Indy Pass announced today that they have signed on over 50 new resorts across the US, Japan, Canada, and Europe, pushing their roster to over 170 ski resorts on three continents. They also announced that they will release a limited quantity of passes next Tuesday, October 10, 2023 to people who have joined their waitlist. Unfortunately this announcement is really just a tease headed into next week's launch when the resorts will be released and people can purchase the pass again. They will also announce the blackout dates for participating resorts at this time and we'll of course share that information here.
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Our understanding is that the additions outside of the US market are primarily targeted at US skiers who seek to also travel with their pass. We do not currently know if some of these new partners will only be added to the more expensive Indy Plus Pass, but international travel on pass like this does seem like it would deserve a premium.
Indy Pass works sort of like a cooperative. They keep 15% of the revenue to cover their own operational costs, and 85% of the revenue is distributed to the ski areas based on the number of redemptions and a percentage of each resort's average window rates in order to provide different priced ski areas their fair footing. Although the payouts are discounted, as a percentage of window rates Indy Pass' payouts exceed that of Ikon Pass partners. The offering has been so successful for their partners that they have had a handful of ski areas drop participation since they started back in 2019 while at the same time they have signed up over 150 more.
Indy Pass has been careful to add partners in a methodical manner so as to not spike redemptions in region and drive too many redemptions and competition with the resorts' own offerings. Because of the opportunity created by the excess demand they introduced a new designation of "Allied Resort" last season where allied partners offer passholders a 50% off discount weekdays, and 25% off on weekends, but they do not receive two free days like they receive at their full partners.
Even as markets like the Northeast reach saturation, Indy Pass has branched out into other regions of the country and the world to add new partners and value to their pass. Indy Pass owner Erik Mogensen indicated in their release, “We are serious about growing the Indy Pass and doing it responsibly. The remarkable addition of over 50 new partners across three continents allows us to offer an affordable option to more people. Skiing and riding should not be a luxury good.” What they have accomplished in the last few years is in fact remarkable given the diverse needs of their partners and their rate of growth, and they are now capping their growth.
Even the pause in sales after March was clearly designed in order to help their pass better coexist with the passes of their partner ski areas without cannibalizing sales. Like all pass sellers, they have targets for revenue per pass, but unlike many others they also have quantity limits in order to help with that peaceful coexistence among their diverse marketplace. So instead of raising prices in April well before their planned additions being announced now, taking the pass off the market until the fall and bringing it back at higher late pre-season rates made the most sense so that they could provide as much revenue to participating ski areas as possible and keep some normalcy to their offering.
It's not that Indy Pass is competing too much with their resorts' own offerings; you really need to be a road warrior in order to make a serious ski season on the pass with just two days a piece. The real problem is that traffic patterns have been scattered like confetti at a clown convention since COVID hit and the mega-multi-pass war reached the East. Indy Pass is an external force moving people too of course.
Pricing and How the Waitlist Will Work
Indy Pass has indicated that pass sales on the 10th will be handled exclusively through their waitlist just like they were back in March when that allotment of passes sold out by the end of the month. They believe that they will sell out again, so if you want the pass then you must join their waitlist and make your purchases quickly.
They have released pricing for their fall release and prices did go up from the spring as would be expected with the standard Indy Adult Base Pass reaching $399, up from $299 that was offered at launch for existing passholders. Details of full pricing is as follows and they are offering a payment plan that allows purchasers to split the full price into two equal payments:
Standard Indy Pass pricing:
- Indy Adult Base Pass $399
- Indy+ Adult Pass $499
- Indy Kids Base Pass $199
- Indy+ Kids Pass $249
Indy AddOn Pass, exclusively for partner resort passholders:
- Indy AddOn Adult Base Pass $279
- Indy+ AddOn Adult Pass $379
- Indy Kids AddOn Base Pass $139
- Indy+ Kids AddOn Pass $179
Indy XC Pass:
- Indy XC Pass Adult Pass $99
- Indy XC Pass Kids Pass $49
- Indy XC Pass Adult AddOn Pass $79
- Indy XC Pass Kids AddOn Pass $39`