You’ve already made the right decision in purchasing an Ikon Pass, which sadly if you’re reading this without one, has already sold out. Now, you lucky pass holders just have to decide which of the 36 official partner resort destinations you’re going to make it to this winter. For Bay Area-based skiers and snowboarders, the 2018/19 season is THE season to visit Snowmass. And with two direct flights a day from SFO to ASE on United, getting to here has never been easier.
Launched by Alterra Mountain Company earlier this year, the Ikon Pass (no black-out dates) allows for seven days combined and the Ikon Base Pass (black-out dates included) allows five days combined at all four Aspen Snowmass mountains: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. But because Snowmass has 3,332 skiable acres and 150 miles of trails, you can spend the entire time ripping around Snowmass Mountain and just only scratch the surface of epic and diverse terrain.
Before you arrive, activate your on-mountain adventures by downloading the Aspen Snowmass app, which is fresh off an upgrade and provides rewards and enhanced functionality of year-over-year stats and tracking, allowing families, skiers and even non-skiers to track on-mountain movements.
For the best in accommodations, book at either the just-revamped Viceroy Snowmass or just-opened Limelight Hotel Snowmass — two luxury, mountainside properties that offer ski-in, ski-out access and are closest to all of the new action in Snowmass Base Village. Ikon Pass holders also receive lodging discounts through Stay Aspen Snowmass. Ten years in the making, the ribbon was officially cut earlier this month at a Grand Opening celebration for the $600 million Snowmass Base Village project, marking the culmination of an all-new development of residences, lodging, restaurants, shops and The Collective — a community gathering space that will offer a rotating roster of art, music and culture activities.
“There has never been a better time to come to Snowmass,” says Rose Abello, Tourism Director, Snowmass Tourism. “The opening of the new Base Village, including the Limelight Hotel with its five-story climbing wall, ice skating rink and event plaza, and Lumin Building with its creperie and new Four Mountain Sports store, bring new energy and vibrancy to Snowmass Village. All of this ‘new’ just augments the extraordinary Snowmass experience that we have come to know and love over the years.”
Returning for the season are Snowmass S’mores (free from 3:30-4:30pm daily) along with ongoing popular event series, including the 37th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration, green beer and spring skiing on St. Patrick’s Day, and the swimsuit ski down and après parties over Snowmass Closing Weekend.
A must-do is a Moonlit Trek — a 1.2-mile snowshoe, walk, or cross-country ski under the stars around the Snowmass Club golf course, with a mid-way stop for cookies and hot chocolate at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. The evening ends with a family-style pasta dinner at Black Saddle Bar and Grille with live music. Held on the Saturday nearest the full moon each month (December 22, January 19, February 16, March 16 from 5:30-9:00pm), a one-hour guided tour with an ACES naturalist is also offered.
While the legacy of its 50-year history remains, Snowmass is excited to start new traditions, which are best shaped when our visitors leave a part of their heart behind them after an unforgettable ski vacation.
The 2018/19 Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass are no longer available for purchase. The 2019/20 Ikon Pass will be available in Spring 2019. Get the latest news on the Ikon Pass and sign up for updates at ikonpass.com and @ikonpass.
Katie Shapiro is a freelance journalist who writes about living life at its highest from her home base in Snowmass Village. Her byline has appeared in 5280 Magazine, Aspen Magazine, Aspen Times, Denver Post, Departures, Forbes, Thrillist and more. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @kshapiromedia.