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Epic Pass for 2012/13 season

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

They have started selling the Epic Passes (& Tahoe Value Pass) for next season already -

 

http://www.snow.com/epic-pass/passes.aspx

 

post #2 of 13

The current Epic Pass prices are guaranteed through September 3rd...

 

  http://www.snow.com/epic-pass/passes.aspx

 

Thinking I'll want to get one, but won't know for sure till later in September. Anyone have any idea how much they will go up after 09/03, and when the next price guarantee deadline after that might be?

post #3 of 13

I don't know about this season, but last season, the Epic Pass had a few extensions past the deadlines for the $659 version. I didn't buy my Epic Pass until mid Oct last year and I think it was extended until Oct 31. I am not sure how much it went up after that.
 

post #4 of 13

you can try to gamble, but when it finally "jumped" up in price it went to at least $1200 or so for Full Epic if I remember.  There was not any gradual increase.

 

They want to lock you in like a club and "reward" those that do join up and get their pass (and have those that are late and miss out regret their decision)

 

Knowing VailResorts for the past years, don't expect any flexibility on pricing or extra perks or return of money if the snow doesn't fall.

 

You can subscribe to their facebook page where you maybe able to decipher the marketing reps hints when the big increase is coming and if they mean it for real!

post #5 of 13

Thanks for sharing all that. Good stuff to keep in mind.

 

Not sure just yet where I'll be most likely to ski this coming season, so this one's a little tricky right now. Still, that pass pays for itself pretty quickly, so...

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

Knowing VailResorts for the past years, don't expect any flexibility on pricing or extra perks or return of money if the snow doesn't fall.

 

 

Is it fair to expect ever more when you’re getting unlimited access to 8 mountains for $650? It’s the best deal in the industry and I’ll gladly pay it after seeing mountains like Jackson Hole and Telluride charged $1500+ for a single mountain…

post #7 of 13

True, I don't disagree that it is a good deal. I have my pass.

 

My point was VR doesn't change anything $ related due to changing business conditions.    So when they've ended the sales of epicpass, they mean it.  Not up for negotiation, they will play hardball on anything involving dollars. VailResorts would rather the slopes just be empty and unused rather than changing prices.  So if you are thinking about getting the pass, if you miss the opportunity it is gone.

 

 

Speaking only on my experience from Tahoe from last year:

 

Even though snow was very low and perhaps 15% open:
Day passes were at full price even with only 4runs open.

Holiday blackouts still fully enforced and daypasses still full priced at holiday rates.

 

There is practically zero discounts on VR lift tickets.  Only perhaps $10 off by prepurchasing at rei or anymountain.  

Once the epicpass went away, it was gone for good.  The Vail Resorts Season Pass (same as epic) remained at the full price no matter how limited the slopes were.

The Tahoe value pass had no saturdays at Northstar since it gets crowded.   

But even though there was very low attendence at Northstar on saturdays, they did not change prices.

Meanwhile, lifties and foodservice workers were let go (or quit as they couldn't get enough hours).  I talked to some on the lifts and they were the higher on the pecking chain so could get the shifts but all the new people left.

No refunds/raincheck due to windclosures/weather.  You take 1lift and it's non-refundable.

All the other resorts caved and had some sort of reduced prices to fill the "partially" open slopes, or reoffered passes or other benefits at a reasonable price to fill the slopes.

 

Read yelp.com reviews for Heavenly or other Vail resorts, and the high majority negative reviews are all related to "moneygrubbing" and "fleecing".

For all the above, they give fair warning, especially if weather does look like it maybe bad and lifts are going to shut down.  But a lot of people face stickershock when they reach the ticket window.

 

So i am not saying that they should've changed prices or caved-in or anything like that, it's their business model to run however they want.  I am just giving clear examples so you know the opponent you are playing against.  Playing financial chicken with VR is not going to work out in your favor.  They have deep pockets and would rather the resorts be empty than change their fee policies.  


So when they say the epicpass is going to be gone, it's gone!


Edited by raytseng - 8/27/12 at 5:04pm
post #8 of 13

It is an incredible deal, and if you live in Tahoe or Summit/Eagle County and can really take advantage of the pass it is a **really** incredible deal! There's no arguing that!

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

 

My point was VR doesn't change anything $ related due to changing business conditions.    So when they've ended the sales of epicpass, they mean it.  Not up for negotiation, they will play hardball on anything involving dollars. VailResorts would rather the slopes just be empty and unused rather than changing prices.  So if you are thinking about getting the pass, if you miss the opportunity it is gone.


So when they say the epicpass is going to be gone, it's gone!

If that's the game we have to play for cheap seasons passes, I'm in. 

 

Plus, we need gaper tourists paying full price to keep our pass prices low!

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

True, I don't disagree that it is a good deal. I have my pass.

 

My point was VR doesn't change anything $ related due to changing business conditions.    So when they've ended the sales of epicpass, they mean it.  Not up for negotiation, they will play hardball on anything involving dollars. VailResorts would rather the slopes just be empty and unused rather than changing prices.  So if you are thinking about getting the pass, if you miss the opportunity it is gone.

 

 

Speaking only on my experience from Tahoe from last year:

 

Even though snow was very low and perhaps 15% open:
Day passes were at full price even with only 4runs open.

Holiday blackouts still fully enforced and daypasses still full priced at holiday rates.

 

There is practically zero discounts on VR lift tickets.  Only perhaps $10 off by prepurchasing at rei or anymountain.  

Once the epicpass went away, it was gone for good.  The Vail Resorts Season Pass (same as epic) remained at the full price no matter how limited the slopes were.

The Tahoe value pass had no saturdays at Northstar since it gets crowded.   

But even though there was very low attendence at Northstar on saturdays, they did not change prices.

Meanwhile, lifties and foodservice workers were let go (or quit as they couldn't get enough hours).  I talked to some on the lifts and they were the higher on the pecking chain so could get the shifts but all the new people left.

No refunds/raincheck due to windclosures/weather.  You take 1lift and it's non-refundable.

All the other resorts caved and had some sort of reduced prices to fill the "partially" open slopes, or reoffered passes or other benefits at a reasonable price to fill the slopes.

 

Read yelp.com reviews for Heavenly or other Vail resorts, and the high majority negative reviews are all related to "moneygrubbing" and "fleecing".

For all the above, they give fair warning, especially if weather does look like it maybe bad and lifts are going to shut down.  But a lot of people face stickershock when they reach the ticket window.

 

So i am not saying that they should've changed prices or caved-in or anything like that, it's their business model to run however they want.  I am just giving clear examples so you know the opponent you are playing against.  Playing financial chicken with VR is not going to work out in your favor.  They have deep pockets and would rather the resorts be empty than change their fee policies.  


So when they say the epicpass is going to be gone, it's gone!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

If that's the game we have to play for cheap seasons passes, I'm in. 

 

Plus, we need gaper tourists paying full price to keep our pass prices low!

 

 

That's exactly why any destination skier (gaper tourists?) should avoid booking a vacation at any VR resort.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

 

 

That's exactly why any destination skier (gaper tourists?) should avoid booking a vacation at any VR resort.

 

The EPIC pass isn’t some huge secret. Anyone with a few brain cells who plans their trip with an ample amount of time can take advantage of the deals. A well informed and smart skier is not a gaper.

 

Now if you or plan your ski trip 3 weeks before leaving or  don’t research the options available (GAPER), then yes, Vail Resorts will shred your savings account, but at that point I’m not feeling sorry for anyone. 

post #12 of 13

They do play hardball when it comes to prices, but while some other resorts were closing during the week early last year, and had 5 runs max open NS had 30+ runs.  Anyone who bought the pass early last year could ski (and didn't have to stay on only one run all day) in December/January.

post #13 of 13

If you are concerned that a region might be sketchy,

 

- the old farmers almanac struck me as pretty good: I even booked the Gathering and hung in there whilst mates bailed on their international ski holidays.

 

- there is the '50% off tix and 25% off lodging + 2 day tixs at each pllace all ffor around $350" aspects of the Mountain Collective Pass for Squaw/AM, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole and Alta. Do your maths.

 

- reserve lodging after reading the cancellation policy: book and keep the option of changing your mind later.

 

- I get the Tahoe Value Pass as 'insurance' because of snowmaking at Nstar if Squaw/Alpine gets boring, + the expansion of new black diamond terrain . (But I always do 2 weeks at Heavenly and Kirkwood anyway).

 

- I'll be looking out for a possible secret early bird sale in mid Sept for Squaw for, iirc, a 1 bedroom for $107pp per night including a lift tix. Iirc, it'll be non refundable. I'll post up details when they're released.

 

- there is/was a ski free deal at a new'ish hill in Utah.

 

- there's always the statistical Tony Crocker approach of going whereever there's the highest probability of decent snowfalls.

 

There is almost no possibility that VR will offer sweeteners if there is another skiasterous season. In  2011/12 they did almost as well as the bumper 2010/11 season in everything fom realty to selling lessons. Visits were down, but those who came spent more in VR-owned places. I can't see them changing that model.

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