With the calendar flipping to September, it's time for most locals to start thinking about ski season.
Last week, Vail Resorts announced the winter opening dates for 34 of its North American resorts, including Whistler Blackcomb. Whistler's lifts are slated to begin spinning on Thursday, Nov. 25.
This year, Vail Resorts is even hoping to see one of its flagship resorts, Keystone in Colorado, open in October, or "as early as possible," the company explained in a release, "thanks to recent investments in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient snowmaking system."
The company does not currently plan to reinstate the reservation system it used to manage mountain access last winter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but said it will continue to monitor public health guidance and communicate any necessary safety protocols to guests ahead of the season as needed.
As winter approaches, so is Vail's deadline to purchase an Epic Pass at the lowest price option. Prices are due to rise after Monday, Sept. 6.
If purchased prior to that date, an Epic Pass—which provides skiers and riders with unlimited and unrestricted access to Vail's North American resorts, and limited access to select partner resorts—will cost USD$783, or just under CAD$1000.
A Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited Pass is currently being sold for CAD$1,119, offering pass holders unlimited, unrestricted access at Whistler Blackcomb exclusively, as well as 50 per cent off lift tickets at other Vail Resorts properties, and 20 per cent off at Whistler Blackcomb-owned retail stores and on-mountain dining.
EDGE Cards are once again included in Vail's list of pass products, and are available only to Canadian and Washington State residents. The cards accommodate for two, five or 10 days of skiing at Whistler Blackcomb (Guests are able to use up to two days with the 5-Day EDGE Card, or up to three days with the 10-Day EDGE Card at some other Vail-owned resorts.)
Prices for a 2-Day card start at CAD$175, a 5-Day at CAD$367, and a 10-Day card at CAD$631.
These prices have seen about a 20 per cent reduction from last year's pass costs, after Vail Resorts last March announced it was slashing prices.
“The ski industry, our Company and skiers and riders everywhere just navigated the most challenging season we have ever encountered," Vail Resorts' former CEO Rob Katz said at the time. "Because of the growth and loyalty of our pass holders, we were able to ensure this season was a success, with full operations across our 34 North American resorts, even amid a pandemic."
All 2021/22 pass products will come with Epic Coverage, at no additional cost, which provides refunds for personal events like job loss, injury or illness, as well as for certain resort closures, including closures due to COVID-19.