Epic vs IKON: A Guide to Choosing the Right Ski Pass for You!

Genevieve Marshall |

Choosing the right ski pass can be a confusing and daunting task. But fear not, ski bunnies, we're here to make it easier for you by comparing the Epic Pass and the IKON Pass. So grab your cocoa, put on your warmest hat, and let's get started!

First up, who's behind these passes? The Epic Pass is like the big cheese of ski resorts, owned and operated by Vail Resorts and offered at all 37 of its ski areas and numerous partners. The IKON Pass is the cool kid on the block, owned by Alterra Mountain Resorts and offered at all 15 of its ski resorts, plus a bunch of cool partner resorts.

Now, let's talk money. The early bird gets the worm, and the early ski pass buyer gets the deal! Both the Epic and IKON Passes go on sale in early spring, and the earlier you buy, the cheaper the price. The prices go up as we get closer to ski season, so don't procrastinate! Just to give you an idea, the adult Epic Pass was priced at $1,179, while the adult IKON Pass was priced at $859 for the 2022-23 ski season.

But which one has the best resorts? That's like asking which is better, pizza or tacos – there's no right answer! It depends on where you plan on skiing. The Epic Pass has a large number of destination resorts in Colorado and Tahoe, with options across both regions. The IKON Pass has resorts in all regions, including California, the Northern Rockies, and Maine, as well as several resorts in southern California and New Mexico, which are not included on the Epic Pass.

If you're based in the US, the IKON exclusions will impact you more, with resorts like Jackson Hole and Aspen/Snowmass not included on the Base Pass. On the other hand, the Epic Local Pass doesn't include Telluride, but six Canadian mountains owned by Resorts of the Canadian Rockies are also excluded.

So which pass should you choose? It depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for unlimited access to resorts in major metropolitan areas, especially in the Midwest, go for the Epic Pass. If you're looking for local mountains, Vail's cheaper regional pass options might be a better choice. And if you're looking to visit some of the best resorts in North America, like Alta and Deer Valley, you'll have to splurge for the full Epic or IKON Pass.

In conclusion, choosing the right ski pass is all about finding the perfect balance between price, location, and access to the resorts you want to ski at. So take a deep breath, close your eyes, and make the leap – we promise you won't regret it! And if you do, well, there's always next ski season.

Have you been to any? Let us know in the comments :) 



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