Vail Resorts to Limit Ticket Sales

After selling nearly 40 percent more Epic passes this year than last, Vail Resorts has realized it just might get a wee bit crowded at some of its areas this coming season, especially around holidays.  While a walk-up day ticket price at the window for, say, Stowe on Dec. 29 currently  goes for $174 (less if you buy online), that may not be enough to curb the tide.

In response, the resort announced today that it would be:

a) Limiting lift ticket sales during the three most popular holiday periods across  34 North American resorts this season to prioritize pass holders. Dates include: December 25-January 2, January 14-17, and February 18-27. If you want to buy a day ticket then, it’s best to plan ahead.

b) Launching a new daily forecast of lift line wait times in the EpicMix app at 12 of the company’s most popular resorts, including Stowe and Okemo (the only two eastern resorts)  to help guests better plan their ski and ride day.

The company is also looking at  “deploying a new operating plan which includes a significant improvement of how efficiently the company loads lifts and gondolas”  to reduce wait times, among other operational enhancements.

“Based on years of data collected from EpicMix, we know that even on peak visitation days, more than 90 percent of lift line wait times across our resorts are under five minutes,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Even so, we remain dedicated to continuing to improve the guest experience, reduce wait times and communicate transparently with guests, especially given the excitement and demand for travel this coming season. All of our announcements today represent a collaboration between our operations, analytics, digital and technology teams to prioritize our pass holders and ensure skiers and riders have an Experience of a Lifetime at our resorts this season.”

The company is also implementing a new online rental process across 18 of the  eastern locations to significantly cut down on how long it takes to rent equipment. Additionally, new parking best practices are being incorporated across resorts to increase parking efficiency. The company has also reimagined indoor and outdoor spaces at key food and beverage outlets to expand seating for guests and its pre-arrival processes for ski and ride school to expedite the guest check-in process.

As previously reported here, both Mount Snow and Stowe will be seeing new lifts come online next season and Okemo’s new lift should be running by January.

Lisa Lynn

Editor of VT SKI + RIDE and Vermont Sports.