent car, ski Schweitzer for one day, and jump into Canada to ski Red Mountain and Whitewater. Need the border to re-open but I really liked this quieter side of BC, Nelson is a really cool town, and both resorts have some great terrain (and no crowds).

Will be tough call on which “big trip” to do next season.....
That very trip is what I thought about doing after hearing this news. Was going to do SLC for my big trip but this might beat it out if the border opens up again.
 

Cols714

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As a Schweitzer local, I have some trepidation about this. On one hand, I understand the business side of this and can appreciate that. On the other, as a local, our crowds and skier days have seemingly been increasing every year. It's good to see Tom has some solid answers to those concerns so maybe this will be fine without screwing it all up for the locals. Time will tell...
People like to ski and have as much a right to ski there as you do. Be glad that it's a great place to go and that they are investing in it. And yeah, ski areas are going to get more crowded because skiing is fun. There's not much to do about this except to increase lift access and invest in ski areas.
 

Willy

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People like to ski and have as much a right to ski there as you do. Be glad that it's a great place to go and that they are investing in it. And yeah, ski areas are going to get more crowded because skiing is fun. There's not much to do about this except to increase lift access and invest in ski areas.
Let me start this response by stating that I don't need someone on the internet to tell me to "Be glad" about anything. It's patronizing and not a welcome response.

No, people don't have a right to ski or do anything, anywhere. They gain the privilege through the cost of lift tickets and at the discretion of management. If it was a right, it would be provided freely. Ownership/management makes the decisions as to who can ski there and at what price and retain THEIR right to refuse or, at least, discourage use based on other non-discriminatory factors through policy decisions so, no, there's no specific "right".

With that said, as a thirty-year plus passholder and condo owner at Schweitzer, my level of 'buy-in' should carry some consideration as to the impacts of decisions made by management. I am a long-term, faithful customer and that should count for something, certainly more than that of someone from some other area dropping in for a week of skiing at what I consider, selfishly, to be 'my hill'. Management, good management, should always listen to their customers, particularly their long-term repeat customers. Instead, the message we received was, 'This is what we're doing and it's good for you so you have to like it'. I don't necessarily agree with their conclusion.

As noted, since I have property at the area, what management decides has a direct financial and quality-of-life impact on me. On one hand, the financial side of this is positive as real estate values have accelerated greatly and the Ikon arrangement will certainly enhance that. However, the other side is that I never bought the condo with financial gain as the primary reason, it's quality of life. To that end, I foresee quality of life being negatively impacted due to overcrowding and an onslaught of mostly Seattleites making their way over to take advantage of the new pass partnership. Having seen/heard what's happening at Crystal and the new WFH economy, I foresee Schweitzer becoming the newest escape from Seattle location and our hill being overtaken and turning into a similar shit-show to Crystal. That will ruin Schweitzer from my perspective.

From a community view, the locals in Sandpoint, who grew up there, went to Sandpoint High School, got married, raising a family, they're going to be in trouble trying to stay there. The cost of living is already escalating to a point where they can't stay. This year, many times some lifts were closed due to staffing shortages. They're having a hard time recruiting help with the low wages offered and the cost of living in Sandpoint. Many of the long-term employees have had to leave and find something else to do in order to stay there. This will exacerbate that problem.

I understand how this is probably a good business decision on the part of Schweitzer. They're playing into a mature market (skiing is a mature market and, contrary to your post, not really growing in skier-visit numbers) which generally leads to consolidation into just a few larger players. This happens in just about every industry and market forces typically are at the root of this. Staying isolated and placating fewer skiers as a smaller area ultimately may not be the best decision so, I get it. However, there is always room for good, regional businesses with special capabilities to excel. Schweitzer has been in the latter category but is playing into the larger picture.

Lastly, you're right; expand and invest in greater lift capacity and area. However, that's a limited response. Schweitzer is fortunate to own all their area so aren't held up by the Forest Service for expansion but if/when they actually make those investments will be critical to the success of whether they can absorb the added traffic. Many areas can't do that and there's always environmental concerns to consider. Sandpoint's primary water supply, for example, comes from the same drainage as Schweitzer's front bowl so decisions made on the hill can have direct impact on Sandpoint's water supply. Still, there are few restrictions to protect some of this so care needs to be taken.

At the end of the day, Schweitzer has decided that "People like to ski and have as much a right to ski there as you do.". Yes, they have. But it doesn't mean I have to "be glad" and just bite my tongue. And again, I don't much care to be patronized and that's certainly how their messaging and your comment came off. So, forgive me if I seem less than zealous about this because, well, I am less than zealous. However, I will give this the benefit of doubt at this time and see how it plays out. Could turn out fine or, I may offer a condo for sale. We'll see.
 

Cols714

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Let me start this response by stating that I don't need someone on the internet to tell me to "Be glad" about anything. It's patronizing and not a welcome response.

No, people don't have a right to ski or do anything, anywhere. They gain the privilege through the cost of lift tickets and at the discretion of management. If it was a right, it would be provided freely. Ownership/management makes the decisions as to who can ski there and at what price and retain THEIR right to refuse or, at least, discourage use based on other non-discriminatory factors through policy decisions so, no, there's no specific "right".

With that said, as a thirty-year plus passholder and condo owner at Schweitzer, my level of 'buy-in' should carry some consideration as to the impacts of decisions made by management. I am a long-term, faithful customer and that should count for something, certainly more than that of someone from some other area dropping in for a week of skiing at what I consider, selfishly, to be 'my hill'. Management, good management, should always listen to their customers, particularly their long-term repeat customers. Instead, the message we received was, 'This is what we're doing and it's good for you so you have to like it'. I don't necessarily agree with their conclusion.

As noted, since I have property at the area, what management decides has a direct financial and quality-of-life impact on me. On one hand, the financial side of this is positive as real estate values have accelerated greatly and the Ikon arrangement will certainly enhance that. However, the other side is that I never bought the condo with financial gain as the primary reason, it's quality of life. To that end, I foresee quality of life being negatively impacted due to overcrowding and an onslaught of mostly Seattleites making their way over to take advantage of the new pass partnership. Having seen/heard what's happening at Crystal and the new WFH economy, I foresee Schweitzer becoming the newest escape from Seattle location and our hill being overtaken and turning into a similar shit-show to Crystal. That will ruin Schweitzer from my perspective.

From a community view, the locals in Sandpoint, who grew up there, went to Sandpoint High School, got married, raising a family, they're going to be in trouble trying to stay there. The cost of living is already escalating to a point where they can't stay. This year, many times some lifts were closed due to staffing shortages. They're having a hard time recruiting help with the low wages offered and the cost of living in Sandpoint. Many of the long-term employees have had to leave and find something else to do in order to stay there. This will exacerbate that problem.

I understand how this is probably a good business decision on the part of Schweitzer. They're playing into a mature market (skiing is a mature market and, contrary to your post, not really growing in skier-visit numbers) which generally leads to consolidation into just a few larger players. This happens in just about every industry and market forces typically are at the root of this. Staying isolated and placating fewer skiers as a smaller area ultimately may not be the best decision so, I get it. However, there is always room for good, regional businesses with special capabilities to excel. Schweitzer has been in the latter category but is playing into the larger picture.

Lastly, you're right; expand and invest in greater lift capacity and area. However, that's a limited response. Schweitzer is fortunate to own all their area so aren't held up by the Forest Service for expansion but if/when they actually make those investments will be critical to the success of whether they can absorb the added traffic. Many areas can't do that and there's always environmental concerns to consider. Sandpoint's primary water supply, for example, comes from the same drainage as Schweitzer's front bowl so decisions made on the hill can have direct impact on Sandpoint's water supply. Still, there are few restrictions to protect some of this so care needs to be taken.

At the end of the day, Schweitzer has decided that "People like to ski and have as much a right to ski there as you do.". Yes, they have. But it doesn't mean I have to "be glad" and just bite my tongue. And again, I don't much care to be patronized and that's certainly how their messaging and your comment came off. So, forgive me if I seem less than zealous about this because, well, I am less than zealous. However, I will give this the benefit of doubt at this time and see how it plays out. Could turn out fine or, I may offer a condo for sale. We'll see.
Your response is basically I lived here a long time so they should cater to me. People like to ski. People have just as much of a reason to be on that ski hill as you do. Someone who visits there and skis will be just as mad that you are there clogging up the ski area as they are. If you want there to be fewer skiers on the hill the easiest decision to make is to not ski. That will mean one less skier to deal with. And of course it will effect your quality of life. Just like you moving there effected the quality of life of those who were there before you. That's how this works. You don't get to move somewhere and then decide "that's it, no more skiers allowed"

Thank goodness that ski areas are expanding and opening up and investing. Otherwise there would be no ski industry because there would be about 1000 "locals" who get to ski, get old, and no one around to take up the sport.
 
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David Chaus

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Ummm....someone who has been a pass holder for 30+ years is much more of a stakeholder than someone who decides to visit because it’s included on their multi-resort pass, even if their love of skiing is the same. @Willy is much more invested in the resort, both financially and emotionally, and more impacted by what happens with business decisions made by the resort than I could be.

So, I will be mindful of my impact on Schweitzer when I visit there, and do my best to respect those who have made their life there. At the same time, I am more likely to visit Schweitzer this coming season due to its inclusion on the Ikon Pass, so I am as much a part of the problem as I am part of the solutions, whatever they may be. I don’t want to see Schweitzer get overrun either, so I hope management is able to find a balance between increased revenue and maintaining the culture and experience of the place.
 

Willy

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Directed to Cols714:

No, my response is that I've been here a long time, didn't come into it as a pompous outsider coming in and telling everyone what they should like and how they should think; that they should be happy I'm there. I didn't come in as a 'local' but have been a long-term passholder, bought my place, had a lot of friends there, made a lot of new friends, pay my local taxes that support local schools, roads, etc. and earned my place as a local when I became accepted as a local by the locals. It's more about not trampling on people when you show up in their neighborhood. You probably live in a neighborhood and have relationships with your neighbors and an expectation for your quality of life in that neighborhood. If a bunch of someone's come in claiming they have as much right to your neighborhood as you then demand you accept them and change the neighborhood to fit their idea of a good neighborhood, you would likely and rightfully be wary.

Like I said, we'll see how this goes. If not well, we have other ski areas around here that are fun, independently owned, and not as subject to becoming Crystal East. I have other choices but Schweitzer is the best in the area and what I consider home, my neighborhood, and being driven from my neighborhood by arrogant people outside this region isn't the outcome I desire. But, again, we'll just see how it goes. And no matter how much you try and cajole me into accepting your way of thinking that all-comers are welcome, it's not going to happen. In fact, just based on the attitude you've demonstrated in your posts, you're exactly the kind of visitor I would rather not come.
 

Cols714

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Ummm....someone who has been a pass holder for 30+ years is much more of a stakeholder than someone who decides to visit because it’s included on their multi-resort pass, even if their love of skiing is the same. @Willy is much more invested in the resort, both financially and emotionally, and more impacted by what happens with business decisions made by the resort than I could be.

So, I will be mindful of my impact on Schweitzer when I visit there, and do my best to respect those who have made their life there. At the same time, I am more likely to visit Schweitzer this coming season due to its inclusion on the Ikon Pass, so I am as much a part of the problem as I am part of the solutions, whatever they may be. I don’t want to see Schweitzer get overrun either, so I hope management is able to find a balance between increased revenue and maintaining the culture and experience of the place.
And I'm sorry for coming across as rude here. I don't mean to be. I just get fired up whenever something good happens and there's always people who want things to never change and for others not to enjoy the thing that they enjoy.
 

David Chaus

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I guess we’ll just have to meet up at Schweitzer and ski together.
 
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