IKON the Lightning Rod

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Lorenzzo, Feb 13, 2019.

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  1. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Right On The Line Skier

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    The linked article reflects the general sentiment of multiple places to which I've been this winter as well as my social media feeds. The numerous reasons for crowding have been discussed elsewhere. However, deserved or not, IKON seems to be the lightening rod in this.

    My suspicion thus far is people tend to go where the snow is good when it's good and IKON and the economy have increased the ability and tendency to do that. And the snow's been good.

    https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news...md48iyvcTz7CFIvd9p4Eb7fzqHxm3a5uz0rBXvRe7JJlM
     
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  2. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    This is the line that turns me off...

    “But there’s no question it’s more crowded, and there are a lot more skiers who are not good skiers out there.”

    The elitism of the "local" mentality...now that I am here, close the door. I will say that Jackson isn't the only mountain that spews this type of rhetoric.
     
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  3. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    Really? Really? 14% puts you over the top and fills your roads to bursting?

    Strewth.

    The last few years comment should have been an indicator. How can Ikon affect your crowds before it exists?

    Yo chunk brains why don't you look at the weather and snow patterns and think about where any skier is going to want to go when the season is NOT crap.

    Eh, NVM entitled stewpidity . They will be yelling for Ikon add ons themselves the next time their home Hill is a bone yard.
     
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  4. Thread Starter
    TS
    Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Right On The Line Skier

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    FWIW my experience at IKON resorts is the crowds consist of relatively good skiers, not so much novices, which is part of what I think makes this interesting.

    But it does raise an interesting question: How much of the crowding is vexing people who aren't locals? As much as some of us might joke around, of course locals have no preference or entitlement in skiing. Are locals the canary in the coal mine or just an outlier?
     
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  5. Near Nyquist

    Near Nyquist At the edge of instability Skier

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    The economy is firing on all 8 cylinders, its busy everywhere cause people can afford to travel and ski.

    Great for the ski business and bad for locals at a previously empty destination resort.
     
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  6. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    I’m pretty sure the Epic and IKON passes are not predominately being bought by the beginning or non-serious skiers.
     
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  7. New2

    New2 Getting off the lift Skier

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    For the busiest days, that 14% is something like the difference between 14k skiers and 16k skiers. With a total uphill capacity of 20,233 skiers/hour, that increase means the average lift line goes up by about 6 minutes (maybe 15 minutes to 21 minutes). But that's lumpy, of course... if 650 of those 2,000 extra skiers want to be skiing the tram, tram lines go up by an hour.

    If there's an average of 1 extra car for every 4 extra people (on roads and in lots that were already near capacity), that's an extra 500 cars driving around, circling the lot looking for a spot, etc.

    I definitely agree that the "no more people after me" mentality is frustrating, but at the same time I think a 14% increase can legitimately feel very significant.

    I suspect the Jackson locals are also not predominately novices/beginners, and are not particularly aware of or bothered by changing crowds in the beginner areas. Instead, I'd wager they're frustrated by the folks who come to Jackson and have to ski Corbett's (or any of the tram terrain) 'cause it's legendary, but whose skills aren't really up to that big a challenge. And I think a lot of the Ikon clientele are non-experts who enjoy the challenge and really want to ski or board the tram, even though it's unfamiliar and pushing their personal limits.
     
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  8. speedster

    speedster Booting up Skier

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  9. onstar1

    onstar1 Booting up Skier

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    all Jackson locals are triple black diamond experts
     
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  10. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    And therefore should not be seeing crowds at all on their preferred runs :thumb:
     
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  11. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    Don't blame Ikon, blame the $$$

    Vail and Epic Passes showed an industry that drank the real estate cooled of the early 2000s how to make money. And that answer tends to be found more in high spending destination skiers. While that crowd is not going to be novice beginners, they will be not be hard charging locals. But, if you are dropping thousands on a trip to Jackson Hole, and you can't say your skied off the Tram....its what they are selling

    At JHMR you also need to follow the money--being spent.

    2008 saw the needed rebuild of the Tram. Folks got a better Tram, but the same mountain, and a rebuild that was mechanically necessary.

    Since 2008? Money has gone to Capser, Teton, and Sweetwater lift projects, and the new learning center. Jackson Hole has been spending close to a decade trying to change and expand its image from just dropping Corbets to a place for everyone. You don't pour millions into infrastructure for blue groomers, and families with kids unless you believe they will come and spend money.

    JHMR is doing what is smart to become financially successful as an independent area. They are resting on the brand the Tram and Corbets etc has build amongst die hard skiers, and sought to expand their appeal to lower intermediates and families with younger kids. When you expand your appeal like that successfully, you are going to bring in more skiers, alienate some old customers, and drastically adjust the type of skier on the mountain.

    Don't blame Ikon, blame every bit of $$$ JHMR has been spending in the past decade, and every $$$ they bring in from making awesome terrain into an appealing resort.
     
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  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    I was disappointed in the level of Jackson skiers over the few days we were there. One of the best guys had one leg, skiing steep moguls under the I don't know the name chair. Impressive even if he'd had two legs.
    Maybe all the good skiers are off piste?

    I think the epic pass has brought us more boarders. I have to say though that in general they are more competent boarders. Able to actually make a turn toe and heel. Not just slide down heel side, scraping the snow down to the VT rain injection layer.
     
  13. Skisailor

    Skisailor Laziest Skier on the Mountain Team Gathermeister

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    We've seen a noticeable difference this season at Big Sky too - primarliy because of Ikon. Some high traffic areas do seem legitimately more crowded which is a change for the worse, but it's still manageable. The Ikon skiers seem like good skiers in general, but we locals know them as the ones who keep rumbling over barely buried rocks in areas where we know not to go (or at least not at current snow levels).

    Of course, our busiest single day ever on the mountain was about 9500 skiers before this season. And with such vast terrain acreage - we still have plenty of open space.

    I won't be surprised if we break that single day skier record this year though.
     
  14. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Is Big Sky using the "If you build it they will come" thinking with that 8 pack chair?
     
  15. Eleeski

    Eleeski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Squaw's pass is the Ikon. So I'm stuck with it. But Squaw has long cooperated with other resorts so pass connected travel is not new. But my Icon is primarily for Squaw. The other uses are nice perks but didn't drive the trips.

    Actually we did choose Niseko as our Japan destination because of the pass. But while we did take advantage of the Ikon at Niseko, we also sought out non Ikon places for the best days to avoid the crowds. Judging by the reaction at Niseko to our Ikon passes, they weren't flooded with Ikon travelers. Nobody talked about the Ikon passes on the lifts. In Japan, it wasn't a major factor.

    Big Bear, on the other hand was all Ikon. And the numbers of skiers at Big Bear on a normal weekend dwarf the numbers at most other ski resorts. So there is a huge reservoir of Ikon passes with Big Bear as their home resort who will travel and swamp "little" resorts like Jackson Hole. Actually, they are all boarders at Big Bear so @James is right about the Ikon boarders (they still sideslip away too many of the moguls).

    Wasn't Jackson hole on the Mountain Collective before? The Mountain Collective encourages multiple resort visits - you only get a couple free days. Travel a lot with the MCP to load up the mountains that get visited. Everyone I know with the MCP doesn't have a special home resort and travels a lot.

    Eric
     
  16. Skisailor

    Skisailor Laziest Skier on the Mountain Team Gathermeister

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    It seems like that chair was pure marketing - not necesssry now or in the foreseeable future. Not entirely sure on their thinking for the eight-pack - especially its sudden prioritization - but the overall 2025 plan with millions of dollars of new investment planned each year, is certainly Big Sky’s plan to attract new skiers.
     
  17. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    Sorry, but I can relate to that article all too well, as can many locals here. Can't wait for the Epic pass next season...
     
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  18. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    I thought that I had heard that while the slopes may be mostly empty, that chair would still get crowded some days to get out of the base area. Is that accurate?
     
  19. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Since this is the first year of the IKON pass and year where most of the west is getting hammered with snow, I wonder how much of the skier traffic is because of a multi resort pass or because the snow is sooooo good.
     
  20. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    Especially since only just previously it was sooooo bad, which was my point above.
     
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