Ikon vs Epic ... Why Choose?

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by Philpug, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    My kids chose not to compete as they prefer free skiing. That said my oldest wants to join a U12 team and if we do that we will have to balance things out. That said all our ski trips coincide with school vacations and holidays so we make it work. Usually we drive, but this coming year we will use my air miles for some flights. I also do some guys trips without the kids.
     
  2. Kcip

    Kcip Booting up Skier

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    For those of you that have to travel to ski, do any of you try to build up travel points or FF miles? For the past couple years, my wife or I will open up a travel credit card at this time of the year. By the time we get to Fall / Winter, we have enough points/miles for at least 1 or 2 trips (flights) somewhere. The sign up bonuses usually include a bonus worth $500-$1000 in travel and no fee the first year. I usually cancel the card after the first year to avoid paying the annual fee. I had the Chase Sapphire card last year and my wife signed up for one this year. I know this might not be good for everyone as it is hurts your credit score slightly, but we haven't noticed a change of more than a 10 points and it usually goes back up within a few months.
     
  3. David Chaus

    David Chaus If I am skiing the world is a perfect place. Skier

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    I’ve had the Edge Card a few times, including for the 2017 Gathering. Sometimes I want to visit other resorts than Whistler.
     
  4. MarkP

    MarkP Getting off the lift Skier

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    I sooooo read the description wrong on the web site. Thanks @raytseng and @SKI-3PO for pointing this out.
    Made the call and switched to the Local.
     
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  5. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    Often times it depends on where you are flying and how early you have your trip planned. If you are flying into a major HUB, your flight is already a commuter flight and relatively CHEAP, so cashing out your points is barely reaches the very base level 1cent per mille redemption value.

    If you're flying into a regional airport, especially if you do so last minute, then then the valuation of your points can greatly exceed the 1c/mile. So points allow you are able to maintain the flexibility to fly last minute without paying an arm and a leg,
    On the other hand, you also shouldn't horde points as if you never use them they are worthless. Keeping them as chase Ultimate Reward points is a little more valuable as at least you can cash those to $ at the 1cent/point value.
     
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  6. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    I didn't want to close out the sapphire preferred becuase I liked the metal card. We do the same with rewards, but not every year. The four of us and my mother flew to Orlando for $500. We'll probably buy a ski condo within the next two years so we are avoiding the cc chicanery until we get a loan, otherwise I don't think a few points can hurt much at all, althoug more and more companies are looking at the credit of their customers.
     
  7. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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    I don't know who the Epic 4 and Epic 7 passes are for. I guess it's for people who only ski the week between Christmas and New Years?

    There's some other confusing things too -- like Ski with a Friend and Buddy Passes. These are not actually vouchers for lift tickets. They are basically coupons that discount someone else's lift ticket. I saw someone mentioning they sold their buddy passes to friends to recoup the pass cost, but I don't see how that works... unless you sell your friends the buddy ticket at window rate instead of the discounted rate...
     
  8. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I think those stay on sale all season long, too, whereas sales of the other passes stop at some point.
     
  9. MarkP

    MarkP Getting off the lift Skier

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    Not very friendly if you try to recoup (make) some $ off your buddies. The few times I was the recipient, I covered a meal or drinks, so the season pass holders did in a way make something out of it.
     
  10. Stev

    Stev Out on the slopes Skier

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    I took two ski trips this year using travel points. I have the Chase Southwest card. I was able to ski Vermont in January and I just returned from a Powder Highway trip in Canada where I flew into Spokane, WA. The annual fee is much less than paying extra baggage fees on other airlines. I also accumulated extra points for my rental cars and hotels toward future flights.
     
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  11. PisteOff

    PisteOff Jeff Skier

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    If I lived out West this would likely be something I would do. I agree with many of @Philpug points here but for those of us who are still working and have to travel to literally every resort its simply too much pass to utilize. This season was by far my best utilization of the MCP pass logging 9 days on it. Killington, Grand Targhee, and Solitude were all of the places we hit that weren't on the MCP. Those accounted for 6 days. This season was an exceptional season. I don't normally have that much time available to me. That will change in May of 2021. Maybe sooner.
     
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  12. dmseattle

    dmseattle At the base lodge Skier

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  13. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    Completely agree. I also work and none of the Icon on Epic mountains are close to me. For that reason I opted for the MCP. It helped that my local hill Summit at Snoqualmie (before you judge let me clarify that we ski Alpental chair 2 almost exclusively and my kids are in the Freeride program there :daffy:) offered an MCP add on for $249, at that price you cannot go wrong. We combine that with the Whistler Edge Card and actually have pretty much all of our lift tickets covered for the year which means mommy and daddy have some left over scratch for apres ski :beercheer:
     
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  14. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    As I was figuring out what passes to buy for me and my son, a novel idea occurred to me.
    There are cases where it makes more sense to buy the Ikon Base plus a Mountain Collective Pass than an Ikon full or just an MCP.

    For example, if you are going to be one place ten days, and the lift ticket price is $120.

    Ikon Base = 5 days.
    MCP with bonus day = 3 days.
    2 extra days at half off
    $599+$409+2*(1/2)*$120 = $1128

    Ikon full = 7 days.
    3 lift tickets at full price.
    $899+3*$120 = $1259

    (Working with the original prices here -- MCP went up from $409 to $429 recently)

    If you are only going one place, MCP is the winner for anything over 8 days (slightly different for different window prices.)

    You have to go more than one place for Ikon to come out ahead.
     
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  15. Itinerant skier

    Itinerant skier Putting on skis Skier

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    Oh yeah...all of my non day trip ski travel is on points or miles. I stay in various Hilton properties (with the odd Marriott/ IHG/ Radisson thrown in) approx 180 nights a year for work. My personal CC of choice is the Delta platinum AMEX. Add a multi-mountain pass (last year MAX, this year Powder Alliance, though getting both EPIC and IKON gives one a massive amount of options) and my ski weeks are sometimes less expensive than a day trip.
     
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  16. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    you can always mess with the numbers and find the scenarios where 1 combo works for certain plans over another.
    But if you are going down the rabbithole of a 1 destination that isn't alterra owned for 10days, then you then also need to consider that resorts own pass or passpack as your foundation in your math too. For example, just do a jackson pass then consider the add-on secondary passes. Jackson 7day is 549 and Jackson 10day is 719. so then is it jackson7day+ikonbase or jackson7day+mcp or jackson10day only or jackson7day+ikonfull.

    you are right if you are a 8day+ at multiple site trips maybe mcp +base is better for you. But its less about the 5 to 7 day bump which is still a great benefit but not the main draw.
    Where the full ikon is positioning still the main consideration is your home mtn being alterra owned. And having unl acess to steamboat or stratton and skiing many of the blackouts at your home mountain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  17. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    I would also recommend exploring discounts on Liftopia. We go to Sun Peaks most years and get some great deals on passes there through Liftopia. Sun Peaks is not covered by Ikon or Epic passes either
     
    David Chaus likes this.
  18. Big J

    Big J Putting on skis Skier

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    David, I agree. I live 1.5 hours from Stevens Pass and have had weekday passes there for years. I do the weekday pass as I avoid it on the weekends due to crowds and poor parking. When Vail recently acquired Stevens it was a very easy decision for my wife and I to go from a weekday Stevens only pass to the unrestricted Epic Military pass for $155 more for each pass. The Epic Military Veterans pass was $499 versus $899 for the non-military pass. If we make just one trip to Whistler (and we will as we are a 3.5 hour drive from there) we have paid for the entire price increase in less than two days skiing with the free lift tickets. The new Epic Pass now makes us unrestricted at Stevens Pass and opens up many other ski areas with free list tickets. Good deal for us considering our situation. By the way, it was nice skiing with you a few years ago at the Epic ski get together at Stevens.
     
  19. David Chaus

    David Chaus If I am skiing the world is a perfect place. Skier

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    Yeah, we should get together again this season.

    OK, so now that we’ve had some ownership changes and new pass options, it makes total sense for most people in the Seattle area to get an Epic or Ikon pass. Right now the Ikon Base pass is less than Crystal’s regular season’s pass, and the Epic Locals pass is not much more than Stevens’ Premium pass. I will be teaching again this year for an independent ski school that for this season at least will still have a concession to operate at Stevens; I do not know what the pass options will be. It could be they offer us a Stevens-only pass for the discounted price they have offered in past years (though that would have Powder Alliance benefits), or maybe there’s a no option to upgrade an Epic Locals’ pass. I’ll know in a month or so.

    Nonetheless, If I’m going to attend the Gathering at Big Sky, I will get an Ikon Base pass, and spend some time at Snoqualmie/Alpental and Crystal, especially on days when I’m not teaching. So it’s possible I end up with both Epic and Ikon passes this season. Or neither.
     
  20. Lake n Ski

    Lake n Ski Putting on skis Skier

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    IKON hands down if had to choose just one.

    I’ve had the EPIC pass numerous years in past. Had years where I’ve done 100+ days at EPIC resorts (Mostly Vail and Breck with some A-basin mixed in). If you’re a front range CO skier then could argue for EPIC if don’t plan on going further.....otherwise....IKON just offers a better array of experiences.

    For instance, between wife and my buddies have tentative plans this winter for:
    -Copper
    -Steamboat
    -Jackson Hole
    -Aspen Snowmass
    -AJAX
    -Aspen Highlands
    -Deer Valley
    -Alta
    -Snowbird
    -Solitude
    -Winter Park
    -Mammoth

    Sure, some will be for 1 day while others we may ski numerous days, but I don’t believe EPIC offers the same breadth or variety.

    Bottom line: both are GREAT options for skiers and it’s a great time to hold one of these passes!

    Ultimately the best pass is the one that gets you skiing the most!

    See you all at apres!
     

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