Grassroots Movement – Stop Ikonisizing [Insert Ski Resort Name]

Big Sky Resort Lone Peak looking beautiful in the mid-January sun.

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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

Jackson Hole Ikonisizing
Photo by Sam Klein

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

Big Sky Resort
Lone Peak looking beautiful in the mid-January sun

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.

Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin Colorado A-Basin best spring skiing rail shredding
Spring Shredding Image taken by: Zach Dischner

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!

6 thoughts on “Grassroots Movement – Stop Ikonisizing [Insert Ski Resort Name]

  1. While I too feel that Ikon and other mega resort pass options are not beneficial to the ski industry I wonder if such passes are as much at fault for over crowding. My local resort this winter saw huge days on the usual holiday periods. MLK Sunday; traditionally always a busy time was insane. The normal 30 min or so drive from town took over two hours! The parking lots were full. This ski area is not a member of any pass deal. Hopefully it never will be. Still over crowded slopes and base facilities is a real issue. I’ve been in the industry for over thirty years and while such huge skier visit days are a boon to the resort I have very mixed feelings on what they do overall for the sport.

  2. Boo. All for more people getting out on the slopes, we shouldn’t be mad that the sport is getting popular again. And if it weren’t for resorts getting people they couldn’t exist giving snow tourists a range of places to go. Of course it sucks getting caught in a line a mile long, but that’s what happens on a pow day. Let’s not be angry that resorts found a way to unionize in a way and become profitable again allowing them to hire more staff, expand territory and UPGRADE lifts. If you’re that mad? Go on a Monday, there will be no one there.

  3. Skied Snowbird on a midweek day in late February and was really shocked by how busy it was, how long the lines were and how crowded the slopes had become. Just a bluebird day, no fresh pow, middle of the week…and it was busy. Talked to the locals and they were quick to point out that the added skiers were mostly Ikon passholders and they hated to see what the Ikon pass had done to their home mountain. I ski the MC pass and it has a limited impact, granting just 2 days at the destinations. Easy fix would be for the Ikon pass to be more limited as well: fewer days granted at the destinations on the pass, like the Mtn Collective pass, and that would make for a good compromise. Hate to say the Ikon pass is too generous, but it is and Ikon pass holders are getting a lot of hate out west over it.

  4. Cry more. I get a handful of days a year on the slopes and I’m supposed to feel bad about people who can go any day they want by hopping in the car 20 minutes?

  5. I will never Ski Big sky again as purchasing the lift tickets for 4 people took 45 minutes. They need everyone’s personal information which took the ticket agent a long time to enter. I paid in cash which should of been a 5 minute process. I get the RFID card but the process of purchasing the ticket needs to be leaned out and improved upon. 21% fee to rent accommodation is a rip off. Save your money and go to a smaller resort that does not cost as much. Too many people on the slopes. Big Sky has been ruined and is no longer what it used to be.

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