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Season Passes
On Epic/Ikon Day 2019, let’s dig into some numbers.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

In recent years, the first Tuesday in March has become a bit of a holiday. An “opening day” as it were for pass sales and the following ski season.

Today, in case you were wondering, is that day. Right now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of tweets and emails and videos and press releases and display ads and takeovers and interviews and who knows what else flooding markets all over the world. All of these things will drop, nearly simultaneously, in an attempt to win a pool over 1mm+ passholders over to one side or the other.

Which means if you follow 400+ resorts like I do, your feed looks like this when Ikon decided to prime the pump a little bit last week.

So let’s look at a few numbers, shall we?

% of Skier Visits
Basis this of Dave Belin’s Kottke report which is just U.S., so I’ll only include U.S. resorts. But based on my skier visit numbers, Vail and Ikon account for a combined 27,000,000 (12,500,000 and 14,500,000 respectively) skiers visits. With roughly 54,000,000 total in the U.S. last year, that’s almost exactly half of all skier visits.

% of All Facebook Fans
Now, let’s back up a little bit again and broader our analysis to North America as a whole. If every resort on these passes all tweeted the same thing on the same day, what would the total reach be? As of Feb 28, 2019, here’s how total, combined fan counts break down:

  • All resorts: 14,604,603
  • Epic: 2,480,375 (17.0% of total)
  • Ikon: 3,796,048 (26.0% of total)
  • All Others: 8,328,180 (57.0% of total)

So, when it comes to Facebook fans, Epic + Ikon have about 5,500,000 combined which makes up 37.5% of all ski resort fans.

% of All Twitter Followers
Okay, one last thing to look at before some takeaways. Same analysis but for Twitter followers:

  • All resorts: 2,643,009
  • Epic: 620,626 (23.5% of total)
  • Ikon: 745,319 (28.2% of total)
  • All Others: 1,277,064 (48.3% of total)

In terms of Twitter followers, Epic + Ikon have about 1,289,000 followers and just shy of 50% overall.

An Important Point
Have you ever been to a football game where each team’s fans are on opposing sides of the stadium and they get into the back-and-forth cheering thing? One side will do some coordinated cheer for their team. The other side will come back with whatever clever saying they’ve got. And so forth.

Do you know what you DON’T hear in those situations? Any of the other 1,000 people in the stands who are also cheering.

That’s where we’re at as an industry.

Ikon and Epic are the loudest voices in the ski industry by a massive, massive margin. So much so that even in their local markets, it’s tough to hear any other resort above the noise. That scares me a bit if I’m honest. If the message is right, it could be a huge win for our industry. But it could just as easily backfire if not.


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