Mountain Collective carves niche among crowded field
The Aspen Times
ASPEN, Colo. The Mountain Collective pass is returning for the 2018-19 season despite the entry of the Ikon Pass into the suddenly crowded field vying for the hearts and wallets of destination skiers.
The Mountain Collective announced Thursday that it added Big Sky, Montana, to its lineup.
The resort boasts 5,800 acres of ski terrain and 4,350 vertical feet.
The pass was launched in 2012 at the suggestion of officials with Aspen Skiing Co. It provides two days of skiing at each of its 16 destinations.
Jeff Hanle, Aspen Skiing Co. vice president of communications, said the Mountain Collective still has its niche in the ski world.
“The Mountain Collective Pass encourages and allows skiers to plan adventures and explore new areas, to chase snow and to cross off bucket list destinations,” he said.
In addition to Aspen-Snowmass, the Mountain Collective includes the iconic resorts of Alta, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Taos and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
A limited number of the Mountain Collective passes went on sale Thursday for $409. Spring purchasers get one bonus day to a destination of their choice. That generates 33 days on the slopes.
The Ikon Pass is being offered by Alterra Mountain Co., which is an affiliate of Aspen Skiing Co. and its partner, KSL Capital Partners. It was unveiled last month at a price of $899 for the version that offers unlimited skiing at 12 destinations and seven days at 13 other participating resorts. The Ikon Base Pass for $599 offers access to the same resorts but with more restrictions.
Ikon and the Mountain Collective share many of the same resorts — Aspen-Snowmass, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Sugarbush, Revelstoke, and Alta-Snowbird. The difference is the Mountain Collective provides just two days at each destination.
“The Mountain Collective and Ikon Passes have some crossover, but they serve different needs and have different price points,” Hanle said. “This gives skiers the flexibility to find a pass that works perfectly with their needs.”
Aspen Skiing Co.’s four ski resorts count as one destination by all of the passes. The Mountain Collective provides two days at Aspen-Snowmass while the Ikon Pass provides seven days. The Ikon Base Pass provides five days.
Consumers might have to dig out their calculators and create a spreadsheet to figure out the best deals.
Hanle previously said the ski area operators will assess pass sales for 2018-19 and might refine offerings for the following season.
Ikon and Mountain Collective aren’t designed to compete with one another as much as provide more options. Both passes aim to compete with the Epic Pass, offered by Vail Resorts.
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