IKON Lawsuit Seeks Passholder Refunds For Shortened Season
Alterra Mountain Company improperly retained Ikon Pass costs after the ski season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, claims a class-action lawsuit filed by Milberg Phillips Grossman LLP.
“Defendants refuse to provide pro-rata refunds to consumers who purchased Ikon Passes for the 2019-2020 ski season. Instead, they are only offering these consumers additional discounts on Ikon Passes for the 2020-2021 ski season,” says the lawsuit, filed in Colorado District Court.
Denver-based Alterra suspended operations at its 15 North American ski resorts on March 15, bringing an effective end to the ski season weeks earlier than normal. Depending on the resort, the ski season can last well into spring and even summer. For example, Arapahoe Basin, an Ikon Pass member resort, was open for skiing on the Fourth of July in 2019, while Ikon member resort Snowbird had powder skiing well into May last year.
The plaintiff “fully intended on using his Ikon Pass throughout the duration of the ski season,” according to the lawsuit. He paid $749 for an Ikon Base Pass, which provides unlimited skiing and riding at 14 resorts and up to 5 days access at 24 resorts. Alterra also offers the Ikon Pass (currently retailing for $999) and the Ikon Sessions Pass ($399). Ikon Passes premiered in 2018 as a competitor to Vail’s Epic Pass and exceeded Alterra’s pre-season projection of 250,000 passes sold.
Not only is Alterra refusing to offer pro-rated refunds to 2019 – 2020 season pass purchasers, but next year’s Ikon Base Pass now requires an upcharge to access Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Aspen Snowmass—two of the premier locations on the 2019 – 2020 Ikon Base Pass. Thus, Alterra diminished the value of next year’s Ikon Base Pass while offering just a $50 discount, the lawsuit argues.
The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of all consumers who purchased a 2019 – 2020 Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass and were not able to use—or otherwise did not get the full value from—their pass.
Milberg previously filed a lawsuit against Vail Resorts Inc. for failing to offer a credit or refund to Epic Pass holders. Alterra and Vail own a combined 31 ski resorts across North America and host an estimated 18 million skier visits annually.
A member of the Coronavirus Litigation Task Force, Milberg has also filed refund class actions against universities and Major League Baseball. Since Milberg’s founding in 1965, it has repeatedly taken the lead in landmark cases that have set groundbreaking legal precedents and recovered more than $50 billion in verdicts and settlements.