You’ll wind up paying a little more for an Epic Pass this year.
Vail Resorts released pricing information for its 2022-23 multi-mountain pass on Monday, announcing a slight increase across the board along with a few new wrinkles. The unlimited Epic Pass jumped from a cost of $783 last season to $841 this season, while the Epic Local and Northeast Value passes increased from $582 to $626 and $479 to $514, respectively.
The pricing plan was Vail’s latest step in the resort conglomerate’s response to what has been a difficult season for its brand. Long lift lines, traffic jams and seasonal thaws inevitably will plague any ski season, but perhaps never to the degree that they did during the 2021-22 campaign. Last spring, of course, Vail Resorts reduced the prices of its popular Epic Passes by 20 percent ($783 vs. $979), creating higher demand. Vail claimed it sold 2.1 million Epic Passes prior to this season, leading to overcrowding and complaints at its resorts across the country. The frustrations have led many Epic Pass holders to the brink of bailing for a different pass next season.
Vail started things off on the right foot last week when CEO Kirsten Lynch announced a new strategic focus on the company’s employees, a plan that calls for a $20-an-hour minimum wage for all North American resort employees, a commitment to affordable employee housing, and a $4 million investment in human resources.
“You have all worked tirelessly to welcome all skiers and riders back to the mountains this season, despite the challenges,” Lynch wrote in a letter to Vail employees. “I want to thank each of you for your passion and commitment to our mountains, our company, and our guests.”
The slight price increase may turn off a handful of prospective buyers, but Vail’s Epic is still the most inexpensive multi-pass on the market this season. For $841, Epic Pass users 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. For $626, the Epic Local provides unlimited access to 40 resorts with holiday restrictions at some resorts, including Stowe.
This year’s Northeast Value Pass ($514 adults, $385 teens and seniors, $360 college) 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.
Epic’s new deferred payment plan, “FlexPay,” offers zero down payment, zero interest, plus, when purchased early, zero payments until September.
“We will not waiver in our commitment to continuously reinvest in the ski and ride experience with the goal of creating an experience of a lifetime for our pass holders,” Ryan Bennett, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts, said in a statement. “We are making bold investments to ensure we have a fully-staffed team of passionate, engaged employees, and adding 21 new lifts across 14 of our resorts to help skiers and riders get up and around the mountains faster and easier. We are committed to providing an amazing value and experience to our pass holders.”
Eric Wilbur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.