The ski community went into a frenzy in mid-March as the coronavirus outbreak in the United States forced ski resorts to stop spinning their lifts, many announcing closures until next winter. This left thousands of season pass holders, including those with Vail Resort’s Epic Pass, wondering what would happen next.
In a press release sent out on April 27, Vail responded to the ski community with a plan that offers heavily discounted pass renewal, an extended renewal date and “Epic Coverage” for all 2020-21 season pass purchases.
“Our pass holders are our most loyal guests and we have spent weeks reading their emails and comments on social media to fully understand their concerns so we could respond thoughtfully and carefully,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer at Vail Resorts in the press release. “What became clear is that to address last season, a one-sized-fits-all approach would not work. That is why we are providing our season pass holders credits based on the number of days they were able to use their pass. Additionally, while we are confident we will have a great upcoming ski season, we understand some people may be nervous about committing to a pass now in this current uncertainty. With that in mind, we are redefining pass protection with our new ‘Epic Coverage,’ free for all pass holders, and extending our spring deadlines to Labor Day.”
Now, let’s dive into some specifics.
Regarding the 2019-20 season:
Reconciling an abrupt end to the 2019-20 winter season, Vail is offering a variety of credits for pass holders looking to renew for next season. For active users of the Epic Pass—folks who skied frequently this season—a minimum credit of 20 percent will be provided to the purchase of next year’s pass.
For those who were saving their skiing until spring and weren’t able to use their Epic Pass at all, a maximum credit of 80 percent will be applied to renewal purchases. Credits will also be provided for skiers with an Epic Day Pass, Edge Card or one of Vail’s other multi-pack pass products.
In the coming weeks, current passholders should keep an eye out for an email from Vail Resorts stating the amount they’ll be credited individually.
How it shakes out:
- A minimum credit of 20% for season pass holders, based on the resort closures in mid-March impacting about 20% of the core season.
- Higher credits for season pass holders who used their pass less than five days.
- A maximum credit of 80% if you did not use your season pass at all, because we recognize that some of you were waiting until spring to use your pass.
Looking ahead to winter 2020-21:
For next season, Vail is completely redefining its pass insurance platform. “Epic Coverage,” as it’s been named, is free to all passholders and completely replaces the need to purchase pass insurance.
Designed to give skiers peace of mind when committing to purchasing an Epic Pass, Epic Coverage will offer forgiveness through potential refunds if skiers have an injury or, for some reason, cannot continue to use their purchased pass. Vail Resorts has also extended its renewal deadline until Labor Day, September 7, 2020, and skiers are invited to put just $49 down as initial payment.
How it shakes out:
- Epic Coverage is free for all pass holders and completely replaces the need to purchase pass insurance.
- Epic Coverage provides for a refund if you have an eligible injury, job loss, or experience other personal events that prevent you from using your pass.
- Epic Coverage also provides a refund for certain resort closures, including for events like COVID-19, giving you a refund for any portion of the season that is lost.