Vail Resorts launched its Epic Pass products for the 2022-’23 season and their prices have increased, but only slightly. Last season Vail Resorts cut Epic Pass prices by 20 percent across the board and sold a record total of 2.1 million Epic Passes, 76 percent more than the previous season.
Slightly more expensive than last season comes as no surprise. Access tiers and pass products remain mostly unchanged, save for the addition of newly acquired Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel in Pennsylvania to several passes and the loss of Snowbasin and Sun Valley, which will join the Ikon and Mountain Collective Passes next season instead. Vail is also introducing a new Epic FlexPay monthly payment plan and a lower-tier, lower-cost Epic Day Pass.
“We will not waver in our commitment to continuously reinvest in the ski and ride experience with the goal of creating an Experience of a Lifetime for our Pass Holders,” said Ryan Bennett, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “We are making bold investments to ensure we have a fully staffed team of passionate, engaged employees and adding 21 new lifts across 14 of our resorts to help skiers and riders get up and around the mountains faster and easier. We are committed to providing an amazing value and experience to our Pass Holders.”
Vail Resorts recently announced an incremental $175 million investment in its employees, which includes increasing its minimum wage to $20 per hour across each of its 37 North American resorts, and raising hourly wages an average of 30 percent. This is in addition to over $300 million the company is investing in the mountain experience next season, with 21 new lifts across 14 resorts to reduce lift line wait times.
This year’s Epic Pass release comes at the tail-end of a sometimes-troubling season for Vail Resorts, during which staffing shortages contributed to idled lifts, inadequate snowmaking, and truncated operating hours at ski areas across the country. The company largely addressed these issues last week with a comprehensive plan to raise frontline-employee wages to $20 an hour continent-wide, aggressively build housing on its owned land, boost human-resources support, and move corporate employees back into resort communities via a flexible-work program. This widely lauded plan should mitigate similar operational issues next season, sparing the need to pump prices back to 2019-20 levels or ramp up blackout dates at higher-volume ski areas.
Epic passes come with additional benefits, including:
Buddy Tickets: Pass Holders who purchase early will receive 10 Buddy Tickets and six Ski with a Friend tickets to bring friends and family to join the ski and ride experience at a significant discount.
Epic Mountain Rewards: Pass Holders receive 20 percent off on-mountain food and beverage, lodging, group ski and ride school lessons, equipment rentals and more. Pass Holders also receive summer benefits at eligible resorts, including Summer Scenic Gondola rides, 20 percent off summer food, lodging, bike rentals and golf.
NEW – Epic FlexPay: Pass Holders now have access to easy monthly installments with Epic FlexPay, powered by Uplift. New for the 2022/23 season, the deferred payment option includes zero down payment, zero interest, and if purchased early, zero payments until September 1.
Epic Coverage: Passes are non-refundable except through Epic Coverage, which provides refunds for certain resort closures and personal events such as job loss, injury or illness. Epic Coverage is provided at no additional cost and Pass Holders should review the Epic Coverage Terms and Conditions. Lift tickets are fully refundable but do not provide the value or flexibility of passes.
While this widely lauded plan should mitigate similar operational issues next season, Vail’s decision to raise pass prices slightly is unsurprising. Costs on everything are rising. The company is pumping $325 million into 21 new lifts this offseason. This new labor plan will run $175 million – per year. And even with the bump, Ikon Passes are still considerably more expensive: the $1,079 Ikon Pass is $238 more than the $841 Epic Pass, and the $769 Ikon Base Pass – which comes with considerably more restrictions than the $626 Epic Local Pass – is an extra $143.
Your Ski The World adventure continues to call with the amazing pass options available today!