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Vail Introduces Reservation System, New Benefits for 2020-2021 Epic Passes

by Leap on September 1, 2020 29 Breckenridge

Can you feel the chill of winter in the air? Perhaps not, depending on where you live. But you diehard skiers know it's never too early to start thinking about the upcoming ski season, especially if you want to get the best deals. Vail's Epic Pass is back for 2020-2021, with new benefits and assurances. After disruptions to last year's spring season due to COVID-19, we know many of you are especially ready to hit the slopes. Understandably you might have reservations about shelling out for the pass in these uncertain times. Fret not. This year, having an Epic Pass comes with a few additional perks as Vail has announced that reservations will be required to ski at its resorts in 2020-2021, and passholders will get priority reservation access. Plus, there are some additional peace-of-mind benefits Vail has rolled out with this year's Epic Pass since we're living in a new era of uncertainty with COVID-19.

There's a lot to hop into with this year's Epic Pass. We'll walk through the new benefits plus all of the details about this year's Epic Pass so you can make the best decision. This is a good time to mention that we're offering discounts on select Epic Passes. These are the best rates of the season! We've got 4-, 5- 6-, 7-day and unlimited Epic Passes for 2020-2021, so if you're ready to buy at the best price available, then hop to it! Don't froget, we also offer discounts on hotels.

Epic Pass Benefits & Epic Coverage | Epic Pass | Epic Local Pass | Epic Day Pass | Epic Pass Comparison | Epic Buddy Pass & Ski-With-A-Friend Tickets

2020-2021 Epic Pass Benefits at a Glance

  • Exclusive early season access
  • Access all season with week-of reservations
  • Priority reservation days for the core season to lock-in before lift tickets go on sale
  • Easy-to-use reservation system
  • Epic Coverage - more on this below!
  • A refund before the core season if you don’t get the priority reservation days you want and have not used your pass
  • 20 percent off of food, lodging, lessons, rentals and more.

Were You a Passholder Last Year? You Can Get Credit Toward a New Pass

If you were a passholder last year, Vail is giving you credit toward the purchase of a 2020-2021 Epic Pass. The initial deadline to apply the credit was Labor Day, but Vail has extended it to Sept. 17. At a minimum, 2019-2020 passholders are getting a credit of 20 percent toward another pass of equal or greater value. Existing passholders from last year should have already received an email that outlines how much credit they will get toward this year's Epic Pass based on how many days they used the pass last season, up to 80 percent. For Epic Day Pass, Whistler Blackcomb Edge Card and multi-pack passholders, Vail is offering a credit up to 80 percent based on your unused number of days. If you already purchased a pass for this year before the promo is offered, Vail will provide credit back to you.

New for 2020-2021: Epic Coverage for Certain Personal Events and Resort Closures

It's an uncertain time to consider doing, well, practically anything and everything, thanks to COVID-19, but we're certain there will be skiing. After all, this outdoor winter sport is naturally socially distant. The Vail Resorts are taking extra precautions to keep guests safe, most notably by managing the number of people they allow on the mountains. They are also putting into place extra guarantees for Epic passholders in case of the unknowns.

For the 2020-2021 ski season, Vail has introduced Epic Coverage. Free for all passholders, Epic Coverage provides refunds for certain personal events, including illness, job loss and injury. It also expands coverage to protect you from certain resort closures, such as any due to COVID-19. Best of all, you don't need to sign up. It's included for free when you purchase your pass.

If any of the following happens over the course of next season, you will get a full or prorated refund.

Personal Coverage

  • Job Loss
  • Stay-at-home order from county, state, country
  • Injury, Sickness, Death
  • Student Transfer
  • Pregnancy
  • Visa Rejection
  • Jury Duty
  • Military Service
  • Employee Transfer
  • And More

Resort Closure between U.S. Thanksgiving (November 26, 2020) and Easter (April 4, 2021)

Epic Pass 2019-2020 - Tahoe Ski Resort

Epic Pass 2020-2021

The Epic Pass is the big kahuna of the ski passes — with access to the most resorts and the fewest restrictions (but also the highest price). This pass is perfect for ski-loving and snowboarding families who want to pack in as much powder time as they possibly can! While the Epic Pass includes the international destinations, for 2020-2021 Vail has close to doubled the number of domestic ski resorts, with the majority of them in the Midwest and East.

It offers unrestricted, unlimited skiing and riding for the entire 2020 season at these resorts (reservations required):

Rockies

Vail, CO

Keystone, CO

Beaver Creek, CO

Breckenridge, CO

Crested Butte, CO

Park City, UT

West

Heavenly, CA,NV

Kirkwood, CA

Northstar, CA

Stevens Pass, WA

Midwest

Wilmot, WI

Afton Alps, MN

Mt. Brighton, MI

Alpine Valley, OH

Boston Mills, OH

Brandywine, OH

Mad River Mountain, OH

Hidden Valley, MO

Snow Creek, MO

Paoli Peaks, IN

East

Stowe, VT

Okemo, VT

Mount Sunapee, NH

Mount Snow, VT

Attitash Mountain Resort, NH

Wildcat Mountain, NH

Crotched Mountain, NH

Hunter Mountain, NY

Liberty Mountain Resort, PA

Roundtop Mountain Resort, PA

Whitetail Resort, PA

Jack Frost, PA

Big Boulder, PA

International

Whistler Blackcomb, BC

Perisher, Australia (2021)

Falls Creek, Australia (2021)

Hotham, Australia (2021)

Plus additional access with limited dates to:

Telluride, CO

Sun Valley, ID

Snowbasin, UT

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Hakuba Valley and Rusutsu, Japan Ski Resorts

26 European Partner Resorts

Epic Local Pass 2019-2020 - Northstar California Ski Resort Ski School

Epic Local Pass

While the name is somewhat confusing, the Epic Local Pass is not limited to locals. Rather, it's geared more for anyone who wants a more affordable option than the Epic Pass with access to most of the Vail resorts (with a few restrictions). For this ski season, this pass does not include the following holiday dates:

Nov. 27, 2020-Nov. 28, 2020

Dec. 26, 2020-Dec. 31, 2020

Jan. 16, 2021

Feb. 13, 2021-Feb. 14, 2021

The Epic Local Pass offers access to unrestricted skiing or riding at the following resorts (reservations required):

Rockies

Breckenridge, CO

Keystone, CO

Crested Butte, CO

West

Stevens Pass, WA

Midwest

Wilmot, WI

Mt. Brighton, MI

Afton Alps, MN

Alpine Valley, OH

Boston Mills, OH

Brandywine, OH

Mad River Mountain, OH

Hidden Valley, MO

Snow Creek, MO

Paoli Peaks, IN

East

Mount Sunapee, NH

Okemo, VT

Mount Snow, VT

Attitash Mountain Resort, NH

Wildcat Mountain, NH

Crotched Mountain, NH

Hunter Mountain, NY

Liberty Mountain Resort, PA

Whitetail Resort, PA

Jack Frost, PA

Big Boulder, PA

It offers date restrictions and/or a limited number of days at the following resorts:

Vail, CO

Beaver Creek, CO

Park City, UT

Heavenly, CA,NV

Kirkwood, CA

Northstar, CA

Stowe, VT

Whistler Blackcomb, BC

Sun Valley, ID

Snow Basin, UT

11 Hakuba Valley and Rusutsu, Japan Ski Resorts

Epic Day Pass 2019-2020 - Snowman

Epic Day Passes

The Epic Day Passes offer flexible days up to 50 percent off the cost of standard lift tickets. You choose the number of dates you want to ski or ride — from one day to seven days. You have the option to include the following holiday dates for an additional charge:

Nov. 27, 2020-Nov. 28, 2020

Dec. 26, 2020-Dec. 31, 2020

Jan. 16, 2021

Feb. 13, 2021-Feb. 14, 2021

For the majority of you skiers and riders who plan to take one or perhaps two ski vacations, this is the most practical and economical choice. It allows you to lock in the best rates of the season without committing to a full Epic Pass. Plus, you do not have to select your dates, and they do not have to be consecutive.

The Epic Day Pass offers skiing or riding at the following resorts (reservations required):

Rockies

Vail, CO

Keystone, CO

Beaver Creek, CO

Breckenridge, CO

Crested Butte, CO

Park City, UT

West

Heavenly, CA,NV

Kirkwood, CA

Northstar, CA

Stevens Pass, WA

Midwest

Afton Alps, MN

Mt. Brighton, MI

Wilmot, WI

Alpine Valley, OH

Boston Mills, OH

Brandywine, OH

Mad River Mountain, OH

Hidden Valley, MO

Snow Creek, MO

Paoli Peaks, IN

East

Mount Sunapee, NH

Okemo, VT

Mount Snow, VT

Attitash Mountain Resort, NH

Wildcat Mountain, NH

Crotched Mountain, NH

Hunter Mountain, NY

Liberty Mountain Resort, PA

Whitetail Resort, PA

Jack Frost, PA

Big Boulder, PA

East

Stowe, VT

Okemo, VT

Mount Sunapee, NH

Canada

Whistler Blackcomb, BC

The Epic 4-Day Pass (and above) offers additional access to:

Telluride, CO

Snowbasin, UT

Sun Valley, ID

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Epic Buddy Pass - Epic Pass 2019-2020

Epic Pass Comparison

Which Epic Pass Cost How Many Resorts? Restrictions? Additional Tickets/Benefits?
Epic Pass $939 69* No 6 Ski-With-A-Friend Tickets; 10 Buddy Tickets**
Epic Local Pass $699 30 Resorts Holidays 6 Ski-With-A-Friend Tickets; 10 Buddy Tickets**
Epic Day Pass Unrestricted (4-7 Days) $456 for 4 days Up to 26 No No
Epic Day Pass Restricted (4-7 Days) $388 for 4 days Up to 26 Holidays No

**Benefits subject to change

What Is the Difference Between Epic Buddy Tickets and Ski-With-A-Friend Tickets?

Epic passes come pre-loaded with a set number of Epic Buddy Tickets and Ski-With-A-Friend Tickets, available for purchase Dec. 8, 2020, that give you discounts for friends and family. The tickets are not the same thing! Epic Buddy Tickets are discounted tickets that stay the same price all season long (40 percent off). They are only available at Vail Ski Resorts (not partner resorts). Ski With a Friend Tickets are single-day lift tickets that are discounted from the window price, but these prices fluctuate throughout the season. Both Epic Buddy and Ski-With-A-Friend tickets must be purchased online by the passholder, and the purchase acts as the reservation for your friend.

Have a question about any of the Epic passes? Drop us a line in comments below! Need help deciding which ski resort is right for you and your family? We've got a handy overview of the top U.S. ski resorts

Related: Frog Family's Insider Guide to Heavenly Ski Resort

Related: Frog Family's Insider Guide to Skiing Breckenridge Colorado

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Nov 5, 2020 at 2:44 a.m. Natasha Carter Says...

Do the kids passes offer the buddy pass or ski with friends tix?

Reply
Nov 10, 2020 at 7:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Natasha!

The Buddy Pass/Ski with Friends benefit can vary depending on which Epic Pass you purchase - please give us a call at 1 (800) 846-1302 for more information!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 24, 2020 at 12:11 p.m. Sarah Says...

Thank you for posting all this info! I contacted Epic/Vail resorts (called and emailed) with some questions about the Epic Pass but haven’t heard back. I’m planning a few trips and need some of the details for which resorts are unrestricted. Seeing the info on here really helped!!

Reply
Sep 24, 2020 at 8:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

You are so welcome, Sarah - thank you for hopping by! :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 15, 2020 at 7:35 p.m. Kim Murphy Says...

I am wondering if it would be better for my husband and I to both purchase an epic local pass or buy one and the other person use the buddy passes /

Reply
Sep 16, 2020 at 8:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kim!

We are still waiting for details on the Buddy Pass to be able to best answer your question - once we know more, we'll be sure to update! (In years’ past, the buddy tickets were about 40 percent off the cost of a lift ticket at the window, and are always subject to availability.)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 15, 2020 at 1:20 p.m. Lindsey Says...

Hi, can you tell me what a buddy pass with cost for 2020/2021? We are trying to understand if its less expensive to get Epic day passes before Sept 17 or wait and get them a buddy pass.

Reply
Sep 16, 2020 at 8:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lindsey!

We are still waiting for details on the Buddy Pass - once we know more, we'll be sure to update! (In years’ past, the buddy tickets were about 40 percent off the cost of a lift ticket at the window, and are always subject to availability.)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 15, 2020 at 11:41 a.m. Chris Says...

How much will the Epic Pass increase after September 17, 2020?

Reply
Sep 16, 2020 at 8:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris!

We are still waiting for additional details on the price increase; at this time, Sept. 17 is the last day to apply credit toward the purchase of a 2020-2021 Epic Pass for previous passholders. As soon as we know more, we'll be sure to update!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 10, 2020 at 12:47 p.m. Barb Calhoun Says...

To clarify, we can use Epic 4 day pass at Telluride, correct? Do we need to make reservations to ski on our days?

Reply
Sep 10, 2020 at 10:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Barb,

Epic 4-Day Pass, Epic 5-Day Pass, Epic 6-Day Pass and Epic 7-Day Pass holders will receive up to seven days total of skiing or snowboarding at Telluride Ski Resort with no blackout dates as part of their total days. As of now, Telluride has not yet announced whether reservations will be required.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 7, 2020 at 9:49 p.m. caryn Says...

My husband and I are going to ski for six days at Whistler. Should we buy 2 6 day passes or 1 6 day pass and get buddy passes? Or is there something else That we should consider. We are over 65 in the epic does not have a discounted senior tickeit anymore.

Reply
Sep 8, 2020 at 12:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Caryn!

We recommend that you buy two 6-day passes, since the 6-day tickets do not have Buddy Passes benefits (only the full season Epic Pass). Vail has not yet released the Buddy Pass prices for this season, but in the past, the discounted rate was not as good of a deal as the Epic Pass price. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 25, 2020 at 7:12 p.m. Nick Fury Says...

I received the e-ticket for my epic pass, how do I redeem it when my trip is less than a week away?

Reply
Feb 26, 2020 at 8:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nick!

Please give our Customer Service department a ring at 1 (800) 846-1302.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 31, 2020 at 2:17 a.m. Robert Scott Says...

Last week I took a survey on the Epic pass. One of the things it included was a list of benefits available. One of these was a free seasonal tuneup. I can not find anything on the epic pass website on this. There were other things on the list. Is there a place I can find these?

Reply
Feb 3, 2020 at 11:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robert!

We think we found it! Click here and scroll down to "Ski and Snowboard Tunes" for a list of locations that participate in the tuneup/wax benefit.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 22, 2019 at 11:04 a.m. Catherine Says...

Hi - when is the last date for buying and Epic or Epic local pass?

Reply
Oct 29, 2019 at 12:35 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Catherine!

We don't know the exact dates just yet, but we do know it's coming up quickly! Last year, the last day to purchase was in mid-November, so if you're thinking about it, we'd recommend hopping on it soon :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 13, 2019 at 3:22 a.m. ricardo Says...

Hi,

Does epic passes include lift tickets? or do I need to get both?

Reply
Sep 13, 2019 at 1:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ricardo!

The Epic Pass serves as your lift ticket. Just be sure to check out dates for each type of Epic Pass to make sure it fits with your vacation timeframe!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 8, 2019 at 11:42 a.m. Cason Says...

Hi! When will you start selling 2019-2020 Epic Passes? Thanks!

Reply
Apr 8, 2019 at 2:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cason!

Very soon - stay tuned, and check back soon!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 30, 2018 at 11:10 p.m. Michele Says...

When you buy Epic Season passes the benefit of 6 buddy passes are mentioned and ski with a friend options are stated giving the impression that those passes are bonus. They are not. When you go back to read about redeeming there are date of purchase requirements and the buddy passes are $2 dollars cheaper than daily prices. Disappointed.

Reply
Jan 17, 2019 at 9:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michele,

The Ski with a Friend tickets are discounted from the window prices, which changes throughout the season. Buddy Tickets are discounted tickets with a flat price set a the beginning of the season that does not change. You can see more details here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 21, 2018 at 7:07 p.m. John Oglesby Says...

read the fine print. Military Epic Pass does NOT include A Basin. Wasted a great day learning that one the hard way!

Reply
Aug 30, 2019 at 4:35 a.m. Jess Says...

It did not include Absin for the military pass, which is my favorite place to ski. However, complaining that it does not include a resort for the price you paid makes you sound ungrateful and entitled. I am so thankful we got to am a whole season for only $99!

Reply
Feb 13, 2019 at 1:13 a.m. Karl Unsworth Says...

Epic military does include A Basin. I've used it 3 times so far this season. Who told you it didnt? They are not owned by Vail, but have an agreement. I used mine in December and January 3 times.

Reply
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