By Matt Kroschel

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Next month the Ikon Ski Pass goes on sale nationwide — and people in Steamboat Springs are already singing its praises.

The pass will give skiers access to eight Colorado resorts, including Steamboat.

ikon pass 6map transfer frame 811 Ikon Pass Seen As A Big Benefit For Steamboat Springs Community

Skiers and boarders flock to “the boat” — drawn by the champagne powder and world renowned tree skiing.

“It’s a big game changer,” said Steve Muntean, a business owner and skier in Steamboat Springs.

For locals, the new Ikon Pass is like Christmas came early.

ikon pass 6pkg transfer frame 293 Ikon Pass Seen As A Big Benefit For Steamboat Springs Community

(credit: CBS)

“Don’t see how it’s anything but a win-win for everybody,” Gavin Malia told CBS4.

The pass costs less than a previous Steamboat season pass and now offers more resorts.

“It’s a big benefit. I mean, if you buy a season pass like I do every year it’s $1149 if you buy in advance. This one is $250 cheaper, so we saved $250 plus we get all these other mountains,” Muntean said.

ikon pass 6pkg transfer frame 790 Ikon Pass Seen As A Big Benefit For Steamboat Springs Community

Steve Muntean (credit: CBS)

It is designed to rival Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass which it includes seven days of access to the slopes of Aspen-Snowmass. Something Steamboat skiers are excited to check out.

Residents think this will actually draw more visitors who buy the pass and decide to check out Steamboat since it’s included.

“I don’t think anybody I’ve talked to has been negative at all. The lodging industry people we work with are really stoked about this pass,” Muntean said.

ikon pass 6pkg transfer frame 1071 Ikon Pass Seen As A Big Benefit For Steamboat Springs Community

(credit: CBS)

“I think this is long overdue for Steamboat. This puts us back to where we really rip along as being one of the premier destinations in North America,” Malia added.

It’s part of a changing ski industry and pass wars that seem to be to the benefit of local skiers and riders.

The Ikon Pass, which ranges from $599 to $899, has no restrictions or blackout dates.

It goes on sale March 6th.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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