REACTING to the early closures of northern hemisphere resorts due to COVID-19, Vail Resorts have announced they will offer credits to their Epic Pass guests who were affected by the closures.
Rather than just offer one type of credit, they have offered a range from 20% to 80% depending on individual situations, and extended their next year pass purchase date to the USA Labour Day, September 7.
In a statement released by the company, they said they will honor the loyalty of pass holders by announcing a comprehensive plan to address pass holders’ concerns about last season’s closures – and provide peace of mind for the future.
“Our pass holders are our most loyal guests and we have spent weeks reading their emails and comments on social media to fully understand their concerns so we could respond thoughtfully and carefully,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer at Vail Resorts.
“What became clear is that to address last season, a one-sized-fits-all approach would not work. That is why we are providing our season pass holders credits based on the number of days they were able to use their pass. Additionally, while we are confident we will have a great upcoming ski and ride season, we understand some people may be nervous about committing to a pass now in this current uncertainty. With that in mind, we are redefining pass protection with our new ‘Epic Coverage,’ free for all pass holders, and extending our spring deadlines to Labor Day to give them the time they need. We truly hope this plan honors our pass holders’ loyalty and provides them peace of mind for future.”
Vail Resorts will providing 2019/20 season Epic Pass holders credits of at least 20% and up to 80%, if they weren’t able to use their pass at all. Additionally, the company introduced free ‘Epic Coverage’ for the 2020/21 season which will provide cash refunds to pass holders for certain resort closures, including for events like COVID-19, as well as refunds for job loss, illness and other eligible personal events. And finally, Vail Resorts is extending all spring deadlines until Labor Day, giving people more time when they need it most.
Statement Key Messages
• This is an unprecedented situation that requires a comprehensive plan to honor the loyalty of our pass holders and to give them peace of mind in the face of uncertainty.
• Our plan both addresses last season and looks ahead to next season.
• We were careful to consider all of our pass holders in crafting our solution, instead of a one-size fits all approach.
• We recognize our pass holders were disappointed with last season’s closures due COVID-19.
• We are offering 2019/20 season pass holders a minimum 20% credit of the price of their 19/20 pass to apply, toward a pass of equal or greater value next season.
o This is true even if they used their pass 20+ days.
o 20% is based on our resort closures in mid-March impacting about 20% of the core season
• We’re providing higher credits for season pass holders who used their pass less than 5 days
• And an 80% credit for season pass holders who couldn’t use their pass at all (spring breakers, etc.).
o Example: For guests who bought an Epic Pass in November, and did not use it at all before our resorts closed– they will receive $790 that they can apply to next year’s pass.
• For guests with an Epic Day Pass, Edge Card or other multi-pack pass product, we are providing a credit for each unused day, up to 80%
• We’re trying to do everything we can to make things easier for our pass holders right now – so the credits are valid until Labor Day (Sept. 7) – as we know many people aren’t ready to make that decision in May.
• We are confident we’ll be enjoying a great upcoming ski and ride season – but we understand that people are nervous about the future given the current uncertainty.
• With that in mind – we’re launching Epic Coverage – free for every pass holder.
• It completely replaces the need to purchase pass insurance, which can cost up to $60 for other passes.
• Gives pass holders a refund if they have an eligible injury, job loss, or experience other personal events that prevent them from using their pass.
• It also provides refunds for certain resort closures, including for events like COVID-19
• We understand that times have changed so Epic Coverage redefines season pass protection.
• We value our pass holders’ loyalty and want our pass holders to enjoy their pass knowing we are fully standing behind our commitment to their peace of mind.
More Time and Savings All Season:
• While all of us are dreaming about skiing and riding again, we also know that buying a season pass for next winter may not be top of mind for Pass Holders. We want to give them the time they need which is why we’re extending all spring purchase deadlines to Labor Day.
• We do not want to rush our pass holders’ decision.
• Guests can use their credit by Labor Day – and still get 10 Buddy Tickets. And we’ll reassess that deadline too if uncertainty continues.
• When our guests are ready to lock in their pass, we want to provide them the lowest up-front cost during this challenging time.
• The deposit for our passes for next season is only $49, significantly less than the deposit many other passes require. This offer will extend for the next few months.
• Additionally, new for the 20/21 season, pass holders will get Epic Mountain Rewards (Not WB passes/Edge Card)
• 20% off mountain food and beverage, lodging stays at our owned and operated properties, group ski and ride lessons and equipment rentals at our North American resorts.
• Epic Mountain Rewards provides pass holders savings beyond their mountain access – to savings all season long on the ski vacations.
A powder day on Mt Perisher. Photo Perisher Resort.
As Australian resorts await Government and health department announcements to see if they will be able to open, and in what capacity, there has already been social media chatter on what will happen with the Epic Australia Pass. The pass was originally scheduled to be deducted from credit cards on May 1, but this deadline has now been extended to June 1.
Vail Resorts own Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek ski lift companies and as part of their information on the Perisher website, it states in relation to the season pass:
“We understand the uncertainty around what the impacts of COVID-19 will be on our community and on safe resort operations when the snow season arrives. You are one of our most loyal guests and we want to look after you as best we can. To give us all more time to understand what these impacts are likely to be, we have moved the final payment date for your Epic Australia Pass from 1 May 2020 to 1 June 2020.
Perisher continues to make preparations for the 2020 winter season. We are closely monitoring the progress of COVID-19 in Australia. As the season approaches, we will advise of any planned changes to resort operations for the 2020 winter season.