Vail Partners with Niseko for 2014-15 Epic Pass
SAM Magazine—Broomfield, Colo., Feb. 28, 2014—With many resorts already selling season passes for the 2014-15 season, Vail Resorts (VR) is adding one of the snowiest powder skiing resorts in the world—Niseko, Japan—to its Epic Pass program. Epic Passholders will receive five complimentary consecutive days at Niseko, Japan, for the 2014-2015 winter season. The five free consecutive days of skiing and riding will be reciprocated for Niseko All-Mountain Season Pass holders.
Epic Season Pass holders also have unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe; as well as Mt. Brighton, Mich., and Afton Alps, Minn. Since day tickets at many VR areas top $100, an Epic Pass pays for itself in less than a week.
"Epic Pass holders now have access to the epic skiing and riding for which Japan is world-renowned,” said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “It’s no wonder that we have Epic Pass holders in all 50 U.S. states and in 80 countries around the world.” It's estimated that VR sold approximately 350,000 Epic Passes for the 2013-14 season.
"We couldn’t be more thrilled about our partnership with Vail Resorts," said Colin Hackworth, representing Niseko United. “We welcome the opportunity for more Epic Pass holders to experience this very special part of the world and look forward to seeing them on our trails.” The resort, located 60 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, boasts an average 590 inches of snow per year.
It’s likely that the 2014-15 Epic Pass will include other partner resorts. While VR has not yet renewed its reciprocal agreements with this season’s international partners—Verbier, Switzerland, Arlberg, Austria, and Les Trois Vallees, France—the company hopes to continue those relationships as well. However, VR said that Eldora, Colo., another partner area this season, will not be part of the Epic Pass roster for 2014-15.
The new reciprocal skiing privileges with Niseko will apply only to the full Epic Pass, not to any of the Epic Local and Epic Seven Day Passes. All varieties of the VR Epic pass for 2014-15 go on sale Mar. 10.