Vail Resorts Does U-Turn and Will Be Offering Credits to Some Unused Epic Pass Holders

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Vail Resorts.

Vail Resorts appears to have done a u-turn and is preparing to offer credits to Epic Pass holders affected by individual state’s quarantine rules meaning they couldn’t ski this season.

In January, a group of Epic Pass holders on the east coast were unhappy with Vail Resorts for “forcing them to either violate state pandemic travel restrictions or lose significant money they paid for ski passes,” reported WVCB.

Vermont travel restrictions, requiring any out of staters to quarantine, meant some Epic Pass customers were unable to use their pass at Vermont’s Stowe, Okemo, and Mount Snow resorts. A Boston-based doctor bought her pass before the travel restrictions were put in place. Due to her job, quarantining was not an option for her, but she assumed the ‘Epic Coverage’ would cover her, and she would be entitled to a refund. Apparently not. Vail originally denied her refund.

“It’s just plain wrong because they’re forcing people to do the wrong thing in the midst of a pandemic. I felt like Vail was forcing people to make decisions to travel because they had this pass that wasn’t refundable.”

– unhappy Epic Pass holder

But in an email (below) to customers over the weekend, it appears some of those unhappy customers may now be entitled to credit––so long as they meet the criteria.

Valued Pass Holder,

We recognize that this season has presented unique challenges, some of which were not anticipated when we rolled out Epic Coverage last spring. While resorts that were subject to quarantines were not covered by Epic Coverage, we have decided to offer you a personalized credit because you had a priority reservation day at a resort that was subject to state quarantine requirements and you have not used your pass this season. This credit will be 100% of the value of your 2020/21 pass product and can be applied towards the purchase of a 2021/22 pass product. Please note that if you decide to use your pass before the core season ends on April 4, 2021, you will no longer be eligible for this credit.

You will receive an email within the next 6-8 weeks with your personalized credit promotional code(s). Your credit can be applied to your 2021/22 pass purchase online at Epicpass.com. Additional details will be included in future correspondence. And, to ensure you have the time you need to make your plans for next season, your credit(s) will be valid through Labor Day, September 6, 2021.

Thank you for being a Pass Holder. We look forward to seeing you on the mountain next season.

Thank you,

Vail Resorts

The credit only appears to impact Epic pass holders who did not use their pass at all this season and had priority reservations at a resort that was subject to a state quarantine.

WVCB also wrote in January about a number of other customers having the same issues. Epic Pass holders in New York and Massachusetts unable to use their pass due to quarantine rules, yet being denied a refund by Vail Resorts.

Vail CEO Rob Katz previously promised the company’s resorts would “abide by all local regulations” and “put safety first” during ski season. When announcing their ‘EPic Coverage’ in May 2020, Vail Resorts wrote this on their website:

If you purchase a Season Pass, such as an Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass, you will receive a refund if you use your pass less than 7 days in the 2020/21 season if certain personal events occur, including illness, job loss, and injury.
Additionally, Epic Coverage protects you from certain resort closures, such as due to COVID-19, during this past season. These refunds will be determined by guest input on which resorts they plan on skiing or riding at, as well as the time periods in which they plan to visit.

Vail’s ‘Epic Coverage’ says pass holders are entitled to a refund if they’re “subject to a ‘quarantine,’ ‘stay-at-home,’ ‘shelter-in-place’ or other comparable mandatory governmental order” at least seven days of which fall during ski season. In response to the customer’s refund requests, Vail explained: “Government travel guidance that does not prohibit the use of your pass such as general quarantines… are not refund events,” adding that Epic Coverage “does not provide refunds for apprehension or inconvenience related to COVID-19.”

In a request for comment, Vail resorts told WVCB that they are standing by their decision but may review refunds at the end of the season:

“We know some of our pass holders are experiencing additional challenges this season. We sincerely understand their frustrations and will take all guest concerns into consideration at the end of the season as we seek to retain the loyalty of our pass holders. In the meantime, our passes are valid at numerous resorts across five states in the East and for nearly four more months of the season. Right now, we are focused on delivering a safe experience at all of our resorts and thank our guests for their understanding and patience.”

Vail Resorts’ Epic Coverage.

Frequently asked questions about Epic Coverage: 

Q: How do I sign up for Epic Coverage?

A: Epic Coverage is free for all pass holders, and there is no sign up required.

Step 1: Purchase any season pass, day pass, resort pass, or multi-pack season pass product on Epicpass.com or any of our resort sites. During check out, please ensure to confirm you have read the terms and conditions, which includes our Epic Coverage policy.

Step 2: To ensure your Epic Coverage is tailored to your skiing and riding preferences, we will be asking you two questions about the resort(s) you would like to have covered and when you plan to ski or ride. These preferences do not change the access of your pass – they are strictly used to determine your refund if a qualifying event occurs. The two key preferences you will be asked to provide are:

    • All Resorts or a Primary Resort for coverage: You can choose a specific resort your pass has access to, or you can choose “All Resorts.” Your choice will be used to determine which resorts must be closed to trigger a qualifying coverage. Please refer to “How are Refunds Determined?” to decide on the best selection for you.
    • Core Season or Specific Week for coverage: You can choose a specific week that you would most like to have covered, or you can choose “Core Season.” The “Core Season” is from November 26, 2020, to April 4, 2021.  This choice will influence how your refund is determined, so please refer to the “How are Refunds Determined?” section to decide on the best selection for you.

After purchasing your pass for the 2020/21 season, you will automatically be defaulted to “All Resorts” and “Core Season.” Starting in late June until November 21st, 2020, you can change your selection in the “My Account” section online at Epicpass.com. For guests purchasing their pass after November 21st, you have until the first day you ski or when passes go off sale to update your preferences, whichever comes first. Learn more in the “What is covered?” and the “How are Refunds Determined?” sections below.

Step 3: That’s it. Your pass is now covered for specific personal events and certain resort closures for the 2020/21 season defined in the terms and conditions.

If you experience a qualifying personal event or qualifying resort closure, please refer to the “How do I submit a refund request?” section for more information on how to request a refund.

Q: Do I have to pay for Epic Coverage?

A: No, Epic Coverage is free for all pass holders. Historically, our pass holders had to pay up to $35 if they chose to insure their pass against personal risk, but the new Epic Coverage program is now included with all passes.

Q: Can I still purchase Pass Insurance?

A: No, Vail Resorts no longer offers Pass Insurance. Epic Coverage provides refunds for qualifying personal events as well as certain resort closures due to disease (e.g., COVID-19), war, terrorism, or specific natural disasters. And it’s free for all pass holders.

Q: Which pass products are included in Epic Coverage?

A: All season pass, day pass, resort pass, or multi-pack season pass products sold on EpicPass.com, our resort websites, and through our third-party partners are included in Epic Coverage. This includes;

  • Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, and Military Epic Pass
  • Epic Day Pass
  • Regional Pass Products: Summit Value, Keystone Plus Pass, Tahoe Local Pass, Tahoe Value Pass, Kirkwood Pass, Park City Youth Pass, Afton Alps Pass, Mt Brighton Pass, Wilmot Pass, Stevens Pass Select Pass, Stevens Pass Premium Pass, Crested Butte Pass, Northeast Value Pass, Northeast Midweek Pass, Ohio Pass, Hidden Valley Pass, Snow Creek Pass, Paoli Peaks Pass, Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass, Whistler Blackcomb Edge Cards and Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited Season Pass.

To view all other additional eligible passes, click here.

Q: Are all pass and card products sold on WhistlerBlackcomb.com included in Epic Coverage?


A: Yes. All pass or card products sold on WhistlerBlackcomb.com are included in Epic Coverage. To review a full list of Whistler Blackcomb passes, visit the Whistler Blackcomb website.

Q: Is the Epic Australia Pass included in Epic Coverage?

A: The Epic Australia Pass will not be included in Epic Coverage for the 2020 Australian winter season. We are separately working on a plan to ensure we properly address the situation in Australia, and we will share details of the plan with our Epic Australia Pass guests as soon as we can.

Q: Do I still have Epic Coverage once I use my pass?

A: Yes, you will have Epic Coverage from when you purchase your pass through the end of the 2020/21 ski and ride season for qualifying personal events and through the “Core Season” for certain resort closures, depending on your coverage preferences selected.

Q: With Epic Coverage, will I have to make a choice at the beginning of the season between deferring my pass to the next season or losing my protection?

A: No, with Epic Coverage, you are not forced to make a decision about whether to defer your pass to the following season.  Instead, Epic Coverage provides you with protection against qualifying personal events through the end of the 2020/21 ski and ride season and certain resort closures through the Core Season.  You can start using your pass when the season opens, and if a qualifying personal event or a resort closure that is covered occurs, you may be eligible for a refund during the 2020/21 season.

Q: If I purchase my pass through a travel agency, online, or wholesale partner, will I still receive Epic Coverage?

A: Yes. All season pass, day pass, resort pass, or multi-pack season pass products sold on EpicPass.com, our resort websites, and through our third-party partners have Epic Coverage. This includes Epic Day Pass products and Military Epic Pass products. You can view a list of all qualifying passes here.

Q: What is covered?

A: Epic Coverage provides protection across a range of personal events and certain resort closures. A summary of the qualifying personal and resort closure events that are covered are shown below. For additional details, please refer to the Terms & Conditions.

If any of the following happens over the course of next season, you will get a full or prorated refund.

Personal Coverage

  • Job Loss
  • Stay-at-home order from county, state, country
  • Injury, Sickness, Death
  • Student Transfer
  • Pregnancy
  • Visa Rejection
  • Jury Duty
  • Military Service
  • Employee Transfer
  • And More

Resort Closure between U.S. Thanksgiving (November 26, 2020) and Easter (April 4, 2021)

  • Disease (e.g., COVID-19)
  • War
  • Terrorism
  • Natural Disaster (specifically defined in our terms and conditions)

You are covered when you need it the most throughout the season.

Q: When does my Epic Coverage become effective? 

A: Your Epic Coverage begins when you purchase your pass and agree to the terms and conditions of Epic Coverage and lasts until the last day of the 2020/21 ski season for personal events and through the Core Season for certain resort closures.

Q: What is the coverage period for a personal event?

A: If a qualifying personal event occurs between the purchase of your pass and the last day of the 2020/21 ski and ride season, you may be eligible for a full or prorated refund based on when your personal event occurred and/or how many days you are able to ski or ride during the season. Specific personal events must impact at least 30 consecutive days of the core season to qualify. Please see “How are refunds determined?” for more details.

Q: When does a resort closure event need to occur to be covered?

A: A covered resort closure event must occur during the Core Season. The “Core Season” is from November 26, 2020, to April 4, 2021. This is the time period used to define the percentage of the season impacted when determining refunds. Please see the “How are Refunds Determined?” section for additional details.

Q: Are resort closures caused by snow events covered by Epic Coverage?

A: No. The only weather-related events that are covered by Epic Coverage are for natural disasters (flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, fire, and volcanic eruption) that lead to a resort closure. All other weather-related closures are not eligible for refunds.

Q: Which resorts are covered by Epic Coverage?

A: If a qualifying resort closure occurs, your coverage will be determined by the resort you selected for coverage, the visitation timing you have selected, and the pass you purchased.

If you have selected a specific resort in your preferences, you will have coverage if that specific resort has a qualifying coverage event that:

  • Lasts 7+ consecutive days if you selected “Core Season” or
  • Lasts 3 or more days in the specific week of visitation you selected.

If you have selected “All Resorts” in your preferences, you will have coverage based on the pass you purchased:

  • Epic Pass, Epic Local, Epic Day Pass, Military Epic Pass– 100% of the following resorts must be simultaneously closed due to a covered closure event (Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Crested Butte, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood)
    • All resorts must be closed 7+ consecutive days if you selected “Core Season” in your preferences or
    • All resorts must be closed 3 or more days in the specific week of visitation you selected in your preferences
  • Northeast Value – 100% of the following resorts must be simultaneously closed due to a covered closure event (Stowe, Mount Snow, Hunter, Okemo, and Mount Sunapee)
    • All resorts must be closed 7+ consecutive days if you selected “Core Season” in your preferences or
    • All resorts must be closed 3 or more days in the specific week of visitation you selected in your preferences
  • All other passes (View list of all passes)– 100% of the resorts that are accessible on the pass must be simultaneously closed due to a covered closure event
    • All resorts must be closed 7+ consecutive days if you selected “Core Season” in your preferences or
    • All resorts must be closed 3 or more days in the specific week of visitation you selected in your preferences

Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for additional details.

Q: Do I qualify for a refund if one of my family members has a qualifying personal event?

A: Yes, there are specific qualifying personal events that are eligible for a refund if the event occurs to you or your family member and impacts your ability to ski or ride during the Core Season. Personal events include illness, injury, death, pregnancy, military service, job loss, and visa rejection. For additional details, refer to the terms and conditions here.

Credit: Vail Resorts

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One thought on “Vail Resorts Does U-Turn and Will Be Offering Credits to Some Unused Epic Pass Holders

  1. Key words … SOME REFUNDS. IE credits towards your pass for next year. I’ve been fighting with Vail since December through my credit card company over this issue. So far I haven’t handed over more than the $49 non-refundable deposit. I have skied ZERO this year. They are still coming at me for $550!!! It’s March 22nd in New England. Stop this madness already please. I have no interest in purchasing a pass with Vail ever. This winter was an Epic Disaster that I never want to repeat. I want my $550 back in my own pocket.

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