No question, the IKON Pass has been making North America’s lift pass competition a real 2 horse race, offering a very viable alternative to Vail Resort’s well established Epic Pass for North American based skiers and boarders.
Both offer great value and and plenty of resort choice for $USD 949 and $939 respectively for the full versions – which is less than a week’s skiing paying lift window day pass rates at big resorts now over there. Renewing IKON Pass holders pay $919.
Indeed for Americans it has become more about which mountain mix you prefer rather than the value argument anymore.
But for keen downunder skiers and riders the IKON Passes problem remains the lack of full season access, or an “Aussie IKON Pass”, to really compete with the Epic Australia Pass.
That of course offers all season, no black out access to Perisher and has not surprisingly proved hugely popular.
For 2019 they have added Hotham and Falls Creek to the portfolio, and full season access to both of them, so it makes the full Ikon Pass with just 7 days at Thredbo look pretty light on by comparison.
If you want so ski NZ as well the IKON Pass, or their cheaper IKON Base Pass, is the pass to end the endless OZ vs NZ ski argument.
West Islanders can ski 5 days at Thredbo (except not in July School Holidays), East Islanders can ski 5 days combined between mighty Mt Hutt or Queenstown’s Coronet Peak and Remarkables.
Hop the ditch to try both and those 10 days on snow will set you back USD 649, for some of the best Australia and New Zealand have to offer.
Which is very reasonable value, working well for those who might get a couple of weeks off over southern winter to try both – or a few drive days/couple of weekends to Thredbo and a trip to NZ.
If you are keen on more of NZ skiing, NZski.com’s early bird season pass offer for the 3 Kiwi resorts that was available for NZD 649 was a steal, as we told you at the time, and will presumably be not much more next year either.
Still in the Southern Hemisphere IKON Base Pass gives you 5 days at Chile’s spectacular Valle Nevado as well – so fly via NZ and do all 3 would be a plan with a difference for 2020 southern winter.
So yes, for traveling beyond Australia in the Southern Winter IKON Pass / IKON Base Pass definitely has the edge.
But to get full value from an IKON Pass you really have to head to North America, apart from the 5 or 7 days at Niseko United with the Base or full IKON Pass options.
In North America IKON comes into its own, with some magnificent iconic mountains .. oh, that must be where the name came from du-oh!
Full season status applies to the Alterra Company areas including Mammoth, Squaw Alpine, Steamboat and Copper.
If you haven’t made a snow trip this year buy the IKON Pass now and use it at Mammoth from April to June – this huge snow season there will kick on, and 2019 spring access is included.
IKON Pass improvements this year include adult pass holders can buy 2 kids passes each.
Just remember the Southern Hemisphere passes apply for 2020 before you book trips.
Bottom line is it’s great to see the competition, but for most Aussies who like to ski as much as they can at home, including now all those Victorians and South Australians who like Hotham and Falls, the Epic Australia Pass remains easily the best value out there.
Get Thredbo and Buller in an Aussie Ikon Pass and bring it on, no competiton watchdog required ..