The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Epic Pass doubles lockout dates

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Australia, Canada, United States | 2 comments

Obama was surprised to learn about the Epic lock-out dates until he realised he was A) American and B) Not short of a quid.

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.

My thoughts?

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.

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2 Comments

  1. & at the same time, you can buy lift tickets at the best Colorado resort by far for as little as US$22.50 for a family of 1 adult & up to 4 kids & get lift line priority(not each for up to 5 people)

    I won’t be going anywhere near very crowded Vail or Whistler, where the lift queues in the mornings can take 1/2 hour or more.

  2. The Epic pass is losing its gloss already. Lift lines at places like Whistler & Vail are horrendous, especially on weekends.

    Soon there will be 1st class Epic season passes that get to jump these long lines, which will only get longer, if Vail is at all successful in getting more people to go to a Vail resort.

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  1. The Snow Gauge ⋆ The future of Perisher: Vail CEO interview - […] One thing I did notice this year was a significant  change in the lockout period for Australians using the…

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