Ski resort memberships are changing. While there are still plenty of independently owned resorts that have their individual season passes, there are bigger collectives forming and offering outstanding value.
The IKON Pass — which at last count housed 38 resorts around the world under its member umbrella — has two different passes, both of which allow a mix of unlimited skiing (and boarding, of course) at a set number of resorts and then “bonus” days at dozens more.
It’ll be available starting March 5, 2019, for the 2019-20 season.
There’s the main IKON Pass for CDN$1,249 (available in Canadian pricing for the first time!), which gives members an unlimited number of days in a given season at 14 resorts; and at another 23 destinations, you can visit for up to seven days at each with very few restrictions.
Then there’s the less expensive IKON Base Pass (for CDN$849), with unlimited skiing at 12 destinations and up to five days at each of an additional 25 locations; note that there are a few blackout periods with this pass for the latter 25 resorts, so if you had your heart set on a New Year’s Eve ski trip, you’ll want the more expensive pass.
Since you no longer have to buy the pass in U.S. dollars, you don’t have to waste time studying exchange rates. And that’s great news because IKON Passes do sell out each spring. And once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Why get an IKON Pass?
When you’ve had a winter like we have in the Greater Toronto Area, the first benefit I see with the IKON Pass is that you can weatherproof your ski membership. Within easy driving distance of Toronto, you’ve got Blue Mountain and Tremblant on the IKON Pass — and you get unlimited skiing all season at both regardless of which pass you buy. If there’s been some freezing rain at Blue Mountain, you can take off to Mont-Tremblant for the weekend instead. Too icy at Tremblant? Maybe Blue just had a fresh dusting of snow.
Travelling to discover new terrain is all the more inspiring with an IKON Pass in your pocket. In addition to Blue and Tremblant, you can hit up some of the world’s most iconic mountains, including: Mammoth and Squaw in California, Steamboat in Colorado, Deer Valley in Utah (which on its own is about CDN$200 for a single daily lift ticket!), Vermont’s Killington, three of Alberta’s best (Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay), Revelstoke in B.C. and, perhaps most remarkably, Jackson Hole in Wyoming — consistently ranked one of the world’s best.
Still have the travel bug? IKON Pass members can also access resorts in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Chile.
Plus, you can enjoy unlimited spring skiing this year at Blue Mountain, Big Bear and Snowshoe if you manage to grab your IKON Pass before it sells out.
There’s even a CDN$40 discount for anyone who has a 2018-19 IKON Pass.
Taking into account window lift ticket prices, by my math if you ski 10 to 12 days or more per season at Blue and Tremblant alone, you’ve paid for a Base Pass. Every ski day after that is gravy.
Well, with every adult pass purchased, you can also snap up two kids’ IKON Passes for those aged 5 to 12 — also new this year — and the pricing is insanely good at CDN$259 for the full pass and CDN$209 for the base pass. Keep in mind that these are only available until April 24, 2019.
IKON Passes are on sale March 5. Buy them here.
DISCLAIMER: While this post is not sponsored, I was invited to experience a few days between Blue Mountain and Tremblant to better understand the benefits of an IKON Pass.