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Vail Resorts will credit up to 80% of unused Epic passes value to 2020-21 pass

Under pressure from skiers who bought expensive passes intending to use them in the spring, Vail also rolled out new pass insurance that covers calamities, including coronavirus-related shutdowns.

Gondola One at Vail Resort is pictured on a powder day Friday, April 3, 2020. The resort has been closed since March 14 due to the coronavirus. (Matt Stensland, Special to The Colorado Sun)
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People who bought Epic Passes this ski season but did not use them can apply 80% of the purchase price to a pass for the 2020-21 season, Vail Resorts said Monday.

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In addition to reversing its no-refunds policy, which riled skiers who bought passes expecting to use them in the spring — after the company shut down all its North American resorts on March 14 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus — the resort operator also announced a new pass insurance plan.

Vail Resorts is offering credits worth 20% to 80% on the price of the Epic Pass toward the 2020-21 season, with higher credits for skiers who used their pass fewer than five days and the full 80% — up to $790 — for skiers who did not use their pass in 2019-20. 

(The company’s marketing chief Kirsten Lynch said in a statement that the credits were capped at 80% because mountains were open for the majority of the season “and our passes could be used during that time.”)

For skiers with days remaining on multi-day pass products, the company is offering a credit of up to 80% toward a pass for next season. 

Vail Resorts’ “Epic Coverage” plan follows the “Adventure Assurance” program offered last week by Alterra Mountain Co. 

Epic Coverage replaces the need for pass insurance and offers a refund for injury, job loss or other events that keep skiers from using their season pass. The Epic Coverage program also refunds skiers for resort closures, including shutdowns caused by COVID-19.

“We understand that times have changed so Epic Coverage completely redefines your pass protection,” a statement by the company reads.

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

The company extended its spring sales discounts — such as 10 Buddy Tickets for next season — to Sept. 7. The credits for next season’s passes must be redeemed by Labor Day. The company is extending its $49 deposit for next season’s pass “for the next few months,” according to the company’s statement. 

Alterra Mountain Co. released its plan for the Ikon Pass on April 14, offering discounts up to $200 for skiers renewing their season pass. The company offered four, interest-free monthly payments through Aug. 1 with a non-refundable $199 deposit. Three days later Alterra, which runs Steamboat and Winter Park, revised its plan with “Adventure Assurance,” which allowed skiers to defer the value of their 2020-21 Ikon Pass to the 2021-22 ski season.

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