Consolidation and alliances are nothing new in the ski resort industry. In fact, I started my career in 1996 at Keystone Resort; the same year that Vail Resorts acquired Breckenridge and Keystone resorts in Colorado. That same year, Intrawest and American Skiing Company along with Vail Resorts took their companies public in order to raise acquisition capital.
What followed the consolidation phase of the 1990’s and on the heels of yield management strategies and database marketing tactics was a season pass pricing war. The resulting Buddy Pass season pass product sent the industry into a frenzy and was the true catalyst of the passes we see offered today.
All of this has been great for snow enthusiast by the way, albeit a bit confusing, with many options in play after the Buddy Pass including the Rocky Mountain Super Pass, The Mountain Collective, MAX Pass, Powder Alliance and the Epic Pass.
The biggest effects on the Season Pass options came as Vail Resorts has over the years purchased or partnered with 45 resorts worldwide and included all of them on their Epic Pass.
In 2017, the game changer was the Crown Family from Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners came together to acquire the remaining Intrawest Resorts and Mammoth Resort to form a new ski resort consolidation entity: Alterra Mountain Company.
In January of 2018, Alterra announced its 2018/2019 Ikon season pass which will include the 12 Altera owned resorts plus a handful of stout Independent Resorts such as Jackson Hole to make a 23-resort season pass offering, a new and worthy competitor to the Epic Pass.
For the last two seasons Telluride Ski Resort has belonged to previous rival to the Epic Pass; the Mountain Collective – of which several currently included resorts have defected now to the Ikon Pass starting next season. The Collective currently offers 2 days of skiing at 16 of its collective all non-vail owned resorts.
With the new Ikon Pass, and the future of the strength of the Mountain Collective Pass uncertain, Telluride Ski Resort recently announced the exciting news to form a long-term alliance with Vail Resorts and join its Epic Pass program as a partner resort. After 2017/2018, Telluride Ski Resort will no longer participate in the Mountain Collective.
Telluride Ski Resort has made it very clear that it intends to continue to be independently and privately owned and operated. The Resort anticipates additional Epic Pass skier visits to Telluride to be about 10,000 visits next season and an annual economic impact to the Telluride destination of around $5,000,000.
The decision seems very beneficial and logical for Telluride as many of the current 750,000 Epic Pass holders live in areas such as Dallas, Chicago, Houston and New York which have direct flight access to the Montrose/Telluride airport.
With this significant Telluride momentum building announcement, we welcome all Epic Pass holders to experience the magic of Telluride next season. Look for more information on pricing and full details on Ski Resort season pass offerings in the months to come.
Epic Pass Benefits in Telluride:
- Up to 7 Free Days in Telluride – No Blackouts
- 50% off Additional Days in Telluride
Telluride Season Pass Holder Benefits:
- 50% off Lift Tickets at Any of the 45 Vail Owned Ski Resorts – No Blackouts
For Epic Pass Information:
For Telluride Ski Resort Season Pass Information: