Vail Resorts Refuses Epic Pass Refund to Unvaccinated Skier Over Vaccine Proof Required to Dine on Mountain

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On-mountain dining at Vail, CO––only for the vaccinated. Credit: Vail Resorts

An unvaccinated man is asking Vail Resorts to refund his Epic Pass because of the company’s recent announcement it will only allow vaccinated guests to eat at its indoor restaurants this winter.

Preston Thomas, and three friends, all bought Epic Passes well in advance of the season. He claims that had the policy been announced earlier, he would not have made the purchase.

“It was wrong that Vail issued the policy after the payment for the pass was collected. If we would have been aware of the policy, we would not have purchased the Epic Pass. Access to and enjoyment of the on-mountain cafeterias was pitched to us as part of our pass and part of the value that we paid for.”

– Preston Thomas told Westword

Vail Resorts will not require proof of vaccination to ski, ride chairlifts or gondolas, or even dine at outdoor eateries, just at indoor, quick-service cafeteria-style restaurants.

“The health and safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. We are fortunate that the core of our business takes place outdoors in beautiful, vast mountain settings. If guests wish to access our resorts to ski and ride this season, a vaccination will not be required. Vaccines will also not be required in outdoor spaces such as lift lines, chairlifts, gondolas, outdoor restaurants and restaurant patios, or in indoor spaces such as restrooms, lodging properties, full-service restaurants, and retail and rental locations.”

– Vail Resorts spokesperson

Thomas and two others in the group are unvaccinated, and he believes because of this he is being treated differently.

“We believe that Vail is treating some customers differently than other customers, and those customers that are being treated differently should have the option of a refund because their experience is negatively impacted and the value they are receiving is reduced.”

– Preston Thomas

In refusing to refund his pass purchase, Vail Resorts said “as outlined in the Epic coverage terms and conditions, pass-holders are not eligible for refunds  based on the operating guidelines of our restaurants or because of a vaccine requirement.”

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23 thoughts on “Vail Resorts Refuses Epic Pass Refund to Unvaccinated Skier Over Vaccine Proof Required to Dine on Mountain

  1. Vaccines cards are very important. I mean, haven’t we always had to show our vaccine cards over the last one hundred years or so? Fill our pockets with them until they drag behind us like a tail. Let’s show those idiots our fancy flu vaccine cards, and shingles vaccine cards, and that prior bird flu epidemic vaccine card, And don’t forget our Covid-19, Covid-20, Covid,21, plus variants Delta 1, Delta 2, 3, 4 …500 ??? plus unlimited booster cards. And the new Avalanche vaccine card (like that one) nasty bad breath vaccine card, smelly armpit vaccine card, swollen arm vaccine card. Yeah. Bring it on! And don’t forget. They’re all “Safe and Effective.” No one dies, no one. No one gets injured from vaccines. Never. It’s all lies, lies, lies.

    “One nation … with Liberty and Justice for all. Well, maybe not for all. Ha ha…

  2. As you know Bruce, unvaccinated are NOT “10x” more likely to infect somebody. There are 100,000’s of vaccinated folks that running around infecting people. It’s SO bad, that colleges in Boston that exceeded 99.3% vaccination rates had to shut down classes as it was spreading like crazy. Why are you posting false information like this?

  3. Those facts are facts but you are interpreting them incorrectly. Yes, infected vaccinated people seem to have about the same viral load as infected unvaccinated people. However, unvaccinated people are about 10x as likely to be infected. So a random unvaccinated person is about 10x as likely to infect someone as a random vaccinated person.

  4. No, “Concerned Epic Pass Holder,” the vaccination clause in the Epic Coverage terms and conditions was there when the terms were first announced for this season. I know that because in March, out of curiosity, I compared them with the 2020-21 T&C, and emailed a friend noting the vaccination clause. So Vail could require a vax to use any of their facilities, even the lifts (and indeed there is a movement at Whistler to demand that, as Grouse Mountain is already doing), and not owe refunds.

  5. The terms and conditions were updated after releasing the 2021-2022 Winter Operating Policy. This is not fair to those who purchased prior to the terms being updated. Go read the blog written by the previous CEO last year when Vail Resorts imposed a mask mandate. They were aware then of complexity of the issue and took a sensitive approach to a simple mask mandate. They are now taking a totalitarian approach with this vaccine mandate! It is clear there is a very different intention coming from the new CEO. Again, I do not understand why so many people are having a hard time understanding this is very complicated issue. There should be sensitivity towards BOTH sides but apparently the majority would prefer to hang the minority on this matter.

  6. Lots of indoor restaurants, on and off mountains, in many countries, are requiring vaccinations these days. The lifts, trails, base areas, toilets, and outdoor dining options will still be available. Is a vax requirement for indoor cafeterias during a pandemic really a reason anyone would cancel a season pass? One could more easily argue that Vail should offer refunds if they DON’T require a vax to dine indoors.

    Also, the Epic Coverage terms and conditions state, quite clearly:

    Vaccine Requirements. You will not be eligible for a refund based on any inability to use your Pass due to any federal, provincial, state, or local vaccine requirement, or any vaccine passport or other proof or attestation of vaccination required by any governmental or private entity.

  7. Regardless of ones opinion on being vaccinated Vail Resorts knew they would be impacting people by making this decision. It is unbelievable to hear they are boldly declining a refund on Epic Passes purchased prior to releasing their updated “Winter Operating Policy”. I have now heard a number of people stating they made a down payment early in the year for a discounted pass and received notification of the updated policy less than a week after their final payment was processed for the pass. If Vail wants to impose these mandates it is one thing, but they should absolutely refund the skiers and riders impacted by, or who do not feel comfortable participating within said mandates. Vail Resorts is essentially stealing from those who do not agree with their ideology. Not all resorts are imposing these mandates.

  8. This is one rare situation when I agree with the anti-vaxxers: They should get their money back! Vail is missing a great opportunity to make the mountain safer by cancelling these selfish virus-carriers. They wouldn’t be missed. Just send them a nice note saying they’ll be welcome back after the pandemic is over.

  9. “It is well documented that vaccine or no vaccine, transmission risk is equal”

    Actually the opposite is documented, but don’t let facts interfere with your ideology.

  10. Dining inside during inclement weather should be available to all. This policy is overtly discriminatory subjecting a certain class of people to “unfavorable” conditions. It is well documented that vaccine or no vaccine, transmission risk is equal therefore this equates to a “whites only” water fountain scenario. Vail is acting outside their scope by influencing medical treatment and should be held to legal standard. Since they changed the terms of use, unvaxed ought to be eligible for refund.

  11. Awww
    My advice, just shut up and ski or ride, youre already overweight with a huge BMI so missing a meal or even two may be a good thing for yas

  12. The left screams science until the science doesn’t fit their politics.
    Then they just resort to bullying people.

  13. What is the purpose of the vaccine? To build immunity without exposure to the actual virus, right? So any place forcing people to have a vaccine should also accept proof of past positive Covid test with subsequent negative test. That would be logical, right? It’s that logic part that people keep missing. Having a vaccine or not isn’t about what political direction you lean or which news channel you watch, it’s about creating an immune response to a virus–which the virus itself does. And, the more recent your infection with ACTUAL Covid, the better protection you would have seeing as the boosters and vaccines out there are still made to induce an immune response from the first go-around of Covid which has long been surpassed by it’s next generation, the dreaded Delta Variant. So mandates are short-sighted and follow political themes rather than actual science. Remember, a doctor talking on TV is NOT science! Having immunity is not about a vaccine. It’s about antibodies.

  14. No one ever said you have to pay $20 for a slice of Vail pizza when you ski. Seems silly to use the vac requirement for a refund. If this keeps the unvaccinated bubbas from skiing, great.

  15. HIPAA Violations

    Someone get a solid class action attorney t’d up.

    PS I’m vaccinated. I don’t think a company should have my private medical history. Why don’t they ask for our entire vaccination record? They don’t discriminate against kids raised by anti-vaxxers.

  16. Epic is not refunding our money from last year or giving us a credit…we had to cancel our trip to Utah because of covid, my husband is a doctor and could not leave…they refused to consider his situation….will NEVER use them again..$900 is just too much money to just sweep it under the rug..

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