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- Nov 12, 2015
- Stanwood, WA
Crystal is an interesting example because it is very much a local’s mountain rather than a destination resort, and the Ikon pass brought in a whole lot more locals, more often (but particularly on weekends and holidays, midweek was fine during the mid-season). It will be interesting to see what happens next year with the Base pass having 5 days rather than unlimited access.So I've been thinking about this more... and at which resorts has Ikon really made a big crowding difference? Jackson Hole comes to mind as one I've heard complaints about, but it's limited to 7 days on Ikon, and I'd always heard Jackson was pretty crowded to begin with. Is it an Ikon problem? Crystal also comes to mind... that could be a good example. But others like Copper and WP have always been pretty crowded. Any others I'm not thinking of?
On the other hand (for places I've been), you have Big Sky, which is still relatively uncrowded (and was/is trying to increase visits, Ikon or not), Taos which hasn't been very affected (and also wants to increase visits, Ikon or not), and Aspen, which hasn't seemed to be affected much at all as far as I can tell.
So which group would/will Schweitzer fall into, I wonder?
Schweitzer may not fall into any other category. It doesn’t have as large a local population center nearby as at Crystal, or the resorts closest to Denver or SLC. It hasn’t been anywhere near as crowded as the other examples, and certainly not as well known as Big Sky, Taos or Aspen.
This may be the perfect test case to assess the impact of the Ikon Pass. I can’t think of many similarly sized large-ish independent (not on Ikon or Epic) resorts that are comparable in size and infrastructure, probably Grant Targhee, Whitefish, Big White, Panorama and a few others. It has enough terrain and modern infrastructure to make for a great ski vacation. It’s as easy or easier to get to than Jackson or Big Sky but doesn’t have the reputation to attract most destination-seekers. So if the Ikon Pass has a significant effect it might make Schweitzer more, dare I say, iconic.
I also wonder about a few other resorts such as Revelstoke or Kicking Horse. They’ve been on the Ikon or Epic passes but I’m not aware of increased crowding due to Ikon/Epic. How about Telluride? Are they simply too remote to be impacted significantly by Ikon/Epic? Niseko or the Remarkables?