Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass jumps $68 to $909
Company confirms Telluride will be only pass partner requiring reservations during 2023-24 season
Vail Resorts began selling its 2023-24 season passes on Tuesday, with the top-tier Epic Pass offering unlimited access to Vail and Beaver Creek for $909.
The $909 price point is a $68 jump from last season and a $126 increase from the 2021-22 season, when Vail Resorts announced what it called a price “reset,” returning to 2015-16 prices.
Prior to the reset, the Epic Pass had reached $979 during the 2020-21 season following more than a decade of a steady increase in price and offerings since first being launched during the 2008-09 season at $579. That initial Epic Pass worked at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge and Heavenly. Today’s Epic Pass offers access to more than 80 resorts across the globe.
At the other end of the Vail Resorts’ product package, a single-day “Epic Day Pass” to the company’s premium resorts is currently being offered for $101. Following the company’s 2021-22 price reset, an Epic Day Pass was $87 or $172 for a two-day pass.
The price increase may have been slightly higher than expected for investors who have been tracking the company’s profits on Wall Street.
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“We believe the investor expectation for the 2023/2024 season was approx. +7% and the 8% growth is slightly higher than the most recent US y/y inflation rate of 6.4%,” wrote Patrick Scholes, a Vail Resorts analyst with Truist Financial. “When we met with management last month, they noted they were well-positioned for pricing power given their price reset for the 2021-2022 season arguably makes their pass a much better value than that of their chief competitor. Pricing for Epic’s main competitor, the Ikon Pass, have yet to be announced. By comparison, the Ikon Pass for 2022/2023 was priced at $1,079, which was up 8% y/y from 2021/2022’s $999.”
The company, on Tuesday, also confirmed that no reservations will be required at any of its 42 resorts, and the only resort requiring reservations from the dozens of partner resorts to which the pass offers access is Telluride.
Reservations were required at Vail Resorts properties during the 2020-21 season but have not been employed since that time. Vail Resorts partnership with Telluride began in 2018 and was renewed in a multi-year deal for the 2022-23 season.
Additional information on how to make a Telluride reservation on EpicPass.com “will be provided by fall 2023,” Vail Resorts announced on Tuesday.
European access expanded
New for the 2023-24 season, Vail Resorts is offering more access to European ski destinations following the company’s 2022 purchase of a 55-percent stake in Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG in Switzerland. The company, this week, announced that in addition to Andermatt-Sedrun, the neighboring Disentis resort will also work on the Epic Pass.
“When combined, Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis offer guests access to the largest ski area in the heart of Switzerland,” according to Vail Resorts.
The Epic Pass also signed partnership extensions with France’s largest ski area, Les 3 Vallées, along with Ski Arlberg in Austria, and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy.
Another perk for next year is a deferred payment option, which allows Epic Pass purchasers to lock-in their 2023-24 Epic Pass with zero down payment and zero interest until September. In previous years, a $49 down payment was required, and the remaining balance was charged in mid-September.
Vail Resorts also detailed a few of its lift upgrades planned for 2023-24 on Tuesday, with Keystone’s lift-served expansion into Bergman Bowl at the top of the list. The Bergman Bowl expansion was slated to occur this season, but the U.S. Forest Service shut the project down after unauthorized road construction, tree removal and the damaging of wetlands occurred during construction. A six-person lift will be available for next season in Bergman Bowl “subject to regulatory approval,” Vail Resorts announced on Tuesday.
New lifts are also planned for Breckenridge, Whistler Blackcomb in Canada, Stevens Pass in Washington and Attitash in New Hampshire.