111118-life-winter-guide skiing.jpg (copy)
Caption +

Leslie McWilliams of Colorado Springs skies through the fresh power below the Paradise Express lift at Crested Butte. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Show MoreShow Less

With the addition of two ski areas in Utah and Idaho, Vail Resorts’ multimountain pass will provide holders with access to 67 resorts next season.

Epic Pass holders will have seven days at each resort with no restrictions at Idaho’s Sun Valley and Utah’s Snowbasin during the 2019-2020 season. Those with an Epic Local Pass will have two days at each resort with minimal restrictions, while Epic 7-Day and 4-Day purchasers can use any or all or their days at each. This season’s prices for adults range from $709 for the Epic Local Pass to $949 for the Epic Pass.

Sun Valley is west of Boise in the Sawtooth National Forest. Snowbasin, less than an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, was host to the downhill, (combined) downhill and slalom, and super-G events during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The mountains are owned by Sinclair Oil Company, once run by the late Robert Earl Holding. Holding purchased Sun Valley in 1977 and Snowbasin in 1984. He was known in Utah for his major investments to bring the 2002 Winter Olympics to the state, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Uphill skiing? It's the local pride of Aspen

His wife, Carol, said of the partnership with Epic, “Snowbasin and Sun Valley are crown jewels of our family-owned businesses and we are always looking for new ways to provide outstanding service to our guests. As we remain committed to investing in and operating our properties for many years to come, this multi-year alliance with the Epic Pass will bring value to our pass holders and introduce more guests to our unique traditions.”

During the 2018-2019 season, Epic Pass holders have unrestricted, unlimited access to 19 resorts in North America and Australia, with limited access to 24 others across the world. Vail Resorts operates 15 of the mountains on its pass, including Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte.

Its rise as a behemoth in the ski industry has been recently challenged by Alterra Mountain Company, which released its analog to the Epic Pass this year. The Ikon Pass holds the key to unlimited days at 14 resorts and limited access to 24 others.

Vail Resorts’ stock dropped more than $50 a share — more than 18 percent— in December after the company reported a decline in pass revenue, The Colorado Sun wrote. The 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Epic Pass sales set records for Vail Resorts, so the 10 percent annual growth for 2018-2019 was its largest year-over-year decline since the pass was unveiled in 2008.

Guest visitation during the pre-holiday period was “much lower” than Vail Resorts anticipated, CEO Rob Katz said in a release Jan. 11. Katz pointed to guest concerns about poor pre-holiday conditions during the two prior seasons.

Season-to-date lift ticket, ski school and dining revenue at its resorts was up 12.2 percent, 9.5 percent and 14.8 percent compared with the 2017-2018 season-to-date period. Total skier visits at the North American mountains were up 16.9 percent.

Twitter: @lizmforster Phone: 636-0193

Twitter: @lizmforster

Phone: 636-0193

Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.

Load comments