March 18, 2018 marked the official 10th Anniversary of the Epic Pass, one of the most immersive and industry-changing season pass programs of all time.
Here’s a look back at the last decade of Epic with some interesting trivia from the Vail Resorts team:
2008: The 2008-2009 Epic Pass is introduced by Rob Katz and instantly re-imagines the guest experience in the ski and snowboard industry. At $579, the Epic Pass granted unlimited, unrestricted access to six mountains: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Heavenly. This was not an April Fools prank, unlike YouTube’s very first April Fools hoax on April 1, 2008 when they rickrolled their viewers by redirecting every featured video on the home page to the original song video, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
2010: Vail Resorts launches the award-winning application, EpicMix, to track skiers’ and snowboarders’ vertical feet on the mountain. The Netflix iPhone App is also released this year, so now we can all track our horizontal binge-watching.
2011: Vail Resorts reimagines the vacation photo experience with EpicMix Photo, the second generation of EpicMix, which revolutionizes how guests take and share photos at all six of the Company’s mountain resorts beginning with the 2011-12 winter season. “Planking” became a thing in 2011, and if you’ve planked in an EpicMix Photo, we’d encourage you to share it with us. This is by no means an official contest but we may send you a *major* award.
2012: Vail Resorts acquires Kirkwood, thus assembling a This Is Us-eque Big 3 with the Best of Tahoe Resorts: Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood. Also in 2012, Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion. You may have heard of them. For those who love Facebook, did you know that EpicMix can post your ski deets and pics to Facebook with the tap of a button? Easy peasy way to show your friends that you’re most definitely living your best life.
2013: Vail Resorts acquires Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah* marking Vail Resorts’ first mountain resort in the state. Epic Pass holders receive unlimited, unrestricted access to eight world-class mountains across Colorado, Utah, and Lake Tahoe – a first in ski industry history – beginning with the 2013-14 winter season. You may be wondering, “Why isn’t Canyons on the 18-19 Epic Pass?” We’ll get to that. Tinder is named one of the most exciting start-ups in 2013.
2014: Park City is now Epic.* The iconic resort joins the Epic Pass, beginning with the 2014-15 winter season, expanding the collection of legendary mountains offered on the industry-leading pass to 22 resorts and more than 32,000 acres of the best skiing and riding in the world. That means there were more resorts on the Epic Pass than there were celebrities in Ellen DeGeneres’ 2014 Oscars selfie.
*Looking ahead to the summer of 2015, Park City and Canyons Resorts combined as part of a $50 million capital improvement project to create one, unified resort. Park City Mountain Resort made history when it opened for the 2015 season as the largest resort in the United States (still got it), with over 7,300 skiable acres.
2015: Vail Resorts announces EpicMix Time, which allows guests at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone to access real-time lift line wait times. EpicMix Time calculates and displays up-to-the-minute chairlift and gondola line wait times across 55 core lifts and gondolas, as well as 13,600 acres of skiable terrain in Colorado..meaning it’s now easier to figure out how long the wait is at your favorite lift than the answer to 2015’s greatest mystery: is #TheDress black and blue, or white and gold?
2016: Whistler Blackcomb is now Epic. Vail Resorts and Whistler Blackcomb Holdings, Inc. announce the strategic business combination joining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts. The largest resort in North America joins the Epic Pass beginning with the 2016-17 winter season.
2017: Vail Resorts announces Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint: a commitment to zero net emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfill by 2030 and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.
2018: Vail Resorts announces Emma, the Epic Mountain Assistant, and the world’s first digital mountain assistant to help guide guests visiting participating Vail Resorts locations. Using artificial intelligence and natural language processing, Emma has the ability to answer a wide range of guests’ questions in real time about their vacation through SMS text. Emma demonstrates Vail Resorts’ commitment to providing its guests with the best possible experience as on-demand information, such as weather and grooming conditions, can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Emma will debut for the 2018-19 winter season at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Whistler Blackcomb.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.