Vail Resort slashes Epic Pass prices for next ski season

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Vail Resorts is reducing Epic Pass prices by 20% for the 2021-22 season -- bringing them in line with 2015-16 prices.
Vail Resorts is reducing Epic Pass prices by 20% for the 2021-22 season -- bringing them in line with 2015-16 prices. Photo Credit: Jack Affleck

Vail Resorts will reduce the price of all of its Epic Pass products for the 2021-2022 ski season by 20%.

The move resets Epic Pass prices to 2015-16 levels, when the pass offered only 11 U.S. resorts, versus today's more than 70 resorts worldwide.

For the next ski season, Vail will charge $783 for the full Epic Pass, which offers access to all its resorts, down from $979 this season. The Epic Local Pass, which offers access to 48 ski areas, will cost $583, down from $729. Epic day passes will start as low as $67.

Vail's decision to slash prices of North America's largest ski pass product follows a pandemic-impacted season when pass sales increased in number by 20% over the previous season, to approximately 1.4 million. Robust passholder sales enabled Vail to achieve a year-over-year reduction of total skiers of just 8.2% during the November to January quarter, while revenue was down 28.4%.

• Related: A weekend in Vail offers restaurants, relaxation and ripping powder

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said Wednesday that he expects the Epic price reduction to drive incremental revenue, including at ski schools and rental shops, while building loyalty, which will lead to compounding gains going forward.

"The new prices announced today not only provide value to existing skiers and riders, but we also believe they will contribute to the growth and vitality of our sport as we bring new people and higher engagement into the industry, which we think is imperative," Katz said. "We also believe these lower prices will benefit our financial results based on new learnings from the past few years."

Vail's reduction of the Epic Pass prices has the potential to disrupt the industry. Epic's largest competitor, the Alterra Mountain Co.'s Ikon Pass, is priced at $999 for new customers for 2021-2022 for the full pass product and $729 for the more limited Ikon Base Pass. The Ikon offers access to 43 mountains.

Katz also announced last week that Vail will not require passholders to make reservations to ski next year, a requirement it implemented during this season due to Covid-19 related capacity restrictions.

Alterra ended reservations at the ski areas where they had been required for the remainder of this season on Monday.

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