UPDATED Letter to the editor: Vail Resorts is only concerned about protecting profits
Editor’s note: The author of this letter to the editor has provided the following update to correct misinformation in the original letter.
I owe Vail Resorts an apology. Upon an in depth rereading of the Terms and Conditions Section C.4b reads as follows:
“General Season Pass & Core Season. If you purchased a General Season Pass and elected Core Season, your refund will be a percentage of your Purchase Price. The percentage refund you receive will be determined by dividing the number of days that any Resort Closure Event(s) transpired by 130 (i.e., the number of days in the Core Season).
Example: You purchase an EPIC Local Pass and a Resort Closure Event lasts for 10 days during the Core Season. Assuming you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you would receive a refund of 7.7% (i.e., 10 days lost divided by 130 available days in the Core Season).”
However, I do ask that Vail Resorts further educates their customer service team/sales associates on the intricacies of the Epic Coverage policy. Before writing the below letter to the editor, I called the contact number listed on the Epic Pass website to confirm my understanding with an actual person. I described the same scenario detailed in my letter above and the associate confirmed that yes, under those circumstances I would not be entitled to any refund.
I am sorry for the misrepresentation of Vail Resorts and Epic Coverage that I described below.
Shame on me for believing that Vail Resorts was doing the ethical thing when it comes to season pass protection for next year. All the Epic Pass advertisements proudly claim that “Epic Coverage also provides a refund for certain resort closures, including for events like COVID-19, giving you a refund for any portion of the season that is lost.”
However, reading the fine print reveals the greedy truth. The “core season” is defined as Thanksgiving through Easter, which is 160 days. If you ski or ride seven or more days during this time and then the resorts close for pandemic reasons, you will receive zero refund and zero credit.
Many public health experts believe another wave of COVID-19 is likely this coming fall/winter. Destination ski resort communities like Summit and Eagle counties start to see a large influx of visitors beginning around Thanksgiving. It is fairly easy to envision a scenario where our next big outbreak starts a few weeks after the busy Thanksgiving period. For many locals, skiing seven days would take only a week or two. Then the governor shuts down ski areas again in mid-December, only 10% into the “core season.” Sorry, no refund for you! Hope you enjoyed your $140 days skiing a handful of early season groomers!
It would be much more compassionate and ethical for Vail Resorts to provide pandemic refunds based on percentage of the season lost. We buy season passes for the season. As low-income paycheck to paycheck locals, a season pass purchase is only economical once we hit 20-30 or more days on the hill. Given the class-action lawsuit against Vail Resorts for lost 2019-20 season pass value, “Epic Coverage” seems less like protection for their customers’ pass purchases and more like legally binding protection against future lawsuits and lost profits.
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