Considering that Vail Resorts claimed it sold 2.1 million Epic Passes prior to this season, it probably should be of little surprise that the resort conglomerate has reported skier visits were up during 2021-22.
Vail said that total skier visits at its collection of North American ski resorts were up 12.5 percent over last year. However, in its press release, Vail makes no mention though about how that increase led to even more overcrowding and complaining at many of its resorts, including its holdings in New England.
“We are pleased with our overall results as the 2021-2022 North American ski season concludes which, as expected, are significantly outperforming results from the 2020-2021 season,” Vail CEO Kirsten Lynch said in a statement. “The prior year was significantly impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, which eased for most resorts in March and April of last year resulting in stronger visitation and revenue relative to the earlier parts of last season.”
Vail Resorts reported it saw increases in other revenue avenues as well. Lift ticket revenue was reported to be up 19.4 percent, ski school revenue up 53 percent, dining revenue up 73.2 percent, and retail revenue up 39 percent.
“This year, challenging early-season conditions persisted through the holiday period, but our results were strong from January through the remainder of the season,” Lynch said. “Our strong season pass sales heading into the season, which are the foundation of our advance commitment strategy, resulted in particularly strong destination visitation and were further supported by lift ticket sales at our Colorado and Utah resorts that exceeded our expectations.
“Recent performance at our eastern U.S. ski areas was in line with our expectations while our Tahoe resorts were impacted by challenging spring conditions, resulting in performance below our expectations.”
Epic Pass users who do decide to return for the 2022-23 season will have unlimited access to 40 resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Wildcat, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Park City, Whistler Blackcomb, Attitash, Heavenly, Northstar, Okemo, Kirkwood, Stowe, Stevens Pass, and more. With additional partner resorts like Telluride, the Epic Pass unlocks access to more than 80 resorts. The Northeast Value Pass includes Vail’s new properties in Pennsylvania, adding to a list of available resorts that already included Okemo, Mount Snow, Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat, and Crotched. Northeast Value Pass holders also get 10 days at Stowe. There are holiday restrictions at Okemo, Mount Snow, Stowe, and Hunter Mountain in New York.