Game On: Epic Pass Jumps Into Pre-Season Pass Race
The doors have been flung wide open in the quest for 2020-2021 multi-resort passes as Vail Resorts unveiled its pricing and benefits for the Epic Pass and its ancillaries.
Next season will be the 13th season for the industry's first season pass that covers multiple resorts in multiple states and countries. Lately, serious competition has come from Colorado-based Ikon Pass that announced its 2020-2021 prices a few days before.
Opening up at $979 for its spring sale, the Epic Pass is accepted at all 37 resorts owned by Vail Resorts in the U.S., Canada and overseas. That includes Vail's hefty portfolio of 15 Midwest mountains that has grown rapidly in the last couple of years and eight in the Northeast.
As a sweetener, the pass includes 20 percent off at everything from lessons to retail to food to transportation at all its resorts -- plus cat skiing and heli-skiing at resorts that have them.
Aiming to get most of its pass-holders on the slopes of the Colorado corporation's array of resorts, the Epic Pass goes heavy on the 37 resorts that Vail Resorts owns outright while sprinkling in seven days at affiliated U.S. resorts Telluride, Sun Valley and Snowbasin, and six in Canada. Overseas skiers and riders can use the pass in Japan, Canada, and Australia.
Aside from the full-on Epic Pass, Vail Resorts has stocked the season pass cupboard with 13 other sub-passes with limitations as to where you can ski or ride, blackout dates, number of days, and specific resort groups (i.e., Summit County) or individual resorts.
As examples, the Tahoe Local Pass covers skiing and riding at Vail-owned Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood except during holidays, and adds in five days at Vail's Colorado and Utah resorts. The Epic Day Pass pays for up to seven days at owned resorts with the usual holiday restrictions.
Many of the Epic versions come with buddy ticket discounts so you can bring a friend or family member along. This season, buddy tickets can be purchased online so as to eliminate waiting at ticket windows.
Discounts on summer activities at Vail-owned resorts also included in the springtime purchase of an Epic Pass.