New Ikon ski pass makes for Epic competition in Vermont

-A A +A

New Ikon ski pass makes for Epic competition in Vermont

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 11:19am -- tim

Stratton Mountain Resort is now part of the Alterra/Aspen Ikon Pass. Stratton Mountain photo by Hubert Schriebl

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine The raucous ski industry continues to provide skiers across Vermont and across North America with more collective ski pass options, as rivalries intensify. The new owner of Stratton has joined forces with the owner of Killington (Powdr) and others to offer the Ikon Pass. Alterra Mountain Company of Denver announced Thursday that the ski companies have joined together to offer skiers and riders the pass to unite 12 destinations from Alterra Mountain Company and 11 premier destination partners. Alterra, which now owns Stratton and Quebec neighbor Tremblant, was formed on January 11, 2018, by investors which own Aspen (Colorado) and Squaw Valley (California). Still separately managed, Aspen and its resorts will be a partner in the Ikon Pass. In another coup, Alterra also announced that superstar skier and Burke Mountain Academy graduate Mikaela Shiffrin would be both an investor in Alterra and a promoter of the Ikon Pass.

The ski industry over the last few years has been in an uproar as resorts have changed hands in billion dollar deals. Aspen and investor KSL bought Stratton-owner Intrawest last April for $1.5 billion. Meanwhile, Aspen's Colorado rival Vail acquired Park City (Utah) from Powdr for $182.5 million in a crazy deal in 2014 after it threatened to shut down after it forgot to renew its lease; Vail bought Whislter for $1.06 billion in 2016 (formerly owned by Intrawest); and then it acquired Stowe Mountain Resort's ski operations in February 2017 for $41 million. Vail has its own collective ski pass called the Epic Pass. Aspen also has its own Mountain Collective ski pass which it offers to other resorts, including Vermont's Sugarbush.

The ski industry views the Aspen/KSL moves as a response to Vail's aggressive business strategy. In Vermont, Ski Vermont and others anticipate that it will draw more visitors to the state while providing more options to local resorts.

At the time of the Vail/Stowe deal, Parker Riehle, former president of Ski Vermont, told VBM that this is a "win-win" for Vermont and for Vail.

"I think it's fantastic," Riehle said. "I couldn't be happier."

Riehle said the deal will enhance both the overall Vermont ski resort brand worldwide, while giving Vail access to the population centers in the East.

Vail brings its global marketing power to Vermont, he said. "The sky's the limits with the synergy."

Deputy Tourism Commissioner Steven Cook told VBM that, "The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing sees the acquisition of the Stowe Mountain Resort by Vail Resorts as a tremendous opportunity to attract new skiers and riders to experience Vermont. Vail’s reputation as a world class destination resort operator coupled with their powerful marketing and brand presence will bring Stowe to the next level and lift the brand presence of the entire State."

Now the Alterra Ikon Pass gives skiers and riders the opportunity to access nearly 50,000 skiable acres of unique terrain across the continent, with pass privileges that range from full unlimited access to a set number of days that vary by destination. From a week long vacation to unlimited days, the Ikon Pass was built with the guest in mind, to provide the best experience possible. With 23 destinations, in nine states and three Canadian provinces, the Ikon Pass is the gateway to a like-minded community, enduring memories, and the most iconic destinations in North America.

The Ikon Pass is a collaboration of seven industry leaders - Alterra Mountain Company (Stratton and Tremblat), Aspen Skiing Company, Alta Ski Area, Boyne Resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, POWDR (Killington & Pico), and Snowbird. Each demonstrates integrity, character and independence that is reflected in their mountains and guests.

Alterra Mountain Company’s destinations are Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, Stratton, Snowshoe, Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures.

Ikon Pass partner destinations are Aspen Snowmass, Copper Mountain Resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Big Sky Resort, Killington Resort, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, and Snowbird.

“The Ikon Pass is a collaboration of like-minded mountain destinations across North America where incredible terrain, unique character and local traditions are celebrated,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer for Alterra Mountain Company. “We’ve curated a community of iconic destinations. We believe this new pass offers tremendous opportunity and appeal to mountain enthusiasts who have a passion for outdoor adventure.”

The Ikon Pass will go on sale in the spring and additional information including access specifics by destination, price, sale date and other pass product details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Mikaela Shiffrin

Alterra also announced January 25 that US Ski Team’s Mikaela Shiffrin, a graduate of Burke Mountain (Vermont) Academy, has joined forces with Alterra Mountain Company as an investor and is helping launch the Ikon Pass as an Ambassador. 

Reigning World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin is an icon in her own right. She was the youngest woman in U.S. history to win a World Championship and the youngest athlete in history to win an Olympic slalom gold medal. To date, she has one Olympic gold medal, three FIS World Ski Championships gold medals, and 41 FIS World Cup victories. Next month she will head to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“Mikaela has spent her entire life on the slopes, and shares a love of the mountains that mirrors the passion behind the Ikon Pass,” said Erik Forsell, Alterra Mountain Company’s Chief Marketing Officer. “She represents the best of skiing today and continues to set the tone for the ski racers of the future. She defines the spirit of the community of destinations we have brought together.”

Mikaela is a native of Colorado and has spent years training and racing at Ikon Pass destinations such as Aspen Mountain and Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in California, and Killington Resort in Vermont.

“I grew up skiing on mountains big and small with my family, so when I’m in the mountains, I’m home. They each play an important role in my career and hold a special place in my heart,” said Mikaela Shiffrin. “I’ve spent more time training on snow at Ikon Pass destinations than anywhere else in the world, since first skiing the World Cup in 2010. It is a huge honor to be an owner in Alterra Mountain Company and to represent the Ikon Pass.”

Mikaela has been training to be a professional athlete since she was three years old when she would ski down her driveway at home, and was in the start gate of her first World Cup at age 15. Since then, she has made a name for herself and forged many sustaining relationships within the ski industry.

“Mikaela and her family have been longtime friends of my family, well before she became the iconic skier that she is today,” said Eric Resnick, Chairman of the Board for Alterra Mountain Company and Chief Executive Officer of KSL Capital Partners. “Today, Mikaela is in a league of her own with 41 World Cup wins, multiple World Cup titles, and Olympic and World Championship gold medals already in her young career, while being a clear favorite to lead Team USA to more medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She is building on her own legacy with every race she wins and is the perfect partner for us in launching the Ikon Pass. We could not be more proud to have Mikaela as a fellow owner and partner.”

About Ikon Pass
The Ikon Pass is the new standard in season passes, connecting the most iconic mountains in North America and delivering authentic, memorable snow adventures. Brought to you by Alterra Mountain Company, the Ikon Pass unlocks access to a community of diverse destinations you want to ski and ride, including Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain and Eldora in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming; Big Sky in Montana; Stratton and Killington in Vermont; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada; Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; and Deer Valley Resort, Alta and Snowbird in Utah. Special offers will also be available at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, the world’s largest heli-skiing operation. For more information on the Ikon Pass, visit

Ikon Pass by Location
California: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort
Colorado: Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain, Eldora Mountain Resort
Maine: Sugarloaf, Sunday River
Montana: Big Sky Resort
New Hampshire: Loon Mountain Resort
Utah: Deer Valley Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird
Vermont: Stratton, Killington Resort
West Virginia: Snowshoe
Wyoming: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Ontario, Canada: Blue Mountain
Quebec, Canada: Tremblant
British Columbia: CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures - Access to special benefits to be announced soon

Ikon Pass by the Numbers
Destinations: 23
States: 9
Canadian Provinces: 3
Total Acres: 48,840
Vertical Drop: 70,192 ft
Trails: 2,790
Lifts: 434

Does not include totals from CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures

Comments from Destinations

“Aspen Snowmass is about living passionately and in this mountain town that means fully immersing yourself in all this place has to offer,” said Mike Kaplan, President and CEO, Aspen Skiing Company. “The Ikon Pass is comprised of mountains and communities that share our passion for the sport and this lifestyle. We’re excited to be connected to these destinations and look forward to being part of this extended family.”

“Alta Ski Area is pleased to be a partner destination for the Ikon Pass. We feel that Alta’s authentic skiing experience in a natural mountain environment complements the Ikon Pass network of aspirational skiers and the other iconic destinations in the Ikon Pass community,” said Mike Maughan, President and General Manager, Alta Ski Area.

“Boyne Resorts’ Big Sky Resort, Loon Mountain, Sunday River and Sugarloaf are thrilled to collaborate with mountain destinations that share our passion for terrain and the guest experience, and to create a pass that provides the most iconic skiing and riding in North America. The Ikon Pass offers an unparalleled, convenient experience for the ultimate outdoor adventurer,” said Stephen Kircher, President of Boyne Resorts.

“Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has a powerful independent spirit which comes from our incredible mountain experience, the Kemmerer family ownership, and the spirit of our employees and guests who make Jackson Hole so special. We have a steadfast commitment to creating a high quality aspirational experience for our guests,” noted Jerry Blann, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President. “We believe the new Ikon Pass and its other selected destinations share this same ethos, and for Jackson Hole it is a pleasure to join as an independent partner.”

“There are many pass options out there, and we are proud to collaborate on the inaugural Ikon Pass with the inclusion of POWDR’s Killington, Eldora and Copper Mountain,” said Wade Martin, Chief Revenue Officer of POWDR. “The Ikon Pass is an outstanding pass product for skiers and riders, and we’re excited for new guests to experience what we are all about at POWDR - the local, authentic mountain experience.”

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate with some of the world’s finest destinations, creating truly unique mountain experiences,” said Dave Fields, General Manager of Snowbird. “We are honored to have Snowbird be included in the Ikon Pass.”

About Alterra Mountain Company
Alterra Mountain Company is a family of 12 iconic year-round destinations, including the world’s largest heli-ski operation, offering the Ikon Pass, the new standard in season passes. The company owns and operates a range of recreation, hospitality, real-estate development, food and beverage and retail businesses. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado with destinations across the continent, we are rooted in the spirit of the mountains and united by a passion for outdoor adventure. Alterra Mountain Company’s family of diverse playgrounds spans five U.S. states and three Canadian provinces: Steamboat and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Stratton in Vermont; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario; Deer Valley in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia. We honor each destination’s unique character and authenticity and celebrate the legendary adventures and enduring memories they bring to everyone. Alterra Mountain Company also owns Honua Kai Resort and Spa in Hawaii. For more information visit

About Aspen Skiing Company
Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk - as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass. The area offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well. Aspen Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains - Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (5 kilometers from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (EGE) (112 kilometers from Aspen). Aspen Skiing Company is also a minority owner of Alterra Mountain Company. For more information on Aspen Skiing Company, please call 800-525-6200 or 970-925-1220, or visit the company’s website at

About Alta Ski Area
Founded in 1938, Alta Ski Area is an iconic winter destination with a rich history. A seasonal average snowfall of over 550 inches, coupled with a philosophy of offering an authentic ski experience, have developed generations of skiers who consistently call this Utah resort their special place. Whatever your ability, Alta has skiing for you.

About Boyne Resorts
As the largest family-owned four-season resort company in North America, Boyne Resorts was founded in 1947 by Everett Kircher. A Michigan-based corporation, Boyne Resorts owns and/or operates award-winning mountain and golf resorts and attractions throughout the United States and Canada including Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia, and the official freestyle skiing and snowboard venue of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games; Sugarloaf and Sunday River Resort in Maine; Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Inn at Bay Harbor - Autograph Collection Hotels, and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark all in Michigan; Big Sky Resort in Montana; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee; Brighton in Utah; Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie both in Washington. For more information on Boyne Resorts, please visit

About Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole continues to famously deliver legendary powder snow, 4,136 continuous vertical feet, 2500 acres of the best beginner, intermediate and expert skiing and snowboarding and a genuine “Last of the Old West” atmosphere. Neighboring the legacy U.S National Parks of Yellowstone and Grand Teton and operating in Bridger Teton National Forest, there is no more spectacular setting for a destination resort in the world. Now with twelve nonstop cities (and hundreds of international connections) flying to the newly expanded airport, Jackson Hole is one of the most easily accessed destination resorts in the Rockies. For route maps, ski packages, webcams, videos and more please visit or

POWDR is an adventure lifestyle company that offers awesome experiences in amazing places. Within POWDR’s portfolio are nine mountain resorts including Copper Mountain and Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado; Killington and Pico Mountain in Vermont; Boreal Mountain Resort and Soda Springs in the Lake Tahoe region of California; Mt. Bachelor in Oregon, Lee Canyon in Nevada and Gorgoza Park in Park City. POWDR owns the Woodward camps and programs which includes Woodward PA, Woodward Copper in Colorado, Woodward Tahoe, Woodward West in Stallion Springs, CA, and Woodward Riviera Maya, Mexico. Through its ownership of Human Movement Inc., POWDR fuels participation in the adventure lifestyle with a collection of festivals, themed runs and branded events. Outside Television is the national active, outside-lifestyle programming network subsidiary of POWDR, and Sun Country Tours in Oregon is the company’s river rafting outfitter. POWDR is headquartered in Park City, Utah with offices in Louisville, CO.

About Snowbird
Averaging over 500 inches of annual snowfall per year and conveniently located just 29 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport, Snowbird is North America’s most accessible alpine resort destination. For media information, please contact Snowbird Communications Manager Brian Brown at (801) 891-3496 or

Alterra En Francais

Annonce de Alterra Mountain Company: un regroupement de 12 destinations de montagne emblématiques d’Amérique du Nord

formé par la coentreprise de filiales de KSL Capital Partners et Henry Crown and Company

DENVER, Colorado, le 11 janvier 2018 – La coentreprise de filiales de KSL Capital Partners et Henry Crown and Company, qui a regroupé 12 destinations de marque en Amérique du Nord, porte maintenant un nom. Alterra Mountain Company, le nouveau groupe de destinations qui transforme le cadre de l’industrie des stations de ski.

Alterra Mountain Company, basée à Denver au Colorado, comprend 12 destinations incluant la plus importante entreprise d’héliski en Amérique du Nord. Alterra Mountain Company a été créée lorsque les filiales de KSL Capital Partners, propriétaires de Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, et Henry Crown and Company ont acquis Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts et Deer Valley Resort en 2017.

« La société Alterra Mountain Company regroupe des destinations de montagne uniques dont la personnalité et l’âme distinctes plaisent aux visiteurs depuis des générations. Notre vision de Alterra Mountain Company est de sauvegarder ces éléments qui rendent chaque destination unique et les mettre en valeur tout en encourageant les invités à revisiter leur montagne préférée et à ajouter d’autres destinations à leur liste de voyages de rêve, mentionne David Perry, président et chef de l’exploitation d’Alterra Mountain Company. Nous respectons les pionniers et les dirigeants qui ont mis sur pied ces sites emblématiques et qui nous ont ouvert la voie. Nous continuons d’ailleurs à apprendre d’eux alors que nous révolutionnons l’industrie des destinations de montagne et innovons pour notre avenir. »

Les destinations de Alterra Mountain Company offrent du ski, de la planche à neige et des activités quatre saisons de qualité pour les adeptes d’aventure, de liberté et de plaisir en plein air. Les destinations de Alterra Mountain Company sont réparties sur cinq états américains et trois provinces canadiennes : Steamboat et Winter Park au Colorado ; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain et Big Bear Mountain Resort en Californie; Stratton au Vermont ; Snowshoe en Virginie-Occidentale ; Tremblant au Québec, Blue Mountain en Ontario ; Deer Valley dans l’Utah ; et CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures en Colombie-Britannique.

Les dirigeants d’Alterra Mountain Company de chaque destination sont habilités à être déterminés, créatifs et audacieux pour sauvegarder le caractère authentique de chaque montagne. Alterra Mountain Company reconnaît la valeur inhérente de l’unicité de la culture de chaque communauté de montagne et vise la préservation, la pérennité et le soutien des deux plus importantes ressources de chaque endroit ; les montagnes et les communautés qui y vivent et y jouent.

À propos du nom et du logo Le nom Alterra est la fusion des mots altitude et terra (terrain), pour rendre hommage aux montagnes et communautés qui forment l’ossature de l’entreprise. Dans les mois à venir, Alterra Mountain Company annoncera les nouveaux produits de passes de saison qui permettront l’accès à toutes les montagnes de la société ainsi que de nombreux nouveaux avantages qui plairont aux skieurs et planchistes.

À propos de Alterra Mountain Company
Alterra Mountain Company est une communauté de 12 destinations quatre-saisons emblématiques comprenant la plus importante entreprise d’héliski en Amérique du Nord. La société détient et exploite une panoplie d’entreprises qui œuvrent dans les loisirs, l’hôtellerie, le développement immobilier, l’industrie alimentaire et les commerces de détail. Alors que la maison mère est située à Denver au Colorado, les destinations sont réparties à travers le continent. Ancrés dans l’âme des montagnes et unis par une passion pour l’aventure en plein air, les différents terrains de jeux de la famille de Alterra Mountain Company s’étendent sur cinq états américains et trois provinces canadiennes : Steamboat et Winter Park au Colorado ; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain et Big Bear Mountain Resort en Californie; Stratton au Vermont ; Snowshoe en Virginie-Occidentale ; Tremblant au Québec, Blue Mountain en Ontario ; Deer Valley dans l’Utah ; et CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures en Colombie-Britannique. Nous honorons le caractère unique et l’authenticité de chaque destination et célébrons les aventures légendaires et les souvenirs durables qu’elles apportent à tous. Pour de plus amples détails sur Alterra Mountain Company, rendez-vous au

À propos de KSL Capital Partners, LLC
KSL Capital Partners, LLC est une firme de placements privés se spécialisant dans les entreprises de voyages et de loisirs principalement dans les cinq secteurs suivants : hôtelier, loisirs, clubs, immobilier et services de voyages. KSL possède des bureaux à Denver au Colorado, à Stamford au Connecticut ainsi qu’à Londres. Depuis 2005, KSL a recueilli des engagements de capitaux propres d’environ 8,2 milliards de dollars sous forme de prêt ou titres de participation. Le portefeuille actuel de KSL englobe des propriétés de prestige du domaine du voyage et du loisir. Pour de plus amples informations, rendez-vous au

À propos de Henry Crown and Company Par l’intermédiaire d’une nouvelle société affiliée, Henry Crown and Company est un investisseur minoritaire dans la nouvelle coentreprise Alterra Mountain Company. Henry Crown and Company est née au début des années 1900 alors que Henry Crown et ses frères ont fondé la Material Service Corporation qui a ensuite été fusionnée avec General Dynamics. Aujourd’hui, le patrimoine familial des Crown se répartit en quatre grandes catégories incluant les titres cotés en bourse, les biens immobiliers, les fonds d’investissement et les sociétés d’exploitation privées dont Aspen Skiing Company, L.L.C. Aspen Skiing Company détient et gère les quatre montagnes de Aspen Snowmass — Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands et Buttermilk — ainsi que les propriétés hôtelières The Little Nell, Residences at The Little Nell, Limelight Aspen et Limelight Ketchum à Ketchum, en Idaho. De plus, Aspen Skiing Company possède et exploite de nombreux points de vente et de location sur la station et dans la vallée de Roaring Fork. Pour de plus amples renseignements, rendez-vous sur

Source: DENVER, CO, Alterra Jan 25 & Jan 11, 2018