County Merchant Pass available |

County Merchant Pass available

Daily staff report

VAIL — Vail Resorts announced details on Monday for the 2013-14 Eagle County Merchant Pass program, which will be offered this year for $689. The price of the pass is subject to change with sufficient notice.

The Merchant Pass program has been in existence for many years, providing a compelling hiring tool for local businesses. Unlike other pass products, the pass ownership resides with the business versus an individual and features a one-time transfer for $100 to accommodate employee changes.

The Merchant Pass is owned by the or business and in the event that an employee leaves, the pass must be deactivated by the business and transferred to another employee. The Merchant Pass will be restricted at Vail and Beaver Creek Nov. 29-30, Dec. 26-31, Jan. 18 and Feb. 15-16.

The Merchant Pass provides a number of ancillary benefits to employees, including access to Vail Resorts’ popular ski and snowboard application, EpicMix, including EpicMix Photo, Racing,and the new EpicMix Academy, six ski-with-a-friend tickets and six buddy lift tickets, summer lift access at Vail and Beaver Creek (excluding bike haul), Adventure Ridge discounts, one free ski or snowboard group lesson at Vail or Beaver Creek, Nordic lesson discounts and more. Some restrictions apply for these benefits.

In order to be eligible for the Merchant Pass program, businesses must first belong to the Vail Chamber & Business Association or the Vail Valley Partnership. Second, businesses must participate in one of two qualifying programs: Customer Service Seminar or the Platinum Service Program.

The Customer Service Seminar will be offered on Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa. The cost is $60 for the first attendee and $15 for additional attendees if registered by Nov. 1. Registration after Nov. 1 is $70 for the first attendee and $15 for additional attendees. Please RSVP to the VVP or the VCBA. Contact information is listed below.

Professionals from the Vail Leadership Institute will guide attendees through what it takes to provide truly great guest service. A panel of local industry experts will be on hand to lead an interactive discussion. The panel will include Bob Boselli, owner of Obos Enterprises, which includes the Vail T-Shirt Co., Covered Bridge Store, Vail Style and more, plus Rob Levine, general manager of the Antlers at Vail and former Vail town council member, and Lourdes Ferzacca, owner of La Tour Restaurant.

The Platinum Service Program is a “secret shopper” program, which evaluates and recognizes outstanding customer service in the Vail Valley. New this season, there is a Bronze level member package which includes two secret shops from November through January for only $99.

Vail Merchant Pass sales will begin Nov. 8 at the Lionshead season pass office in Vail and Nov. 9 at the Beaver Creek pass office.

For additional information about the 2013-2014 Vail Resorts Merchant Pass, call 970-SKI-3080 (754-3080), email or visit merchantpass.

For information about the Customer Service Seminar or Platinum Service Program, contact the associations. For the Vail Valley Partnership call 970-0477-4001 or email

For the Vail Chamber and Business Association, call 970-477-0075 or email info@vail

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