Indy Pass is being acquired by Entabeni Systems, the long-time trusted partner that runs the technology platform on which Indy Pass has been built. Indy Pass founder Doug Fish will continue to lead Indy Pass as it grows its independent resort roster. Entabeni — “mountain” in Zulu — is the leading tech provider for smaller, independent ski areas. It focuses entirely on serving winter resorts, primarily across North America. Over 30 resorts have signed up for the company’s integrated hardware and software services. This means that Etanabi’s vision perfectly aligns with the Indy Pass’s. Etanabi’s Founder, Erik Mogensen, stresses, “Entabeni is privileged to keep Indy Pass 100% independent, and we remain steadfastly committed to the original mission: supporting independent resorts and providing incredible value for skiers and riders.
Founder Doug Fish assured in an interview with Ski Area Management that he would remain with the Indy Pass indefinitely. “This acquisition takes the financial pressure off me. The Indy Pass is a stressful business, and there are a lot of moving parts. Entabeni’s taking that on now. I will continue overseeing the marketing, branding, and Indy Pass resort recruitment. Maintaining the relationships that we’ve developed over the last four years will be a big part of my role, too. I can’t think of a better job than that.”
Helping smaller, independent ski resorts is close to Erik Mogensen’s heart, who learned to ski at Ski Tamarack, NY, which eventually failed. Etanabi aims to support the small resorts and has never had a mega-resort client and will never take one. “Not every experience needs to be epic or iconic,” Mogensen stresses.
While much about the Indy Pass will remain the same, one immediate and important change for next season is limiting pass sales. “We’re going to limit pass sales,” Mogensen said in his interview with Ski Area Management, “We want to preserve the independent ski experience. We always balance promotion and preservation, but people can expect that preservation will always win for us.” The cap on sales is intended to prevent overcrowding while still allowing Indy Pass to grow its consumer sales. Existing Indy Pass holders will be allowed to purchase 23/24 season passes first.
Another change for 2023/24 will be an improvement to the booking and redemption process by introducing a physical pass. Mogensen explains in the interview with Ski Area Management, “We’re going to do a physical pass next year, with your photo on it. We really want to turn it into a yearly collector’s item and a bit of a badge of honor. And then, with that pass, we will start to turn on direct-to-lift access and ease the redemption process for customers at resorts that are equipped to handle that, and then find ways to ease the redemption process for resorts that don’t have that capacity yet.”
Currently, there are 139 resorts enrolled in the Indy Pass program, and Doug Fish expects that number to grow to 150-160 by 2023/24. In his interview with Ski Area Management, he hints at impending announcements over the next weeks and months. “We have several resorts in the queue already for next year. We’re talking to every little mom-and-pop resort across North America that wants to be on the pass. We’re trying to be a revenue generator and a marketing resource for virtually every indie resort on the continent.”
So it looks like some exciting changes are ahead for the Indy Pass while staying true to its mission of supporting independent resorts and preserving an authentic experience for Indy Pass holders by providing incredible value for skiers and riders. For more information, visit the Indy Pass website.