Vail Resorts has announced target winter opening day plans for the 2023/24 ski and ride season for its resorts across the Rocky Mountains and the West.
Here are four things to know to plan for the season:
1. From October to May, Epic Pass offers one of the longest seasons in North America.
The season will kick off at Keystone Resort, with an early-as-possible opening scheduled for October, contingent on Mother Nature and some added assistance from the resort’s state-of-the-art, energy-efficient snowmaking system. The rest of Vail Resorts’ resorts located in the Rocky Mountains and West plan to open by December 1*, giving Pass Holders and guests an opportunity to maximize their time on the mountain all winter long.
Target Opening Dates
- Mid-October (pending early season conditions): Keystone (CO)
- November 10: Breckenridge (CO), Vail Mountain (CO)
- November 17: Heavenly (CA), Northstar (CA), Park City Mountain (UT)
- November 22: Beaver Creek (CO), Crested Butte (CO)
- November 23: Whistler Blackcomb (British Columbia)
- December 1: Kirkwood (CA), Stevens Pass (WA)
*All opening dates are subject to change, based on weather and conditions
The season will continue through the spring, with Whistler Blackcomb and Breckenridge planning to stay open into May. Vail Resorts will announce opening day targets for its additional resorts closer to the start of the season. Those resorts expect to open consistent with target dates shared in years past.
Lift tickets will be limited again this year to preserve the guest experience at each resort. Guests are encouraged to purchase their lift access in advance – whether that is a lift ticket, season pass or Epic Day Pass. If tickets are sold out online, guests will not be able to purchase them at ticket windows. Lift ticket availability will be visible on resort websites in the coming weeks.
2. The Epic Pass Labor Day Deadline is Just Around the Corner!
Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, is the deadline to lock in an Epic Pass before prices increase. Guests planning to visit this winter – whether one day or every day – are encouraged to purchase their lift access online in advance to save big on skiing and riding. For instance, Epic Day Passes offer up to 65% off when compared to a lift ticket. Compare all Epic Pass offerings, including regional passes, on the Epic Pass website.
Skiers and riders who purchase their Epic Pass now will also unlock early access to Vail Resorts’ Winter Getaway Sale. The Winter Getaway Sale will offer Epic Pass Holders an additional 20% off already discounted lodging rates for stays during the winter season. Running Aug. 24-Sept. 5 for Pass Holders and Aug. 29-Sept. 5 for public access, Epic Pass Holders will have access five days earlier to lock in their preferred winter lodging at a great rate across Vail Resorts’ portfolio of hotels, condos and premier vacation residences.
3. 2023/24 Epic Lift Upgrades Will Enhance the Experience from Coast-to-Coast.
Over the past two seasons, 25 new or upgraded gondolas and chairlifts have been introduced across Vail Resorts, and even more is in store for the 2023/24 season. This season, five resorts will see new chairlifts (four of them high-speed), plus exciting new lift-served terrain at Keystone – all designed to help skiers and riders make the most out of every minute on the mountain. The projects will increase uphill capacity, giving guests more time to learn new skills, explore new terrain, and discover new peaks.
- This season at Keystone Resort, for the very first time, guests will have lift access to Keystone’s high alpine, thanks to the installation of a brand-new, high-speed, 6-passenger chairlift in Bergman Bowl. The Bergman Express will provide lift access to more than 550 acres of intermediate-and-above-level high alpine terrain, including 16 new trails in Bergman and Erickson Bowls. In addition to offering an inviting high alpine adventure, Bergman Express will elevate the guest experience by improving skier and rider circulation across Keystone’s three mountain peaks.
- Breckenridge continues the transformation of the Peak 8 Base Area with the upgrade of 5-Chair to a new, high-speed quad – the FIVE SuperChair. With this lift upgrade, all four chairlifts that service Peak 8 will now be high-speed to assist with improved flow and circulation out of the resort’s most popular base area. The new investments will provide a clear path to progression on Peak 8, with Rip’s Ride servicing learning and beginner terrain, FIVE SuperChair servicing beginner and intermediate terrain, and the Colorado and Rocky Mountain SuperChairs servicing intermediate and advanced terrain.
- Whistler Blackcomb’s Fitzsimmons Express will be replaced with a high-speed, 8-person chairlift – the first of its kind across Vail Resorts’ North American resorts. The upgrade will help reduce lift line wait times out of the base at Skier’s Plaza in Whistler Village, increasing uphill capacity and improving circulation in the mid-mountain area.
- At Stevens Pass, the iconic Kehr’s Chair will be replaced with a new fixed grip quad ahead of the 2023/24 season. The new chair brings modern upgrades and comfort while also increasing uphill capacity. Kehr’s Chair has historically provided access to advanced terrain off Big Chief Mountain, where guests can choose to take intermediate or advanced trails back to the base area or can continue to Double Diamond to access a diverse network of trails on the backside.
- At Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, the much-anticipated Mountaineer, a high-speed, 4-passenger chairlift replacing the Summit Triple, will reduce ride time by more than half, increase uphill capacity and improve the flow of the Attitash base area.
4. Skip the Ticket Line: Your Phone is Your Ticket to the Slopes.
With Mobile Pass & Mobile Lift Ticket on the new My Epic app coming to guests this fall, your phone is your ticket to the slopes. Mobile Pass & Mobile Lift Ticket will be available for the 2023/24 winter season at all Vail Resorts’ U.S. resorts, with availability at Whistler Blackcomb to follow in future seasons. The new technology will allow guests to buy their pass or lift ticket online, activate and store it on their phone in the new My Epic app, put their phone in their pocket, and get scanned, hands free, via Bluetooth® technology designed for low energy usage.
This will reduce the need to visit the ticket window or wait to receive a pass or lift ticket in the mail. In support of the company’s Commitment to Zero sustainability commitment, this change over time will also reduce the waste created by plastic cards and RFID chips.
Plastic cards will continue to be available to any guests who cannot or do not want to use their phone as their pass or lift ticket. Plastic cards will continue to be used at Whistler Blackcomb, as Mobile Pass will not be available at the resort during the 2023/24 season. The company will also activate the plastic cards of renewing Pass Holders and mail plastic cards to all new guests for the 2023/24 season, as part of the transition to Mobile Pass & Mobile Lift Ticket. More information about Mobile Pass & Mobile Lift Ticket and the My Epic app can be found on the Epic Pass website.