preface: this thread is not mean't to serve as a place to rant about how consolidation in the industry is killing core vibes, etc. These thoughts are only my opinion and are solely anecdotal/unsubstantiated.
the reality is, as the economics of the ski industry changes so will the resorts in regards to how they operate financially. companies like vail (who offer epic) and alterra (who offer ikon) ultimately offer a great value. these passes enables access to a wide range of resorts for arguably cheaper prices. Sure, if you only ski one mountain the season pass price will be lower than the two previously mentioned passes, but if you get an ikon pass you also get a lot more value in terms of having more than 1 mountain with unlimited lift access.
I do believe more folks are buying season passes like ikon as they're arguably more enticing than a single mountain's season pass offering.
by buying the pass, you share the risk that the resort faces in terms of how much snow will fall. a snowy year will make more money through day passes, conversely the resort loses when the winter is whack. due to this variability, a resort's plans (plan to add a new lift, cut trails, etc) can easily be derailed by a poor winter. the more folks that buy passes, the less peaks and valleys a resort experiences and in turn you should see less drastic decision making by resort mgmt.
This path towards consolidation is new-ish, and with that there are bound to be hiccups, however I can envision a time where corporations partner with the mountain rather than buying it outright and treating it like a private equity venture to help improve the experience without sacrificing "core" values.
While i am not claiming this to be the right path, it would be smart for folks to get on board rather than resist as it would smooth out revenue variability within the resorts and hopefully benefit all stakeholders - riders, community members, resort and resort employees, etc.