As I found out recently when Son Number One went off to his freshman year of college, the university experience has changed a tad in the last thirty years. He’s got co-ed dorms, real restaurant chains on campus that accept his meal plan card, a new iPad included with tuition, and food trucks at the football games. It’s insane.
I was already jealous enough, but then he joined the Winter Sports Club. Do you know who didn’t have access to a Winter Sports Club in college? Me, that’s who! Now granted, he’s going to college at the base of the Sierra Nevadas and I went to college at the beach in central California, but still, it’s obviously unfair.
His two younger brothers and I upgraded our season passes this year, since our budget opened up a bit when our fourth snowboarder went off to college. We were feeling pretty smug, thinking we’d be ripping it up at the fabulous Sugar Bowl while he was relegated to the slightly lesser Mt. Rose in Nevada.
But then he went and joined the Winter Sports Club, and do you know what they did? They figured out how to wrangle a discounted price on the IKON pass. The IKON pass, people!
For those of you non-winter sports club kinda folks, the IKON pass is one of a few relatively newish passes that gives you access to a bunch of different ski resorts instead of just one.
The IKON pass gives you unlimited access to fourteen different resorts across the U.S. and Canada, and up to five days access to a bunch more. Even a handful of way-more-international-than-Canada resorts.
So, while his brothers and I will be forced to go to one place all winter, he will have unlimited access to: (Sorry in advance about the all caps. I copied the list off the IKON website and I’m far too lazy to re-type it all.)
WINTER PARK, CO
COPPER MOUNTAIN RESORT, CO
ELDORA MOUNTAIN RESORT, CO
PALISADES TAHOE, CA
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA
JUNE MOUNTAIN, CA
BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN RESORT, CA
SNOW VALLEY, CA
SUGARBUSH RESORT, VT
BLUE MOUNTAIN, ON
SOLITUDE MOUNTAIN RESORT, UT
Now, I doubt he’s going to make a road trip to Sugarbush or Tremblant, but the Colorado Rockies aren’t 100% out of the question for some motivated college kids who are willing to skip a lot of classes.
But all that is irrelevant when you read the one on the list that really matters – Palisades Tahoe. They changed the name to Palisades a while back, but you might know it better by its old name - Squaw Valley. He gets to go to Squaw Valley. Squaw! He’s only about 45 minutes away. They held the Olympic Games there, for goodness sake.
And do you know what really frosts my fanny about this whole thing? The price he paid. The IKON pass is expensive, and for good reason. But they have a young adult discount if you’re under twenty-three. Then on top of that they have a college student discount. And then on top of that, the Winter Sports Club somehow managed to get a major discount on top of those as well.
His IKON pass was less than I paid for his fifteen-year-old brother’s pass at Sugar Bowl!
College is ridiculous!
To make matters even more frosting for me, the pass also entitles him to up to five days at these world-class resorts:
ARAPAHOE BASIN, CO
BIG SKY RESORT, MT
WINDHAM MOUNTAIN, NY
THE HIGHLANDS, MI
BOYNE MOUNTAIN, MI
NEWALYESKA RESORT, AK
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, WA
THE SUMMIT AT SNOQUALMIE, WA
MT. BACHELOR, OR
REVELSTOKE MOUNTAIN RESORT, BC
CYPRESS MOUNTAIN, BC
RED MOUNTAIN, BC
SUN PEAKS RESORT, BC
SUNDAY RIVER, ME
LOON MOUNTAIN, NH
NEWCAMELBACK RESORT, PA
NEWBLUE MOUNTAIN RESORT, PA
CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC VALLEY, FRANCE
DOLOMITI SUPERSKI, ITALY
GRANDVALIRA RESORTS, ANDORRA
ZERMATT MATTERHORN, SWITZERLAND
MT BULLER, AUSTRALIA
CORONET PEAK, THE REMARKABLES & MT HUTT, NEW ZEALAND
NISEKO UNITED, JAPAN
LOTTE ARAI RESORT, JAPAN
VALLE NEVADO, CHILE
I mean, I don’t know anything about it, but how fun does Dolomiti Superski in Italy sound? Am I right? And I don't even know where Andorra is, but I know I want to shred the Grandvalira! If I was him, I’d take my second semester of college off and hitchhike with my snowboard. Just sayin’.
His mom might be a little upset, but I’d high five him. Privately, away from his mother, of course.
But here’s the part about all of this that really, REALLY frosts me: When I called the people at IKON, no one there had heard of our new UNR Winter Sports Club’s Parents Club, and they flatly refused to honor our 85% discount.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen
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