COVID-19  April 27, 2020

Vail to partially reimburse Epic Pass holders as lawsuits fly

BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) plans to issue partial refunds to holders of its season passes after the spread of the coronavirus around Colorado and its resorts across the U.S. forced an early end to the ski season.

In a statement Monday morning, CEO Rob Katz said Epic Pass holders for the current 2019/2020 season will get between 20% to 80% discount toward the purchase of a 2020/2021 pass depending on how often they used their pass in the past few months.

The company is also launching a free insurance program that allows pass holders to get refunds in the event of a job loss or other personal circumstance.

“As we look further into the future, we are well positioned to navigate these challenging times and emerge with significant strength due to our outstanding owned and operated network of destination, regional and local resorts, the stability, loyalty and value offered through our advanced commitment pass products,” Katz said in a prepared statement.

The move is expected to remove an estimated $118 million in Epic Pass revenues from its fiscal year 2020, which runs from July 2019 to July 2020, and recognize that in company earnings between October 2020 and March 2021.

Vail and its rival Alterra Mountain Co. have been sued multiple times in the past few weeks by season pass holders demanding refunds after closing their resorts in March.

Colorado’s first positive COVID-19 case was a man who was skiing on Vail Mountain and Keystone Resort in late February. In its most recent earnings call, Vail said stay-at-home restrictions and fears of catching or spreading coronavirus had a “marked negative change” on visitor counts for it and the rest of the travel industry.


© 2020 BizWest Media LLC


Ken Amundson

Managing Editor

Ken Amundson
Ken Amundson is managing editor of BizWest. He has lived in Loveland and reported on issues in the region since 1987. Prior to Colorado, he reported and edited for news organizations in Minnesota and Iowa. He's a parent of two and grandparent of four, all of whom make their homes on the Front Range. A news junkie at heart, he also enjoys competitive sports, especially the Rapids.

Latest by Ken Amundson:

Sign up for BizWest Daily Alerts

Related Content