The Ikon Pass Comes to Europe!

Access 41 Resorts with a Single Lift Ticket!

Winter-sports enthusiasts who like the idea of visiting several ski resorts in different countries will be happy to learn that Ikon Pass has just expanded to Europe!

The famed US-based Ikon Pass has already signed up 41 different resorts all around the world, the most recent of which is the celebrated Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, adding Europe to its worldwide coverage.

News for UK travellers is even better as there is a discount if they buy the pass by September 30th.

Ikon Pass – What Does it Offer?

The Ikon Pass is a season-long lift pass that allows you to use the lifts of numerous ski resorts in different countries and continents.

Since its launch last year, it has already become a grave threat to its main competitor, the Epic Pass of Vail Resorts, which grants access to 76 resorts all around the globe.

Ikon Pass is issued and controlled by the Alterra Mountain Company, a conglomerate of North American ski resorts.

In its first year, it gave access to 23 resorts across the United States and Canada, but it quickly expanded to into Japan, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Chile.

Now Zermatt has also brought Europe in the Ikon Pass family, raising the total number of signed up resorts to 41. Ikon pass holders staying in Zermatt will also have access to the linked slopes of the neighbouring Cervinia in Italy.

It’s true that season-long, world-wide ski passes are something new for winter travellers from the UK. Most buy a week-long lift pass that covers their stay in a single resort, or multiple resorts but in a single area.

A one-pay lift pass granting access to famed resorts in different parts of the planet makes their holiday planning much easier, simplifies procedures, and reduces the overall cost.

Why Zermatt?

The list of destinations signed-up with Ikon Pass was impressive, but it lacked a representative from Europe, which has some of the most well-maintained and famed resorts in the world.

Hence, the recent addition of Zermatt has proved popular, especially since Zermatt, while renowned for the magnificent slopes of Matterhorn, is notorious for its pricey lift passes.

As recently commented by E. Forsell, chief marketing officer of the Alterra Mountain Company, the addition of Zermatt as the first European Ikon Pass resort was a “natural decision,” because of its reputation as a top-notch skiing destination, physical beauty, and popularity among skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.

Zermatt is also very popular with the UK market, and that is why a special discount is offered to UK residents until the end of this month.

Zermatt ranks among the world’s greatest ski resorts, and remains a sought-after travel destination even in summer, mainly because of its impeccable infrastructure, picturesque traditional village, celebrated local cuisine and vast terrain.

This winning combination though does not come cheap. A six-day lift pass in Zermatt (offering also access to the linked slopes of the neighbouring resort of Cervinia, 360 km of slopes in total), costs around £350, even with the standard 5% discount for booking in advance.

Seen against the price of an Ikon Pass, which will be around £870 for the coming season, the gain for the holder is tremendous, especially if we consider that it provides unlimited access with zero blackout dates in 14 of Ikon’s resorts and up to 7 days on the slopes of the rest.

Resorts with Unlimited and 7-Day Access

The 14 resorts with unlimited access and no blackout dates include Steamboat, Winter Park, Big Bear Mountain, Stratton, Copper Mountain, Snowshoe, Eldora Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Tremblant, Mammoth Mountain, Blue Mountain, June Mountain, and Solitude.

Zermatt is included to the group of select ski destinations where Ikon Pass offers a maximum of 7 ski days per season, among which is Aspen in ColoradoJackson Hole in Wyoming, Revelstoke in Canada, Thredbo in Australia, Niseko in Japan and Valle Nevado in Chile.

Note that you can also opt for the more economical Ikon Base Pass, at £614, granting access to the same resorts but with some blackout dates, 12 unlimited destinations instead of 14, and up to five days at the rest instead of 7.

Ikon Pass Competition

The expansion of Ikon Pass into Europe puts it in even stronger position against its main rival, Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, which has been around for some time now (it was first launched in 2008) and enjoys an excellent reputation, as well as bigger destination coverage, giving access to 76 resorts all around the world.

Among these destinations are North American Vail and Whistler, Hakuba in Japan, Verbier in Switzerland, and the famed Trois Vallées (including Meribel and Courchevel) in France and Madonna di Campiglio in Italy.

Being a bit cheaper than it’s the full pass of its competitor, the Epic Pass is currently offered at a price of £790 with zero blackout dates for early birds, but the price usually gets higher during the winter.

Special Discount Until the End of September

Aiming at making a dynamic start in the UK, Ikon Pass comes with a special discount for those that will get it by the end of this month.

The discount rate is considerable, dropping the price from £870 to £789 for the full pass, and from £614 to £537 for the Base Pass, saving around £80 to £90.

You can get the pass from Ikon Pass UK travel partners, including American Ski Classics, Ski Independence, Ski Safari, Ski Solutions, and SkiWorld.

For more information, visit www.ikonpass.com

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