Vail Resorts sells 2.3 million pre-purchased passes for 2022-23 season

Last day to purchase passes was Tuesday, Dec. 6

John LaConte
Vail Daily
Keystone Resort is pictured blanketed with snow in November 2022.
Barry Carroll/Courtesy photo

Vail Resorts on Thursday said the company expects to have 2.3 million people using its Epic, Epic Local and Epic Day passes this year.

That’s a 6% increase over last year in the company’s pre-purchased pass sales and sales dollars for the upcoming ski season in North America, where the company operates 37 ski areas.

The announcement was part of the company’s earnings report for the fiscal 2023 first quarter, which ended Oct. 31.

“Pass product sales through December 5, 2022, for the upcoming 2022/2023 North American ski season increased approximately 6% in units and approximately 6% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through December 6, 2021,” Vail Resorts reported in a release issued Thursday. “Compared to sales for the 2019/2020 North American ski season through December 9, 2019, pass product sales increased approximately 86% in units and approximately 53% in sales dollars.”

An earnings call scheduled for Thursday was delayed due to technical difficulties, but a preview of Vail Resorts’ CEO Kirstin Lynch’s comments was provided in Thursday’s release.

“We are pleased with the results of our season pass sales, which continue to demonstrate the strength of the guest experience, our network of mountain resorts, and commitment to continually investing in the guest experience,” Lynch said. “Our North American season pass program has grown dramatically over the past three years as we have focused on our core strategy of shifting guests from lift tickets into advance commitment to drive stability and long-term value for the business.”

Lynch said Vail Resorts expects to have approximately 2.3 million guests in advance commitment pass products this year, generating over $800 million of revenue and representing over 70% of all skier visits committed. That represents an increase of more than 1.1 million guests in the program from the 2019/2020 season, Lynch said.

“For the full pass sales season, the business achieved strong unit growth from renewing pass holders, especially guests in destination and international markets, including strong renewals among those that were new to our pass program last year,” Lynch said. “Our strongest growth occurred in destination markets, which represents the largest addressable market for conversion of guests into advance commitment and is a particularly attractive guest segment given the higher ancillary attachment.”

Lynch said Vail Resorts’ Epic Day Pass continues to be the company’s highest-growth product segment.

Sales of Epic and Epic Local passes are consistent with the company’s expectations and with the trend seen in our September results, with unit sales declining by 12% relative to the prior year and increasing 39% over the last two years and 55% over the last three years,” Lynch said.

“This represents substantial growth in our highest priced products and among our most penetrated high frequency skier segment, and we expected this year’s performance as a result of the significant growth after last year’s price reset,” Lynch said. “We continue to expect that the majority of the future growth in advance commitment will come from the large and attractive addressable market of destination guests, primarily through transitioning lower frequency lift ticket guests into Epic Day Pass products, and transitioning guests at our local and regional resorts into advance commitment.”

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