In a move that stunned the industry, Vail Resorts announced in March 2021 that the Epic Pass for winter 21/22 would cost 20% less than it did the previous season. That’s $196 less than the same pass last season, and more importantly, $216 less than Alterra is charging for its Ikon Pass.
From the numbers that came out of their quarterly earnings call last week, it looks like that decision has been justified––Epic Pass product volume sales were up 42% over the previous year, and up 17% in actual sales dollars.
“We are very pleased with the results of our season pass sales to date… …driven in part by the 20% reduction in all pass prices for the upcoming season. Pass product sales through September 17, 2021 for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season increased approximately 42% in units and approximately 17% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through September 18, 2020…”
– Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz
Chief Marketing Officer Kirsten Lynch, who will replace Rob Katz as CEO in November, said there are three main reasons for the increase; customers are buying more expensive passes than last season, customers who bought single-day lift tickets buying passes, and new Vail Resorts customers, reports Summit Daily.
Lynch added that the goal of the price reduction was to drive customer growth with the intention of making pass sales 75% or more of all lift revenue.
Earlier this week Vail Resorts announced its ‘Epic Lift Upgrade’ program, which will see $320-million spent on 19 new lifts across 14 resorts.