VANCOUVER -- In a historic and bold move Vail Resorts is reducing the price on all passes 20 per cent for the 2021-22 ski season.

In a news release March 24, Vail stated, “The price reduction applies to the entire portfolio of the Company’s North American pass lineup, including Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass and Epic Day Pass; Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited, Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass and EDGE Cards; Summit Value Pass, Tahoe Local and Value Pass, and Northeast Value and Midweek Pass; Military Epic Pass and Adaptive Pass; and many more.”

The company hopes that lower prices will encourage growth and attract new skiers with more affordable rates.

“The new prices announced today not only provide value to existing skiers and riders, but we also believe they will contribute to the growth and vitality of our sport as we bring new people and higher engagement into the industry, which we think is imperative,” stated Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

The company had been under fire recently over its free Epic Coverage insurance, which had denied refunds to skiers who stayed away from resorts because of health guidelines over COVID-19. However, last week McLaughlin on Your Side revealed the company was going to reverse denied refunds and expand coverage to include all who are abiding by provincial health officer’s recommendations against non-essential travel or have been impacted by COVID.

The Epic Local Pass is now US$583, down from US$729 last season. The full Epic Pass is now US$783.

You will also be able to get better value by choosing the number of days you want to ski and whether you want holiday access, for a price that starts at US$67 but it does not apply to all resorts; Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creak, Breckenridge and Park City are excluded.

We asked Vail Resorts if next year's 20 per cent reduction is just giving back some of the money the resort kept on value remaining on passes from the 2019-20 ski season, when resorts closed due to COVID. Pass holders were able to get partial credit to be used to buy a new pass for the following season.  

In an email to CTV News, Vail Resorts' director of communications Danielle Johnson stated: "We are implementing this change – that takes our pass prices back to the 2015-16 season – to honour pass holder loyalty and incentivize all guests to purchase pass products. For the stability and longevity of our industry and sport, we want all skiers and riders to move from lift tickets to pass products. Put simply, no one should have to buy a lift ticket anymore."

"We have always been clear that advance commitment is one of the core strategies of our company, and our goal is to ultimately have more than 75 per cent of lift revenue come from passes," she added.

Epic Pass products also provide holders with 20 per cent off on-mountain dining, lodging, group ski and ride school lessons, equipment rentals and more at Vail Resorts’ 34 North American owned and operated resorts.