Epic Pass doubles lockout dates
Ok, you are sure to know about Whistler being added to the Epic Australia Pass for 2017/18, another big winner for the Vail Resorts juggernaut.
But there’s another change that’s understandably been publicised a little less.
Last season there were 11 lockout dates; that is 11 days in which you couldn’t use the pass.
Now there are 21.
Enough to get you re-considering? Or do you think it is a justified trade off for getting Canada’s No.1 resort on the ticket (albeit for a combined 10 days with Vail)?
So here are the new lockout dates for 2017/18 across all US resorts and Whistler if you have an Epic Australia Pass:
- 24-25 November 2017
- 19 -31 December 2017
- 13 January 2018
- 17 -18 February 2018
- 10 March 2018
- 17 March 2018
- 24 March 2018
Compare this to last season (and essentially the same for the first iteration of the Epic Australia Pass in 2015/16):
- 25 November 2016 – 26 November 2016
- 26 December 2016 – 31 December 2016
- 14 January 2017
- 18 February 2017 – 19 February 2017
The big hit for Aussies is the December period which basically rules out a two-week slab before and after Christmas. A bit of dent for the families in school holidays I would suggest.
There’s also three additional dates in March which makes things a little clunky because they are spread out.
Should you wish to include an add-on for these dates I discovered with a little digging around on the website it will cost an adult $A402. Not cheap, particularly if you have multiples of that in a family group.
There is also scope to get 50 per cent off a day pass but with holiday prices off the hook in the US, you’ll still looking at well north of $A100 for a day ticket.
You can always go the US Epic route but that gets you the 17/18 North American season coupled with the 2018 Perisher one (as opposed to this season). Plus the fact it is $US859 (currently $A1138) so you are still digging deeper.
On the surface it doesn’t bother me so much. I mean I know public holidays and around Christmas are going to be busy anyway and they are probably times I’d prefer to avoid being on the slopes in North America (yes, I too have heard the ‘EPIC’ – Every-Prick-In-Colorado joke).
As I have written before, I reckon those last two weeks in January are a real sweet spot for families from Australia – you avoid key holidays in North America and there’s a much better chance of getting a deal on airfares.
And, if Whistler’s your thing (in truth it’s not mine) you could reasonably say it is a pretty fair add-on for what you lose.
My concern is more of a long game one, or the slippery slope argument. Now that the first change has been made, will we see further trimming over the coming seasons?
I guess as they say, we’ll just have to wait and see.