Vail Resorts promises to limit ticket sales on popular holidays, provide lift line wait time estimates
Vail Resorts announced Tuesday, Nov. 16, that it is making some changes this year: limiting lift ticket sales on certain holidays, improving efficiency in lift lines and offering a forecast of lift line wait times.
Vail Resorts, which owns Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort in Summit County, said in a news release that lift ticket sales during three popular holiday periods will be limited, including Dec. 25 to Jan. 2, Jan. 14-17 and Feb. 18-27.
“Given the excitement and demand for travel this winter, we made the decision to limit lift ticket sales during three popular holiday periods,” spokesperson Sara Lococo wrote in an email. “This is an effort to prioritize the mountain experience for our passholders during these times.”
The release encouraged people to purchase lift tickets in advance if they wish to visit during these holiday periods. Passholder access, including employee pass access, will not be affected during the periods.
The release added that lift ticket availability will be visible on resort websites and that if tickets are sold out online, they cannot be purchased at a ticket window unless tickets are bought with a pass benefit, such as a Buddy Ticket, or as part of a lesson.
Vail Resorts also plans to reduce lift line wait times by improving the efficiency of lift lines. The release stated that this will be done through updated lift maze layouts, new signage and a reduction of slows and stops on lifts. New “lift maze coordinators” will be staffed at busy lifts.
“Based on years of data collected from EpicMix, we know that even on peak visitation days, more than 90% of lift line wait times across our resorts are under five minutes,” Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said in the news release.
A new feature the company is adding to 12 of its resorts, including Breckenridge and Keystone, is lift line wait time forecasts. Starting in December, the EpicMix app will give wait time forecasts in 15-minute increments. The wait times are calculated by combining historical and actual wait time data for an individual lift with other factors, such as resort guest counts, wait times at other lifts, current snow totals and day of the week.
“This new technology leverages machine learning, so its forecast will continue to improve in accuracy throughout the season,” the release noted.
Lococo wrote in an email that the app is free and will be the best place to access the forecast lift line wait times but that the resort’s digital sign boards will also display the lift wait time information.
Those still hoping to buy an Epic Pass have a few days before prices increase Sunday, Nov. 21. Pass products can be purchased at EpicPass.com.
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