JHMR Joins new pass program- read up on the new pass and partnerships with other top resorts as they come together to create the all-new Ikon pass. Mikaela Shiffrin is in the mix as the headlining ambassador.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort hopes to challenge ski industry giant Vail Resorts with a new pass.
Jackson Hole is partnering with Alterra Mountain Company to be part of the Ikon Mountain Pass, which resort spokeswoman Anna Cole called a “rival” to Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass.
Specifics about the pass, including its cost, are still under wraps, but privileges will “range from full unlimited access to a set number of days that vary by destination,” a release from Alterra and the Mountain Resort said. More information is expected in a few weeks.
Cole said the pass won’t be a perfect fit for the everyday Jackson skier — “It won’t be a substitute for the Grand Pass,” she said — but it’s not just for tourists, either.
It will be a good option for those who use the resort’s 10-day or weekend pass, she said. The Ikon Pass will allow people to ski that much in Jackson, but also to ski at resorts within an easy weekend visit or over a vacation.
“This could be a really good value,” she said.
The Ikon Pass is the product of a collaboration between seven ski industry leaders — Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Alta Ski Area, Boyne Resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, POWDR and Snowbird — that have a combined 23 destinations. Twelve of the resorts are part of Alterra, and the other 11 are destination partners, including Jackson Hole.
Alterra Mountain Company is a partnership between KSL Capital Partners, which owns California’s Squaw Valley and Aspen Meadows, and the Henry Crown family, which owns Aspen Skiing Co. Last year the company formed to buy Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts and Deer Valley in Utah.
The new company is trying to rival Vail Resorts, which controls over a dozen ski resorts including Vail Ski Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and Whistler Blackcomb.
Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass is a tiered ski pass that offers access to the group’s destinations and partners. The regular Epic Pass offers unlimited access to 15 North American resorts and a slew of international options for $859 to $949. The Epic Local Pass accesses 14 resorts, some with unlimited days and others have restrictions and blackout days, for $639 to $729.
But while Vail offers a multitude of affordable pass options, they come with a price, Cole said. Season passes can be purchased only during the spring, summer and fall. After Thanksgiving only lift tickets are available. Cole said. Vail Resorts is also known for buying resorts and making them blend with its brand.
“Alterra is really taking the opposite approach,” she said.
Resorts owned by Alterra and its partners keep their distinct character and branding, Cole said. Alterra says the company is more of a platform that highlights the individuality of its resorts. In addition, Aspen Snowmass will continue to run under Aspen Skiing Co., not Alterra.
Cole reiterated that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s only partnership with Alterra is through the Ikon Pass. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is and will continue to be “independently owned and operated by the Kemmerer family,” she said.
The Ikon Pass will go on sale this spring. Information can be found at IkonPass.com.
Cole said the idea of the Ikon Pass is similar to the Mountain Collective, which brings in visitors from larger cities and areas lacking snow to get a taste of Jackson.
The Mountain Collective pass, which offers two days at select resorts including Jackson Hole, will remain unchanged this year. It will work the same for next year when it launches in March, Cole said, but it’s hard to say what will happen during the 2019-20 winter season.