Vail’s acquisition of Mt. Brighton MI and Afton Alps MN earlier this season may have seemed strange at first, but the strategy is pretty simple. It’s a way for Vail Resorts to make their brand a household name in two large metropolitan areas with sizeable ski/snowboard communities, and ultimately to capture some of the tourism dollars that inevitably migrate West each winter from these locales.
Well now the Vail Epic passes are on sale and we can see what the passholder perks are going to be.
Here’s the details of the Mt. Brighton Epic Local Pass, based on early-bird pricing before April 14, 2013.
- Unlimited skiing and riding at Breckenridge, Keystone, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Arapahoe Basin.
- Semi-restricted access to Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood subject to blackout dates, below.
- Ten days at Vail and Beaver Creek subject to blackout dates, below.
- Early-bird also purchase includes 6 Buddy Tickets which entitle a friend to discounted lift tickets ($84 at CO resorts, $74 at Tahoe resorts and $59 at Kirkwood)
- The Epic Local pass also includes unlimited Vail & Beaver Creek access in April 2014 and summer 2013 hiking lift access at CO and Tahoe-area resorts.
Blackout Dates: Vail, Beaver Creek, Heavenly, Northstart & Kirkwood are restricted 11-29 thru 11-30-2013, 12-26 thru 12-31-2013, 1-18-2014 and 2-15 thru 2-16-2014.
Adult pricing is $529 for the Epic Local pass, or $689 for the full, unrestricted Epic Pass which has no blackout dates and also includes 5 days at Verbier, Switzerland, and unlimited access to Eldora Mountain, CO.
With these prices, even if Mt. Brighton is not your usual “resort”, if you had any plans to go to any of the Vail Resorts next winter, it almost seems foolish not to buy the Epic Local Pass.
As a business move, it’s not hard to see how subsidizing Mt. Brighton with this pass is likely to encourage tourists from Detroit and Minneapolis to visit Vail properties for a week or two, dropping thousands on lodging, dining and amenities. Well-played, Vail. Well-played.