Sun Peaks, Canada and Grandvalira, Andorra Join Ikon Pass
The rich get richer as Alterra adds sixth and seventh new partners for 2022-23 ski season
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Last week, I watched Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs with my 5-year-old son. Locked on a desultory mid-Atlantic land-flake where there’s nothing to eat but sardines, frantic young genius Flint Lockwood invents a machine that generates cheeseburgers and pizzas out of cloud vapor. This is welcome at first, but things soon get treacherous (if you can believe it). The food mutates. Refrigerator-sized steaks and hotdogs pummel the town, foreshadowing a spaghetti tornado that nearly levels it.
A more benevolent version of this has been happening with the Ikon Pass lately. At first we were all like, “yay Jackson Hole on a pass with Copper and Alta and Winter Park and Killington.” And after Revelstoke and Sugarbush and Crystal and Zermatt stumbled on we were like, “OK this is rad. They could never add another mountain and this would already be the best pass ever.”
But Alterra has a Flint Lockwood somewhere in its Denver HQ. Like the Meatball Machine chiming “CHEESEBURGER” as it formulates food from the ether, the IKONATER 6000 is kicking out megaresorts at an astonishing pace. “SUN VALLEY,” it rumbles and a 2,434-acre Idaho monster materializes out of the sky and smashes into the Colorado pavement. “SNOWBASIN,” it says. Another crash. “CHAMONIX.” “PANORAMA.” “LOTTE ARAI.” Thwap thwap thwap. Greater Denver now resembles that Big 10 commercial where each school erupts from the countryside and dominates the landscape from New York City to Nebraska.
Apparently the IKONATER 6000 still has some juice left. Today it spit out Sun Peaks, Canada’s second-largest ski area, and Grandvalira Resort in Andorra, a three-ski area megaplex that I’ve never heard of but is of course approximately the size of Greenland. Both will be standard partners: seven days with no blackouts on the Ikon Pass, five days with holiday blackouts on the Ikon Base or Base Plus passes, included on the Ikon Session Pass. Here’s what the 2022-23 Ikon Pass lineup looks like with the additions:
Sun Peaks is Ikon’s 10th partner in Canada and its fifth in British Columbia. Grandvalira becomes the pass’ fifth partner in Europe. They are the sixth and seventh partners to join the Ikon Pass this year, joining Chamonix, France; Sun Valley, Idaho; Snowbasin, Utah; Panorama, British Columbia; and Lotte Arai, Japan (in case you didn’t gather that from the bit above).
This is just getting unfair. The Ikon Pass is collecting the fat boys of skiing’s Cool Club like an overzealous Mega Millions winner buying every Cadillac at the dealership. I had already declared this to be the greatest pass in the history of lift-served skiing in March, but Alterra was like “hold my thousand-ounce beer” and the machine just. Keeps. Moving. It’s astonishing. And while the pass’ expansion efforts seem to have shifted outside of the United States, Alterra and Ikon have taken a relentless, aggressive posture that gives the Epic and Mountain Collective passes little margin for error.
Here’s a bit more about what the partnerships mean for the Ikon Pass, its passholders, and the megapass world at large:
Below the paid subscriber jump: a full breakdown of Sun Peaks and Grandvalira, how Epic and Mountain Collective should respond to Ikon’s hot streak, and more.