Ikon vs Epic ... Why Choose?

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

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  2. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    I believe Telluride is a loss leader for Epic. Telluride being one of the gems of NA skiing detinations. It looks good in their portfolio.
    Don't forget Telluride used to be on the MCP. So they are familiar with the MCP/Ikon folks and probably has a good working relationship. The Epic offer has to be much better than the existing MCP deal and the proposed Ikon deal that must have been in the works. With two suitors, Telluride had a very strong hand in the negotiation.

    It's good to be wanted.
     
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  3. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    That is a very good point.
     
  4. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    Someone has to pay for the divorce lawyer. :D
     
  5. JonathanR

    JonathanR Booting up Skier

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    I don't understand why you would buy both in a single year. Unless you are filthy rich and do nothing but ski all the time, you couldn't possibly hit all the places either offers in a single year. I definitely am just going to alternate one each year.
     


  6. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    That's what some of us do. Is that a bad thing?
     
  7. JonathanR

    JonathanR Booting up Skier

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    Lol of course not. That's why I said "unless".

    Most of us do not fall in that category though.
     
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  8. RJS

    RJS Getting off the lift Skier

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    In terms of destination skiing, I basically agree (there is more on the Ikon Base than I have money or vacation time for :). Living in Boston though, I seriously considered both because the Ikon Pass doesn't offer a lot of skiing that is a short (2 hours or less) drive for me. Loon is the only mountain on the Ikon Pass that fits that bill, but you only get 5 (with blackouts) or 7 days at Loon. When I bought the Ikon Base back in April, the 5 days was split between Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Loon, at which point using even a single day at Loon felt like a waste given how much I love the two Maine resorts. The Epic Local ends up giving you unlimited (no blackouts) at Sunapee, which isn't big, but is only an hour and 45 minutes away from Boston, plus you get unlimited skiing (with blackouts) to Stowe, which is hands down one of the best places to ski on the East.

    In the end, I decided to complement the Ikon Base with a Cannon season pass to give me: 1) a place to ski that isn't too far from Boston for day trips, and 2) a place to ski during blackouts. I debated a lot as to whether it was really worth buying two passes, I suppose time will tell. Cannon ended up lowering pass prices this season and created an under 30 option, so the price ended up being reasonable. I wouldn't be surprised if lowering their prices was in direct response to both the Epic Pass expanding in the region, and the introduction of the Ikon.
     
  9. aubergine

    aubergine Booting up Skier

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    I have some retired/rich friends who bought both IKON & EPIC. That way they can ski with whatever their friends want to do.

    Those Telluride revenue share deals -- if true -- are crazy.
     
  10. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    If your local hills are part of the EPIC or Ikon pass I could potentially see the combination making sense but you would have to get a ton of ski days in at both to justify it. I ended up going a completely different direction. I live in Seattle and like to ski Alpental every weekend with my kids who do freeride there (we are a family of 5) so the Ikon which only gives me 7 days at the Aplental was not an option. We ended up getting Season passes at Alpental (Summit at Snoqualmie) with a Mountain Collective add on for the entire family. We also bought the 5 day edge card for Whistler which gave us free early season skiing at Whistler followed by 5 unrestricted days there and the option to use two of those days at a different Vail resort. This season we have booked trips two trips to Whistler, as well as trips to Alta, Snowbird, Snowmass and Banff/Lake Louise (Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay). Mountain collective is clearly the best value as we are getting 12 free days at some amazing resorts plus a few additional days at half price. Edge card for Whistler is also a great deal if you ski early season as we will get in 11 days at Whistler this year for a really reasonable price. Combined the cost of all three of these passes for the entire family was much less than going with the Epic or Ikon let alone both :)

    When evaluating any of these multi-resort passes it is important to actually take a look at where you plan to ski and the number of days at each resort. I know a couple folks who invested in Epic or Ikon and simply did not get in enough days last year to justify the cost. Simply put you need to do the math before buying and you should also look at all the options. We really like the Edge card/Mountain Collective combo as it gets us access to both the Vail and Altera resorts we actually like to ski, but accounts for the reality of how many days we will actually be able to get in at these resorts.
     
  11. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Don't judge ;)
    Phil and I certainly aren't rich (fiscally) but we cover events at a variety of places like Deer Valley, Park City, Big Sky, Squaw, Mammoth, Snowbasin....

    If we were to buy lift tickets for the days we will be spending on snow at each of these resorts, we'd have more invested than the cost of passes for Epic and IKON, so we have both and both pay for themselves in a season.
     
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  12. Thread Starter
    TS
    Philpug

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

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    This is not so much what we spend, as to what we get, over 90 resorts for what we used to pay for one in some cases.
     
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  13. dovski

    dovski Getting on the lift Skier

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    Make sense to me. The key point is that folks need to take away is that you need to ski to get your full value out of these passes. With lift tickets costing over $100/day at most resorts and pushing $200 at Vail, you can usually get your money's worth for anyone of these passes with just 10 ski days. The bottom line is that planning is key.
     
  14. Skiscouse

    Skiscouse Booting up Skier

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    As a destination skier who doesn't live anywhere remotely close to a ski hill, never mind a mountain, I found myself holding both the Ikon and the Epic this season. I bought the Ikon this year so I could go to either Jackson Hole or Banff/BC for Xmas or New Year for a week. Besides the great skiing, the main rationale here is that these are the two big mountain areas with reasonable lodging prices during the Xmas holiday (got kids in school so need to ski holidays) . Lift passes for 7 days at JH would be at least $1,050 so the Ikon pays off over the holiday, and any extra days anywhere else are gravy. I also get the discounts on buddy tickets, or whatever Ikon is calling them, which helps for the family who will ski a few days, but not all of them.

    I then got the Vail limited pass so I could get the blackout access to Whistler (only resort on the Epic I really love), where lodging is too expensive for my tastes/budget at Xmas. Unfortunately I didn't make Whistler this year (though just managed to make the Epic pay via other mountains), so I am dying to go next year (joint favorite mountain with JH). I usually do about 4 trips a year (a 10 day trip, a week trip, and two long weekends) so I'll do Xmas at JH/Banff, a week or so in Whistler and then two trips to Colorado or Utah. So, basically each pass more than pays for itself, especially with the additional discounts for buddy tickets.

    For this upcoming season, however, I am considering whether I should just get one and sacrifice either JH/Banff (where to go for Xmas in that case??) or Whistler. Essentially it would be the Ikon all the way for me if it weren't for the fact I am dying to go to Whistler after not having been in 3 seasons or so. Anybody else faced and/or resolved this particular dilemma? Obviously just foregoing Whistler would be one solution and not skiing at Xmas would be another, but those aside what's a good argument (or should I say itinerary) for not getting both given my plans/situation? My more financially prudent side says I'm being unreasonable and uncompromising, the skiing fanatic alter-ego says it all makes perfect sense.
     
  15. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    the epic day passes are much more flexible now as an option to hedge some days. additionally if the issue is other friends are planning a wb trip who have bought into epic, the buddy passes they should have should cover you better than even buying epic day passas long as your tripis say 4days or so.

    even so CAD is not too strong , so even buying direct window wb is not as bad as say going to CO or Tahoe and paying full US VR prices
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  16. Skiscouse

    Skiscouse Booting up Skier

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    @raytseng, i wasn't even sure what the epic day passes were until you mentioned them, but I see they come at a decent discount during off peak times with at least 7 day advance notice. Looks like it would be $600 US for 7 days skiing compared to $700 for the Epic Local Pass. Definitely worth knowing that a la carte is somewhat of an option, if I only want a week at WB, and am not interested in other Epic mountains. It also removes the possibility of what happened this year - I bought the Epic for WB and then ended up not going. As you say, having the day pass option hedges some of the risks , even if at 7-8 days skiing there wouldn't be any cost savings.
     
  17. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    yea, $150CAD seems big but that's really only $110USD, so not as huge of a savings to prebuy; compared if your plan was Vail mothership during peak holiday with $200USD
     
  18. RJS

    RJS Getting off the lift Skier

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    You may want to check out this thread for recommendations on the Epic Pass for Christmas: https://www.pugski.com/threads/least-crowded-epic-resort-at-christmas.14985/. The Epic Pass has become MUCH stronger in my eyes thanks to the additions of partner resorts like Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, Kicking Horse, and Fernie, along with the recent purchase of Crested Butte.

    Personally, I would probably go with just IKON so that you can keep JH/Banff for Christmas, and then choose one of the many other excellent choices on IKON to replace your Whistler trip. If you're looking to stay in British Columbia, have you tried Revelstoke?
     
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  19. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    if you have zero local epic resorts, and this is just for single potential whistler trip then my suggestion dont get any epic product. For a single whistler trip only just assume if you bundle lodging, it wont be too bad and they wull offer you a lift deal then, or the cad dollar wont be so bad, or if you can find a local pugskier with an spring epicpass who can hook you up with buddy rate in exchange for beer
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  20. Skiscouse

    Skiscouse Booting up Skier

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    I have been to Revelstoke one time - during a Powder Hwy trip in Dec 2017 - and I loved it, though not quite as much as I Ioved Kicking Horse. If I do JH at Xmas with the family, then Revelstoke in Jan/Feb as a guys/solo trip is actually a good shout. I wouldn't do it with the family as the 5 hour drive from Calgary and/or $800+ flight per person to Kelowna rule it out, but sans family that's a great thought. Then again, the fact I'd be in the vicinity of KH & Fernie might push me back into considering getting both passes.... Painful choices... First World problems...
     
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