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  1. #1
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    Vail Resorts Decreases Epic Pass Prices by 20%

    Someone on Reddit found a web version from Denver Post cached. Today's announcement was delayed until tomorrow.

    "The duel between ski industry titans over season pass sales took a stunning turn Tuesday when Vail Resorts announced that prices for next season’s Epic Passes will be 20% lower than what it charged for those passes this season.

    The Epic Pass for next season, which goes on sale Tuesday, is priced at $783. That’s $196 less than the 2020-21 Epic Pass when it went on sale a year ago, and $216 less than rival Ikon Pass is charging for a comparable 2021-22 season pass. Ikon announced its 2021-22 prices on March 11.

    The more limited Epic Local Pass is priced at $583, which is $146 lower than last year’s price of $729. Ikon is charging $729 for its comparable 2021-22 product, the Ikon Base Pass.

    Both Vail Resorts and rival Alterra Mountain Co. (Ikon Pass) are headquartered in metro Denver, and there was no immediate response from Alterra to Vail’s escalation in the season pass wars. Epic passes haven’t been this cheap since the 2015-16 season, when the Epic Pass was good at only 11 U.S resorts. Now it’s good at six resorts in Colorado alone, and more than 70 destinations around the world.

    “The main driver here is, we want to move ticket buyers to a pass,” Vail Resorts chief executive Rob Katz said in an interview. “That has been a strategy of ours going all the way back to the introduction of the Epic Pass back in 2008. We’ve made huge inroads on this front. We started looking at some of our learning over the last couple years, and we thought we could actually reduce the price, bring more people into the program, and actually have it be profitable and a good decision for the company.”

    RELATED: Ikon Passes have been on sale since March 11

    Katz said Epic Pass sales for the 2020-21 season were strong, helping the company withstand the challenges that came with COVID-19 capacity restrictions and the reservations system it employed to control numbers on its mountains. That helped drive the price cut for next season’s passes.

    “We’re not cutting the price of a lift ticket,” Katz said. “We’re cutting the price of a pass, which means you have to buy it before the season. That, we believe, is the crux of how you ensure stability and economic prosperity for the entire skiing and riding ecosystem.”

    Katz said Vail Resorts sold 1.4 million Epic Passes for this season. That meant lots of money in the bank before the first snowflake fell. That triggered us to say, ‘We’re doubling down on this strategy,’ Katz said. “We think skiers and riders can be the beneficiaries. It’s actually making a great trade with our guests to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to keep providing you more and more value to help us make this business and this industry more successful.'”

    Vail Resorts business declined this season because of the pandemic, which included operating lifts at 50% capacity or less. Katz sent a letter to pass holders last week, saying the company does not plan to use a reservations system next season.

    “Obviously this year was not as good as previous years,” Katz said. “But given the environment that we were operating in, and all the challenges that we all faced around COVID, we feel like this year has been absolutely successful. I think it’s been due to a few things. One is pass sales, which was very strong going into this year.”

    Epic passes are good at all resorts owned by Vail Resorts as well as “partner” resorts owned by other companies. Those destinations include Telluride, Sun Valley in Idaho and Snowbasin in Utah. Ikon Passes are good at Alterra mountains, including Winter Park and Steamboat in Colorado, as well as partner resorts that include Aspen Snowmass, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora."

  2. #2
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    My business analysis says that VR is trying to get as much cash in the bank NOW to help out their balance sheet to cover some of the COVID era losses. More pass sales seems to be how they want to do it. They'll keep moving the prices of passes up as ski season nears and by next October, the pass prices will probably be back in line to what it cost last year.

    They'll also manipulate the stock price and sell off a bunch of shares.

  3. #3
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    not good

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless Sinner View Post
    not good
    Agreed. Also, I can't ignore the fact that my Telluride pass will cost 2x that and then we have to deal with increased crowds because of cheap Epic passes. Pretty lame.

  5. #5
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    IDK, I buy both Epic and Ikon. It works best for me. Most days at my home resort, with 7 at Alta and 7 at DV, 5-10 at Solitude and 3-5 at either Aspen, Teluride, Jackson or Vail. Only reason I would even consider different test set up would be to ski more days either Alta or DV. So far as telluride goes,
    To me they are great products and the only whiners locals who Who ski mostly on weekends. Crowds are still negligible at best M-Th. I can live with that
    “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
    ― Milton Friedman

  6. #6
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    Brilliant. Reduce pass prices and proclaim no reservation limits. Thanks, Rob, for confirming my decision to never ski a Vail property until your company finally implodes and gets sold off in parts. You suck.

    Remember, this was pre Covid:


    The world is perfect. Appreciate the details.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hott Butt Mud View Post
    Someone on Reddit found a web version from Denver Post cached. Today's announcement was delayed until tomorrow.

    "The duel between ski industry titans over season pass sales took a stunning turn Tuesday when Vail Resorts announced that prices for next season’s Epic Passes will be 20% lower than what it charged for those passes this season.

    The Epic Pass for next season, which goes on sale Tuesday, is priced at $783. That’s $196 less than the 2020-21 Epic Pass when it went on sale a year ago, and $216 less than rival Ikon Pass is charging for a comparable 2021-22 season pass. Ikon announced its 2021-22 prices on March 11.

    The more limited Epic Local Pass is priced at $583, which is $146 lower than last year’s price of $729. Ikon is charging $729 for its comparable 2021-22 product, the Ikon Base Pass.

    Both Vail Resorts and rival Alterra Mountain Co. (Ikon Pass) are headquartered in metro Denver, and there was no immediate response from Alterra to Vail’s escalation in the season pass wars. Epic passes haven’t been this cheap since the 2015-16 season, when the Epic Pass was good at only 11 U.S resorts. Now it’s good at six resorts in Colorado alone, and more than 70 destinations around the world.

    “The main driver here is, we want to move ticket buyers to a pass,” Vail Resorts chief executive Rob Katz said in an interview. “That has been a strategy of ours going all the way back to the introduction of the Epic Pass back in 2008. We’ve made huge inroads on this front. We started looking at some of our learning over the last couple years, and we thought we could actually reduce the price, bring more people into the program, and actually have it be profitable and a good decision for the company.”

    RELATED: Ikon Passes have been on sale since March 11

    Katz said Epic Pass sales for the 2020-21 season were strong, helping the company withstand the challenges that came with COVID-19 capacity restrictions and the reservations system it employed to control numbers on its mountains. That helped drive the price cut for next season’s passes.

    “We’re not cutting the price of a lift ticket,” Katz said. “We’re cutting the price of a pass, which means you have to buy it before the season. That, we believe, is the crux of how you ensure stability and economic prosperity for the entire skiing and riding ecosystem.”

    Katz said Vail Resorts sold 1.4 million Epic Passes for this season. That meant lots of money in the bank before the first snowflake fell. That triggered us to say, ‘We’re doubling down on this strategy,’ Katz said. “We think skiers and riders can be the beneficiaries. It’s actually making a great trade with our guests to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to keep providing you more and more value to help us make this business and this industry more successful.'”

    Vail Resorts business declined this season because of the pandemic, which included operating lifts at 50% capacity or less. Katz sent a letter to pass holders last week, saying the company does not plan to use a reservations system next season.

    “Obviously this year was not as good as previous years,” Katz said. “But given the environment that we were operating in, and all the challenges that we all faced around COVID, we feel like this year has been absolutely successful. I think it’s been due to a few things. One is pass sales, which was very strong going into this year.”

    Epic passes are good at all resorts owned by Vail Resorts as well as “partner” resorts owned by other companies. Those destinations include Telluride, Sun Valley in Idaho and Snowbasin in Utah. Ikon Passes are good at Alterra mountains, including Winter Park and Steamboat in Colorado, as well as partner resorts that include Aspen Snowmass, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora."
    Anyone have the link to the Reddit forum? No can find. thanks
    Gimme five, I'm still alive!
    Ain't no luck, I learned to duck!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Jerry View Post
    Anyone have the link to the Reddit forum? No can find. thanks
    https://www.reddit.com/r/COsnow/comm...0_next_season/

  9. #9
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    1.4 million x $500 per pass (my estimate) = $700 million before snow.

    Pretty damn good war chest per year

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Hope that hurts Ikon and results in fewer skiers at Big Sky. Probably won't notice any difference though.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    Hope that hurts Ikon and results in fewer skiers at Big Sky. Probably won't notice any difference though.
    Ikon has a monopoly on the best skiing in Utah and Wyoming, plus decent in CO. Wouldn't expect much change. I feel bad for Whistler though. It's about to get hammered once the border opens.

  12. #12
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    Telluride and Crested Butte ‘bout to be inundated like Vail on a powder day.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatty View Post
    Ikon has a monopoly on the best skiing in Utah and Wyoming, plus decent in CO. Wouldn't expect much change. I feel bad for Whistler though. It's about to get hammered once the border opens.
    Probably right. Although if it also results in people dropping Mountain Collective and buying Epic, that too could help Big Sky.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    Telluride and Crested Butte ‘bout to be inundated like Vail on a powder day.
    Good thing I left Utah for Telluride and CB. #trendsetter

    I give it another year or two though, then they realize it doesn't snow in this part of the state no more.

  15. #15
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    Brutal...this doesn’t bode well for I70 next season

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatty View Post
    I feel bad for Whistler though. It's about to get hammered once the border opens.
    proper fucked

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    Hope that hurts Ikon and results in fewer skiers at Big Sky. Probably won't notice any difference though.
    Yup. Came to post this. We can hope, but it's doubtful.

  18. #18
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    Wow. That is quite the shot over Ikon’s bow. Dang.

  19. #19
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    Makes an Ikon pass look way more attractive really. At least in these parts where both have inroads.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  20. #20
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    It's the largest kick in the nuts to locals that I can recall.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    IDK, I buy both Epic and Ikon. It works best for me. Most days at my home resort, with 7 at Alta and 7 at DV, 5-10 at Solitude and 3-5 at either Aspen, Teluride, Jackson or Vail. Only reason I would even consider different test set up would be to ski more days either Alta or DV. So far as telluride goes,
    To me they are great products and the only whiners locals who Who ski mostly on weekends. Crowds are still negligible at best M-Th. I can live with that

    This whiner skis everyday and the crowds were overwhelming already including weekdays, this just makes it that much worse. But if you can't beat em, join em. Perhaps a Mountain Collective?

  22. #22
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    Again, I could only speak from personal experience and this year I can only speak about Utah, but I have over 60 resort days in And the only time that I have had more than a five minute wait is on weekend days, or when I line up before 9am..
    I consider Crowds on weekdays hardly overwhelming. Also I have not ridden a four pack with more than one other person or a six pack with more than two other people all year long. I think that this contributes as much to crowds as what type of pass you purchase
    “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
    ― Milton Friedman

  23. #23
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    Can only hope the cheaper prices pushes some ikon skiers to epic and lessens the ikonic crowds. I do feel for people skiing a vail-managed resort though that now has super cheap day tickets.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    Telluride and Crested Butte ‘bout to be inundated like Vail on a powder day.
    Until there is Star Trek style teleportation, CB and Tride will remain a bit far for most people to drive. Or at least I hope

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    Can only hope the cheaper prices pushes some ikon skiers to epic and lessens the ikonic crowds. I do feel for people skiing a vail-managed resort though that now has super cheap day tickets.
    This. Can’t wait to see those Vail and Breck weekend lines now. Maybe they’ll stretch back into the villages so you can shop will you wait for the line to move.

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