Vail drops Epic Pass price; no reservations next winter

20 percent season pass price reduction

[ By Kendra Walker ]

On Wednesday, Vail Resorts released its 2021/2022 season passes available for purchase, announcing a 20-percent price reduction reset across the board, which applies to the company’s entire North American pass lineup.

Epic Local Passes are available for $583 for next season, down from $729 this season. Epic passes are $783, down from $979. The Epic Day Pass is offered at a starting price of $67 for guests who wish to ride one to seven days of the season. Additionally, Epic SchoolKids is available for free to kindergarten through fifth grade Colorado children, with 20 days of free skiing at Vail’s Colorado resorts.

All passes for the 2021/2022 season also come with Epic Coverage, at no additional cost, which provides refunds for personal events like job loss, injury or illness, as well as for certain resort closures, including closures due to COVID-19. Passes also come with 20 percent off on-mountain dining, lodging, lessons and rentals.

“The ski industry, our Company and skiers and riders everywhere just navigated the most challenging season we have ever encountered. Because of the growth and loyalty of our pass holders, we were able to ensure this season was a success, with full operations across our 34 North American resorts, even amid a pandemic,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, in a press release.
“Today, as we double down on our pass strategy by dramatically reducing our pass prices, we are excited to make it easier for everyone to move into a pass, and we remain fully committed to ensuring continuous improvements in the guest experience…The new prices announced today not only provide value to existing skiers and riders, but we also believe they will contribute to the growth and vitality of our sport as we bring new people and higher engagement into the industry, which we think is imperative.”

In a letter to Epic Pass holders last week, Katz also said that Vail is not planning to have a reservation system next winter. The reservation system was designed this season to help safely manage mountain capacities during the pandemic.

“While we do not know exactly how COVID-19 will impact our industry next winter, we are not planning to have a reservation system next season,” he said. “For anyone worried that the absence of a reservation system will lead to longer lift lines, we have extensive learnings from this season around lift loading efficiencies and are implementing new strategies to materially reduce wait times. And of course, we will also benefit from new lifts at Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Crested Butte and Okemo.” CBMR plans to replace the current Peachtree chairlift with a new three-person fixed-grip lift to improve uplift capacity service for the beginner terrain at the base.

Katz also addressed the call center wait times that many guests experienced this season. “We have spent the last few months overhauling the technical systems behind our guest service operations and are in the process of dramatically scaling the number of representatives available to provide you support,” he said. “While we are still putting the fully expanded team into place, I’m pleased to share that we have doubled our staff of customer service representatives since December and plan to quadruple our staff by May. We will also be rolling out a much more robust chat offering. Our goal is to ensure that we can quickly answer your calls and messages and get you the information you need. While there may still be moments with longer hold times in the short term, I am confident you will see continuous improvement over the next couple of months and well before next season.”

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