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Vail Resorts Epic Passes for 2014/2015 - Page 3

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

I would think South-facing and low elevation take a lot of wind out of the sails of corverage benefits from dirt rather than rock. Still, in sketchy conditions it is a lot better to ski on dirt rather than a scree field.

 

Not when the sun is low in the horizon in Dec, Jan and maybe even early Feb.  The south facing back bowls will maintain nice surface conditions even through cold sunny days.   Vail is also fortunate to be in a sweet spot for snow where they get great snowfall in spite of the lower elevation.   

post #62 of 83
I don't see how cheap passes are a barrier to entry. My family would not be skiing without them.
post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

I don't see how cheap passes are a barrier to entry. My family would not be skiing without them.

 

Cheap passes are amazing for established skiers. I ski more in the season pass era than I could ever dream of affording as a kid. I spend a fair chunk on season passes- Last year I had a Wolf and Sunlight pass (that I won). This year it is Wolf and Silverton. Next year we are thinking Wolf and Monarch for all the NM partner days. Even still, skiing is cheap compared to what it was.

 

The problem is what they do to newcomers. They hear about skiing and it sounds like fun. They go to Vail's website and see $120+ FOR A SINGLE DAY. Plus rental, lesson, etc.

 

They say "wow, that is crazy. Maybe someplace else will be cheap." And then they look up Arapahoe Basin at $80, or even Monarch at $60. Then they say SCREW THAT and find a different sport. Day pass prices have massively exceeded inflation since the Mid-90's, just before Vail started the season pass model rolling with its acquisition of Breck and Keystone.

 

Yes, here and there you can find some pretty good first timer deals like the Loveland 3 class pass (buy three group lessons, get a season pass after you attend the first lesson). I've heard Vail itself is coming out with some pretty good deals that make lessons much more affordable compared to the ticket window prices.

 

However, most of those deals involve a large investment for somebody to see if they actually like skiing, which limits their effectiveness. And that assuming the prospective skier finds the deals after getting scraped off the roof just looking at window rates.

 

Consider that day 1 on skis is a lousy day for most people. It is hard, it is painful, there is little opportunity to find the fun. The last thing in the world we want is to add in additional barriers, but that where we are.

 

The current pricing model is generating pretty good short term profits for most areas, even lots of the little guys.  But after 15 years of putting newbies into the highest cost bracket of skiing, we no longer have a next generation of skiers to carry on the sport and maintain skier visits at the level we currently have. In 10-20 years, boomers, who ski more days than any other age group (and are increasing their ski days now) will be gone with nobody to replace those skier visits. Meanwhile, ski areas are in an arms-race fighting each other for visits from the dwindling population of skiers- spending millions in improvements.  Tell you one thing, I wouldn't feel good about giving ski areas loans for expansion at this moment in time.

post #64 of 83

Here we go again…

post #65 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

The problem is what they do to newcomers. They hear about skiing and it sounds like fun. They go to Vail's website and see $120+ FOR A SINGLE DAY. Plus rental, lesson, etc.

 

 

The current window price for Vail/BC is $139/day.

 

Meanwhile, on weekends half the population of Denver is there skiing on the Epic pass for something like $30/day or less.

 

And if you were there last week like I was, you got to ski with the entire population of Dallas and Atlanta too. (c:

post #66 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Cheap passes are amazing for established skiers. I ski more in the season pass era than I could ever dream of affording as a kid. I spend a fair chunk on season passes- Last year I had a Wolf and Sunlight pass (that I won). This year it is Wolf and Silverton. Next year we are thinking Wolf and Monarch for all the NM partner days. Even still, skiing is cheap compared to what it was.

The problem is what they do to newcomers. They hear about skiing and it sounds like fun. They go to Vail's website and see $120+ FOR A SINGLE DAY. Plus rental, lesson, etc.

They say "wow, that is crazy. Maybe someplace else will be cheap." And then they look up Arapahoe Basin at $80, or even Monarch at $60. Then they say SCREW THAT and find a different sport. Day pass prices have massively exceeded inflation since the Mid-90's, just before Vail started the season pass model rolling with its acquisition of Breck and Keystone.

Yes, here and there you can find some pretty good first timer deals like the Loveland 3 class pass (buy three group lessons, get a season pass after you attend the first lesson). I've heard Vail itself is coming out with some pretty good deals that make lessons much more affordable compared to the ticket window prices.

However, most of those deals involve a large investment for somebody to see if they actually like skiing, which limits their effectiveness. And that assuming the prospective skier finds the deals after getting scraped off the roof just looking at window rates.

Consider that day 1 on skis is a lousy day for most people. It is hard, it is painful, there is little opportunity to find the fun. The last thing in the world we want is to add in additional barriers, but that where we are.

The current pricing model is generating pretty good short term profits for most areas, even lots of the little guys.  But after 15 years of putting newbies into the highest cost bracket of skiing, we no longer have a next generation of skiers to carry on the sport and maintain skier visits at the level we currently have. In 10-20 years, boomers, who ski more days than any other age group (and are increasing their ski days now) will be gone with nobody to replace those skier visits. Meanwhile, ski areas are in an arms-race fighting each other for visits from the dwindling population of skiers- spending millions in improvements.  Tell you one thing, I wouldn't feel good about giving ski areas loans for expansion at this moment in time.

We need feeder hills.
post #67 of 83

FWIW -

 

The last several seasons, I have gotten the full sized Epic pass.

This season, I got the full sized Epic pass plus the RMSP+ or whatever it's called. I still skied mostly at Breck, but had some great days at places I don't usually go.

Next season, I'm thinking the Epic Local plus RMSP+.  I haven't skied Vail or Beaver Creek all season.  For my lodging situation, they're a pain compared to Breck or Copper.  I don't know why I thought I needed unlimited access out there.

 

And the cost for any of these multi-resort passes is still about half what any of the single-resort Utah passes cost ...

post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


We need feeder hills.

 

Yes.

 

However, in Colorado, most of the feeder hills (Monarch, Eldora, Loveland, Powderhorn, Sunlight, etc.) operate on Vail pricing model too, with prices reduced to reflect the price point that lets them sell passes against the Epic pass.

 

There are very few affordable day passes these days, but the season pass deals are unreal.

 

Silverton's pass was unreal. $199 for unguided. Granted, the unguided season is only like 12 days long (a few weekends at the beginning and end of the season. But it came with 5 free days at Monarch, 5 days at Loveland, 5 at A-Basin. Ski Silverton 2 days early season and 2 days late, use the other 15 days from October- June, and you have 19 days of skiing for $199. I've currently used 3 days at Arapahoe, 2 at Loveland, and 1 at Monarch, and will use 2 more at Monarch and will probably use all the Loveland and Arapahoe days.

 

One place that hasn't fully jumped on the wagon for the Vail model is Wolf Creek. Day pass is $58, which is dirt cheap for a 1600 acre ski area with high speed lifts and such- it is one of the cheapest day passes in the entire state even compared to much smaller areas (Powderhorn, Sunlight, Monarch, Arapahoe- Wolf Creek is much larger than all of these with a cheaper day pass). Or look at it another way. For $47 you can ski at Ski Cooper, one of the most modest ski areas in Colorado at 400 acres of mild terrain, or for $11 more, you can ski an area 4 times as large. Not to bag on Ski Cooper, which is a COOL little local hill, but...

 

Early season pass price is $626.  A pass that takes eleven days to pay is pretty high in Colorado- the Vail model has the pass price just beyond 5 days.

post #69 of 83
I was thinking more along the lines of truly little places, where you can try it out as well as work on skills without a major drive each way. Loveland isn't really a feeder hill, it just isn't a destination resort.

I am almost 2 hours to anywhere - that's a huge commitment to get repetitions even if the pass was free. I think pass prices themselves have proven to be so elastic because they really aren't as big of an obstacle as time and logistics.
post #70 of 83

I gotta tell you I have been using the Epic Ski Pass at Vail for the last 5 years or so. Ever since they started it.

 

This year has been so busy I told my wife I'm not going to ski much in Vail on weekends.

 

Even Friday's on a powder day are crazy busy.

 

While it's a great deal,for the first time I questioned whether I shouldn't head back to Utah or somewhere else.

 

I was in Vail the day they reported that 22 inch dump.More like 3-4 feet in spots . I got to Gondola One at 8 am ,

30 minutes before it opened. It took 50 Minutes for my wife and I to finally get loaded on the gondola.

 

920 am we get on the Gondola .15 minutes  later we are waiting at a huge line on Chair 4 .8 Minutes later we

are at the top of the mountain .It's damn near 10 oclock!!!!!! and we were in line at 8 am.

 

Head directly to Sun Up Bowl and its already pretty tracked out. Sigh.

 

First tracks? Not one . Oh it was a Friday,not even a weekend day.

post #71 of 83

Even Hitler knows the crowds at Vail can be intolerable.  I know this has been posted in several other threads, but I've watched it a few times now and it's still funny...

 

post #72 of 83
Haha! I once skied with a girl who was hula hooping while she skied blue sky basin. I have not seen that again.
post #73 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

I was thinking more along the lines of truly little places, where you can try it out as well as work on skills without a major drive each way. Loveland isn't really a feeder hill, it just isn't a destination resort.

I am almost 2 hours to anywhere - that's a huge commitment to get repetitions even if the pass was free. I think pass prices themselves have proven to be so elastic because they really aren't as big of an obstacle as time and logistics.

 

I try to go by the rule that I want to be able to ski more hours than I drive. However, that is a huge obstacle anywhere other than Eldora for me. I don't want to go up to the "real" mountains unless I can stay over night--which luckily I can do now. I don't think a pass would be worth it to me without it.

 

I'm looking at the whole EPIC vs RMSP+ pass choices now. Might drop down from the Epic full and go for the RMSP since Crested Butte and Steamboat are on my bucket list and there's always a few events I want to go to at Copper and Winter Park. I thought I'd grab some 4-packs early next season, but I don't think I could beat the current prices--and only pay $49 now.

post #74 of 83

Interesting how the added resorts now indicate:

"Up to 5 consecutive days when staying at in-resort lodging at both Verbier, Switzerland and Les 2 Vallees, France"

 

Did last year's read "when staying at in-resort lodging"? I don't remember that being a requirement. (Not like I'd actually make it there.)

post #75 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

Another way of looking at the Vail model is they found a way to introduce price discrimination to the resort industry. They know out-of-state vacation skiers are willing to accept a higher price point than locals that would ski other places if they raised prices too much. So, create a season pass to both provide a cut-rate pass and to lock local skiers into skiing at Vail. Then you can raise day pass prices through the stratosphere for vacationers. They found a way to retain the lions share of local Colorado skiers AND put pressure on competitors while still selling passes at a premium price.

 

It is genius really, except for the giant barrier to entry that it has created for new people considering taking up skiing.

I agree with most of the above, but would like to point out again that Vail does offer a 3 day lesson series to never-evers (or those that want to start over) for $320 that includes 3 full days of lessons AND lift tickets.  I only work part-time but have still seen a half dozen of my students who did this last year return and ski Vail again this year.  Just yesterday, I was talking with an instructor friend who was teaching this week one of her never-evers from last season who bought an Epic Pass for this season.  Overall, I think Vail does quite a good job of bringing in AND retaining new skiers compared to many other resorts.

 

http://www.vail.com/plan-your-trip/book-ski-and-ride-lessons/products/Adult-First-Time-Ski-Series?pfm=lrmore

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

Cheap passes are amazing for established skiers. I ski more in the season pass era than I could ever dream of affording as a kid. I spend a fair chunk on season passes- Last year I had a Wolf and Sunlight pass (that I won). This year it is Wolf and Silverton. Next year we are thinking Wolf and Monarch for all the NM partner days. Even still, skiing is cheap compared to what it was.

 

The problem is what they do to newcomers. They hear about skiing and it sounds like fun. They go to Vail's website and see $120+ FOR A SINGLE DAY. Plus rental, lesson, etc.

 

They say "wow, that is crazy. Maybe someplace else will be cheap." And then they look up Arapahoe Basin at $80, or even Monarch at $60. Then they say SCREW THAT and find a different sport. Day pass prices have massively exceeded inflation since the Mid-90's, just before Vail started the season pass model rolling with its acquisition of Breck and Keystone.

 

Yes, here and there you can find some pretty good first timer deals like the Loveland 3 class pass (buy three group lessons, get a season pass after you attend the first lesson). I've heard Vail itself is coming out with some pretty good deals that make lessons much more affordable compared to the ticket window prices.

 

However, most of those deals involve a large investment for somebody to see if they actually like skiing, which limits their effectiveness. And that assuming the prospective skier finds the deals after getting scraped off the roof just looking at window rates.

 

Consider that day 1 on skis is a lousy day for most people. It is hard, it is painful, there is little opportunity to find the fun. The last thing in the world we want is to add in additional barriers, but that where we are.

 

The current pricing model is generating pretty good short term profits for most areas, even lots of the little guys.  But after 15 years of putting newbies into the highest cost bracket of skiing, we no longer have a next generation of skiers to carry on the sport and maintain skier visits at the level we currently have. In 10-20 years, boomers, who ski more days than any other age group (and are increasing their ski days now) will be gone with nobody to replace those skier visits. Meanwhile, ski areas are in an arms-race fighting each other for visits from the dwindling population of skiers- spending millions in improvements.  Tell you one thing, I wouldn't feel good about giving ski areas loans for expansion at this moment in time.

post #76 of 83
Another thing that occurred to me is that some mountains offer lift tickets to their true beginner terrain only for super cheap. While haven't checked, IIRC Galloping Goose at Jane is free and you can ride Gemini at WP for $20 or so that accesses a decent amount is green at the bottom of the mountain. That is plenty of terrain for a first day on skis and at WP is where the 'never skied' class runs anyway.

Ski school isn't cheap, but classes do include passes and you can add rental gear reasonably. We bought 4 packs of kid lessons from Christy Sports and some adult, too. The 4 packs for kids were $375 for full day group, lift ticket and lunch included, and we rented gear from Christy for the season.

Those deals do require commitment, and if you have lots of kids a season of lessons will put a hole in your financial life, but then so will any trip by plane to anywhere, and a bunch of ski days is better smile.gif.

But even a single day isn't that bad because you are buying a lesson, not a window price ticket and then a lesson.
post #77 of 83
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
 

I agree with most of the above, but would like to point out again that Vail does offer a 3 day lesson series to never-evers (or those that want to start over) for $320 that includes 3 full days of lessons AND lift tickets.  I only work part-time but have still seen a half dozen of my students who did this last year return and ski Vail again this year.  Just yesterday, I was talking with an instructor friend who was teaching this week one of her never-evers from last season who bought an Epic Pass for this season.  Overall, I think Vail does quite a good job of bringing in AND retaining new skiers compared to many other resorts.

 

http://www.vail.com/plan-your-trip/book-ski-and-ride-lessons/products/Adult-First-Time-Ski-Series?pfm=lrmore

 

 

Rather that drop full on into my typical shit on Vail mode, I want to give credit where credit is due, and compared to window prices, $320 for 3 days of lessons and tickets is a steal, BUT, like the Loveland 3 class pass and many others, they still involve some serious thumps to the wallet. $300 to learn whether you like a sport is still a pretty high barrier.  I think this stuff is an awesome deal to get somebody from a bunny hill skier to a solid beginner and get them integrated into the sport, but I don't think it gets new never-ever or (more importantly) never-ever considered skiing folks onto the mountain.

 

WP has been doing the free Galloping Goose lift for at least 20+ years. I didn't find anything on their website stating they are still doing it, but I would hate it if that changed. I think FREE is a great price point for beginners, but it also seems resorts that offer a free beginner lift don't do much advertising on that fact. I also think it should be free for everyone- Galloping Goose if free for kids...

 

The problem as I see it is it is widely known that day pass prices for the major resorts in CO are $100+, and secondary ski areas are still $60+ (and Denver has no Chapman Hill/Kendall Mountain operations like Durango and Silverton respectively). I think we could get a lot of headway into getting beginners in IF...

 

1. It was widely know that several areas offered free bunny hill lift tickets.

2. There were accommodations to allow skiers entering the sport to buy season passes at early season prices throughout the season.

 

I know resorts are afraid of people gaming stuff like this, but making a little less money now could mean saving the industry ten years from now if the industry can actually make headway into getting new people skiing.

 

To save the industry, it is not just kids that need to learn to ski- it is 30 year olds. Its a safe bet that most children of skiing parents already ski, so by offering free lift rides only to kids probably isn't going to move the needle.

post #78 of 83

Noone cares you ski Alta.

Noone cares you ski MRG.

Noone cares you ski Stowe

Can we start “Noone cares you hate Vail?”

post #79 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

Noone cares you ski Alta.
Noone cares you ski MRG.
Noone cares you ski Stowe
Can we start “Noone cares you hate Vail?”
Quote:
American users prefer the spelling no one to either noone or no-one by more than 500 to 1.
post #80 of 83
I never got the $100 discount for vail season pass due by 4/13 or 14 can anyone assist me?
post #81 of 83

I did not hear about $100 off. I got two free days in CO or UT for renewing and paying in full for next year's Tahoe Value Pass by 3/23. They sent out e-mails with link and bonuses for early renewals, but they were only valid for person receiving e-mail. Check your e-mail for something from seasonpass@email.snow.com

post #82 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by billy94z View Post

I never got the $100 discount for vail season pass due by 4/13 or 14 can anyone assist me?

 

Did you ever see a discount? The only email I received was the one with the free lift ticket, but since my friends have passes that wouldn't be a benefit for me.

post #83 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx2ski View Post
 

Interesting how the added resorts now indicate:

"Up to 5 consecutive days when staying at in-resort lodging at both Verbier, Switzerland and Les 2 Vallees, France"

 

Did last year's read "when staying at in-resort lodging"? I don't remember that being a requirement. (Not like I'd actually make it there.)

2013-14, no need for this.

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