Whistler Blackcomb has released its lineup of passes for the 2017/18 ski season, including Vail Resorts' multi-resort Epic Pass.
For the first time, Whistler Blackcomb will be included as part of the Epic Pass, which offers unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Perisher (2018 ski season) and Arapahoe Basin, along with limited access to 30 European resorts. It's priced at $1,117.
"“We’re excited to offer our guests more options than ever before with the introduction of the Epic Pass to our season pass lineup,” said Dave Brownlie, chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb, in a release. “While we will still offer Whistler Blackcomb specific products, such as the Unlimited Season Pass and EDGE Card options, we’re thrilled to give our guests the option of true worldwide access that offers skiing at 45 iconic resorts, including coast-to-coast skiing in North America.”
Whistler Blackcomb season's passes have been priced at over $100 more than the Epic Pass. For $1,229, passholders are given unlimited access to Whistler Blackcomb, along with deals on dining, retail and Snow School programs. The pass also grants 50-per-cent off winter lift tickets at any of Vail's 13 ski resorts. Additionally, those who purchase a season's pass before April 9 will receive two discounted bring-a-friend lift tickets as well as a Peak 2 Peak 360 summer sightseeing pass.
As expected, the price of a season's pass came down considerably — from $1,649, and from $1,439 for an early-bird pass — following Vail's takeover of Whistler Blackcomb this summer. Historically, the ski-industry giant has come in and undercut pass prices at the resorts it acquires, boosting skier visits, while lift tickets and retail pricing have typically gone up. At Park City, for example, walk-up ticket prices were around USD$105 before Vail came onboard. This winter, they're priced at $139.
Once again, residents of Canada and Washington State will be able to purchase Edge Cards offering five or 10 days of access to Whistler Blackcomb, as well as Vail's destination resorts in Colorado, Utah and Lake Tahoe. A 10-day Edge Card with holiday restrictions is available for $689, or $759 for unrestricted access. A five-day card comes in at $399 with holiday restrictions, and $439 for unrestricted access. Edge cardholders also receive discounts on lodging, at select retail locations and Snow School programs, and unlimited early-season skiing if they buy before April 9.
Whistler Blackcomb, in conjunction with the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, will announce details on the Spirit Pass in September.
For full details on pass pricing, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/purchase/tickets-and-passes/season-passes/winter-17-18.
For more on this story, pick up Thursday's edition of Pique.