Aspen Skiing Co. premier passes will include Ikon Base Pass for 2019-20 |

Aspen Skiing Co. premier passes will include Ikon Base Pass for 2019-20

A snowboarder enjoys a bluebird day at Aspen Mountain.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

Aspen is entering the Ikon era.

Aspen Skiing Co. announced Tuesday it will sweeten the pot to buy its full-season, unlimited Premier Pass by throwing in the Ikon Base Pass, a $649 value.

The Ikon Base Pass provides access to 12 resorts owned by Alterra Mountain Co., with blackout days on busy weekends, and up to five days at resorts such as Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Steamboat, Deer Valley and Alta/Snowbird.

Alterra Mountain Co. is Aspen Skiing Co.’s sister company. The Crown family, who owns all of Skico, also owns a portion of Alterra.

Ikon Pass buyers were able to spend either seven or five days on the slopes of the four Aspen ski areas combined this season, based on which pass they had. No Aspen passholders were able to ski at Alterra’s other resorts.

“We’ve been talking about reciprocity since the (Ikon) pass came into being,” said Jeff Hanle, Aspen Skiing Co.’s vice president of communication. It took a while to figure out how to set up the system with so many players involved, he said.

The Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass were offered for the first time for the 2018-19 season. Alterra officials stated a goal of selling 250,000 of the passes but as a private company they haven’t divulged how many were actually sold, but use of the pass was evident. Some locals hitting the slopes in Aspen, Jackson Hole, Big Sky and Alta complained that Ikon passholders — derisively referred to as Ikoneers — were clogging the lift lines on several weekends during this epic winter.

Aspen Skiing Co. officials have insisted the surge in season pass use by locals is responsible for most of the increased business this season.

In addition to Aspen, people who buy the full season pass in Deer Valley and Jackson Hole will get a free Ikon Base Pass thrown in next season, Alterra Mountain Co. confirmed.

That means Ikon critics in Aspen and Jackson Hole will have to decide if they want to be part of the “problem” by using their Ikon Base Pass to visit other resorts.

“It does present an interesting dynamic,” Hanle acknowledged.

It is impossible to know at this point if the expansion of the Ikon Base Pass availability will add to crowding on the slopes, Hanle said. It all depends on snow conditions. Ski-pass use surges when snow conditions are as good as they have been this season, he said.

Skico placed its season passes that aren’t eligible for a chamber discount on sale Tuesday. A super-early pricing period will be held through May 31.

A non-chamber Premier Pass will be $1,899 during that early period. The non-chamber Double Flex, good for two days per week during the season, is for sale for $1,539. The non-chamber flex is $1,049. Prices go up June 1.

The prices for the super-early period are the same as last year. Only the adult, senior and parent Premier Passes qualify for an Ikon Base Pass.

Passes that qualify for a chamber discount will go on sale Aug. 12. The pricing wasn’t announced but Hanle said prices for those passes will rise slightly.

“Those passes are already discounted,” he said.

Skico is touting a variety of benefits with its passes, including transferable vouchers for discounted lift tickets and summer discounts. The full list of benefits can be found at

The operating dates for 2019-20 were also released. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to open Nov. 28, 2019, to April 19, 2020. The season at Aspen Highlands is Dec. 7 to April 12. Buttermilk will be open Dec. 7 to April 5.