Vail Resort’s Epic Season Pass: Pros and Cons

Haleigh Hafner |
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PC: Facebook

Vail resorts has been heavily featured in the news this ski season for staff shortages, mismanagement, EpicMix app malfunctions, and much more. As more news comes out about the company, it is important to ask yourself this question: should I purchase or renew my Epic Season pass for the 2022-2023 ski season? 

The Epic Pass made its debut in 2008, and completely revolutionized the ski and snowboard industry. By purchasing the pass, families were able to visit all Vail resorts for a reasonable price. At the time, an Epic Season Pass gave skiers and snowboarders access to five Colorado mountains and Heavenly resorts. Since 2008, Vail Resorts has grown exponentially, and the pass now grants holders access to a plethora of resorts all across North America, Japan, Australia, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. To make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase a pass for the 2022-2023 ski season, let’s take a deep dive and look at the pros and cons of the Unlimited Epic Season Pass. 

 

Pros: 

  • Unlimited access with no blackout date restrictions to 37 resorts in MO, OH, IN, PA, NY, NH, WA, VT, CO, MI, WI, CA, MN, British Columbia, and Australia
  • 7 total days at Telluride (50% off lift tickets once 7 days are used)
  • 7 total days at resorts of the Canadian Rockies (50% off lift tickets once 7 days are used)
  • 7 days each at Sun Valley and Snowbasin (50% off lift tickets once 7 days are used)
  • 5 total days each at Hakuba Valley and Rustu, Japan
  • Access to 26 European Partner Resorts
  • 20% off food, beverages, lodging, ski and snowboard lessons, equipment rentals, Epic Mountain Express transportation, guided Cat Skiing Tours in Keystone, and heli-ski packages in Whistler Blackcomb, BC.
  • Buddy tickets 
  • Epic Coverage – no extra cost for insurance!
Vail Resorts Zero Net Emissions
Vail Resorts also made an “EpicPromise” to reduce its net emission levels to zero

Cons: 

  • Major crowding at Vail Resorts leads to long lift lines and less safety
  • Very easy to get your pass taken away or suspended if you violate resort rules
  • You may feel cornered into purchasing an Epic Pass due to uber expensive normal lift tickets and resort costs
  • Less access to East Coast resorts – other season passes like IKON offer more access to these areas
  • Due to staff shortages, many Vail Resorts have been forced to keep major parts of the mountains closed
  • Short Ski Patrol staff has lead to more injuries and crashes in recent seasons  

 

Epic Season Passes were priced at $599 for the 2021-2022 ski season, but it is uncertain of how much the passes will cost for the upcoming season in 2022-2023. The price was discounted by 20% for the 2021/22 season, so it will be interesting to see if the price stays discounted, returns to its normal value, or increases exponentially in future seasons to come. There are also a variety of different types of passes to choose from, offering a cheaper price with less benefits.

Now that you know the pros and cons to the season pass, what will you do? 


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5 thoughts on “Vail Resort’s Epic Season Pass: Pros and Cons

  1. We need new ski resorts. Ones that aren’t allowed to be sold to mega corporations and are approved/entitled in a fashion that forces them to remain local small community oriented locations.

    Too bad all the tree huggers, sierra clubbers and enviromentalists will never allow new resorts to be opened.

  2. With Ikon and Epic controlling so many resorts it’s a sure thing that the duopply will raise prices a lot going forward.

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