On March 6, Big Sky Resort General Manager Taylor Middleton sent EBS a letter published in print and online asking locals to welcome Ikon passholders the same way that he and other Big Sky residents had been welcomed in the past. Shared on the EBS Facebook page, the letter was met with a storm of comments on social media from Big Sky skiers. The resort shared the post on Facebook the same day and it has since gone viral as Unofficial Networks reposted to their pages, while Snow Brains, the Colorado Sun and others have linked to the letter in stories on their websites.
The same day, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President Mary Kate Buckley wrote a letter published on Jackson Hole News & Guide’s website admitting that record snow had attracted crowds which were “straining our infrastructure, employees and locals.”
EBS made the above timeline of events to give context to the issue.
2008: Vail Resort’s announces EPIC pass
Offering access to five Colorado mountains and the slopes of Heavenly in California with one purchase, the EPIC pass changed the game for the ski industry. As the ski corporation giant grew over the subsequent decade, it became increasingly clear that skiing would never be the same.
2012: Mountain Collective Pass follows
Seeing the writing on the wall, the Mountain Collective Pass hit as EPIC’s first competition, allowing passholders two days of skiing at each of the included resorts.
2017: Alterra Mountain Co. is born
Aspen Skiing owners and Denver-based private equity firm KSL Capital Partners bought six resorts, including Steamboat Springs and Winter Park in Colorado, and formed the Alterra Mountain Co. later that year.
2018: Ikon Pass touches down
Alterra announces the Ikon pass in January of 2018, granting access to 14 ski resorts, including Big Sky Resort and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
March 6, 2019: Big Sky GM and JHMR president pen letters to local papers
On the same day, Taylor Middleton, Big Sky Resort’s general manager, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President Mary Kate Buckley sent letters to local news outlets addressing respective community complaints related to the Ikon pass and crowded resorts.