Have you heard about the new grassroots movement that’s going on around ski-towns in North America? It’s called “Stop Ikonisizing [insert ski resort name].” The word on the slopes is that ski resorts that used to have uncrowded slopes on a powder day suddenly are getting bombarded with what people are calling “Ikoneers.” Folks that bought the Ikon Pass sound to now be descending on resorts that they normally wouldn’t visit.
Jackson Hole has always been the ski resort you could visit any time of year and be blessed with truckloads of fresh snow & uncrowded slopes. But now in the age of the Ikon pass, “there are many people that feel it’s ruined the Jackson Hole skiing experience,” per Bill Maloney, dubbed by some as the “unofficial mayor” of Teton Village. But like any conversation, there’s always two sides to the situation. If you ask the resort itself, they have a different perspective. The spokeswoman at Jackson Hole states that Ikon Passes have only accounted for 14 percent of skier visits.
Big Sky Resort
Over in Big Sky, the resort manager has admitted that it has slightly become more crowded but they’re dealing with that by upgrading their lifts. The community of Big Sky is now thriving with successful businesses, some say because of the increase in business. On the other side of this “growth”, discussed in Outside’s latest article, long-time locals are grumbling not just about the snow being tracked quicker but that long-term rentals have dried up.
This is the incubator of the movement where stickers suddenly appeared stating “Stop Ikonisizing Aspen.” Comments by locals like Ian Long to the Aspen Daily News state things like “We’re on our way to becoming more like Vail.” Jeff Hanle, a spokesman from Aspen Skiing Co., states that these remarks are fundamentally wrong. There are many that believe the uptick in skier visits is because of multiple factors including great snow.
While not on Ikon, A-Basin has decided to leave the Epic pass network & go out on their own due to the overcrowding in parking lots.
Overall, the percentage of Ikon passholders seems like a drop in the overall proverbial bucket. But, it’s a bit more convoluted than that. So, are they the reason the resorts are packed? Or is it because of the amount of snow we’ve gotten this year? Yippee on that note! No matter the cause, we plan on vacationing at resorts that aren’t on mega-passes. We just love the vibe in ski towns with their hometown mountain in the backyard. White Pass, Silver Mountain, and Turner Mountain… you’re all on our radar for next winter!