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Snow spigot shuts off through third week of November as more ski areas set to open

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November 6, 2019, 7:58 am

For everyone grumbling about going straight from summer into winter last month, with record amounts of October snowfall, you got your wish in November. The snow spigot has shut off dramatically over the last week and there’s no new snow in the forecast through the third week of November.

VAil Resorts Facebook photo.

But the good news for snow riders who have already been out enjoying four-plus feet of new snow so far this season is that the hike-to turns have been bony but decent and the lift-served areas are in great shape and getting better with chilly nighttime temps ideal for snowmaking.

On Friday, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain join five other resorts already open on a daily basis (including Keystone on the Epic Pass) and two others running on weekends. Then Vail opens on Friday, Nov. 15, with rumors of an early opening dying down a bit with the warmer, dryer weather.

So now is the time for everyone in skiburbia to get out and finish up all those outdoor projects that got buried by the October snow. Fix that deck, rake those leaves, string those holiday lights and, yeah, tune those skis for when the snow starts falling again later in the month. Oh, and get that ski pass if you haven’t pulled the trigger, because those deadlines are coming up fast as well.

“Another day, and still no change in the forecast. We’ll likely see mostly dry weather through about November 20th,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Wednesday. “After that, it’s too far out to say if and when the weather pattern will change. For now, we’ll enjoy the sunshine and temperatures in the 30s during the day with continuing snowmaking at night.”

Now here’s a Vail Resorts’ press release on the Epic Pass, which will have two resorts – Breck and Keystone – open for the season on Friday:

Sunday, Nov. 24 is the last chance to purchase the new Epic Day Pass and the entire suite of Epic Season Pass options, which now provides skiers and riders with incredible flexibility and unmatched value, whether they want to ski or ride just one day – or every day – of the season.

Colorado resorts have received up to four feet of snow in the month of October, setting records at both Breckenridge and Keystone. Keystone opened for the 2019-20 winter season on Saturday, Oct. 12, the resort’s earliest opening in more than 20 years and is offering incredible early season conditions. Breckenridge is getting ready to open on Friday, Nov. 8, followed by Vail on Friday, Nov. 15, and Beaver Creek and Crested Butte on Wednesday, Nov 27. With Keystone opening early and Breckenridge planning to stay open until Memorial Day, season pass holders can enjoy one of the longest ski seasons in the country. They can also enjoy some of the best early season conditions, thanks to significant snowmaking investments at Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek.

As a part of Epic for Everyone, Vail Resorts announced earlier this year that it would extend the same value and flexibility to all skiers and riders that was traditionally available only to season pass holders. With the introduction of the Epic Day Pass, a customizable pass for skiers and riders who may not need the unlimited access offered by traditional season passes, skiing and riding is more accessible and affordable than ever, with discounts up to 50% as compared to lift ticket window prices, allowing guests to ski from as low as $95 per day at any of the Company’s North American resorts. Guests can lower their cost per day by adding more days and selecting the number of days they plan to ski or ride – from one day to seven days – and whether or not to add holiday access. Guests can use their Epic Day Pass throughout the season at any of the Company’s North American owned resorts, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Whistler Blackcomb, Keystone, Crested Butte, Park City, and more. Those purchasing four or more days will also get access to Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

Also new for the 2019-20 season, the Keystone Plus Pass and the new Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack provide incredible value to Colorado skiers and riders. For $409, the Keystone Plus Pass, provides unlimited access to Keystone, unlimited late spring skiing at Breckenridge starting April 1, 2020, and five days at Crested Butte with holiday restrictions. The Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack offers any four total days between Keystone and Crested Butte, with holiday restrictions, for only $249, allowing guests to ski for less than $63 per day.

For guests looking to ski more days in a season, the Epic Pass continues to offer the best access at the best price with unlimited, unrestricted access to all of the Company’s owned resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte for only $989, with additional partner access at Telluride, Hakuba Valley, Verbier, Courchevel, and the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. New partner access for the 2019-20 season includes Sun Valley, Snowbasin and Rusutsu Resort in Japan.

For skiers and riders willing to navigate around a few peak dates, the Epic Local Pass offers an incredible value with access to many of the same destinations for only $739, including unlimited, unrestricted access to Breckenridge and Keystone and Crested Butte, plus ten combined days at Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, and Beaver Creek, with holiday restrictions, and two days each at Snowbasin and Sun Valley.

New for the 2019-20 season, pass holders can take advantage of a new online redemption for Buddy Tickets and Ski With A Friend (SWAF) tickets, allowing you to spend more time on the mountain with friends and family. Pass holders will be able to purchase Buddy/SWAF Tickets online, send to family and friends, allowing all guests to proceed directly to the Express ticket window at the resort for pick up. Access up-to-date Buddy/SWAF Ticket information online at epicpass.com.

The following are ideal pass options for skiers and snowboarders for the 2019-20 season:

  • Epic Pass™: For $989 for adults and $519 for children (ages five to 12), the Epic Pass offers the following access and benefits:

o    Unlimited, unrestricted access to: Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stowe, Okemo, Mount Snow, Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat, Crotched, Hunter, Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Stevens Pass, Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River, Hidden Valley, Snow Creek, Paoli Peaks, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Wilmot in North America. The Epic Pass also includes access to Perisher, Falls Creek, and Hotham in Australia.

  • Limited access to partner resorts, including: seven days each at Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies; five consecutive days at Hakuba Valley’s ten ski resorts in Japan; and five consecutive days at Japan’s Rusutsu Resort. The Epic Pass also grants limited access to Les 3 Vallées in France; 4 Vallées in Switzerland; and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy.
    • Discounted Tickets: Six “Ski With A Friend” discounted tickets.
  • Epic Local Pass™: For $739 for adults, $589 for teens (ages 13-18) and $389 for children (ages five to 12), the Epic Local Pass offers the following access and benefits:
    • Unlimited, unrestricted access to: Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Okemo, Mount Snow, Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat, Crotched, Hunter, Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Stevens Pass, Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River, Hidden Valley, Snow Creek, Paoli Peaks, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Wilmot.
    • Unlimited access with holiday restrictions to: Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Stowe.
    • 10 total days combined (with holiday restrictions) at: Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb
    • Limited access to partner resorts, including: two days (with limited holiday restrictions) at Sun Valley; two days (with limited holiday restrictions) at Snowbasin; and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s ten ski resorts in Japan; and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Japan’s Rusutsu Resort.
    • Discounted Tickets: Six “Ski With A Friend” discounted tickets.

·         Summit Value Pass: For $599 for adults, $489 for teens and $349 for children (ages 5 to 12), the Summit Value Pass offers the following access and benefits:

  • Unlimited, unrestricted access to: Keystone
    • Unlimited access with holiday restrictions to: Breckenridge
    • Discounted Tickets: Six “Ski With A Friend” discounted tickets.

·         Keystone Plus Pass: For $409 for adults and $299 for children (ages 5 to 12), the Keystone Plus Pass offers the following access and benefits:

o    Unlimited access with holiday restrictions to: Keystone

o    Unlimited late spring skiing (starting onApril 1, 2020) to:Breckenridge

o    Five total days (with holiday restrictions) at: Crested Butte

  • Discounted Tickets: Six “Ski With A Friend” discounted tickets.

·         Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack: For $249, the Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack offers the following access and benefits:

o    Four total days (with holiday restrictions) between Keystone and Crested Butte

·         Epic Day PassAnnounced earlier this year, the Epic Day Pass provides unprecedented flexibility and season pass discounts to guests skiing as little as one day. With the customizable pass, guests can unlock discounts of up to 50 percent off lift ticket window prices by selecting the number of days they plan to ski or ride – from one day to seven days – and whether or not to add holiday access. The Epic Day Pass provides the following access and benefits:

  • Specified number of days to: Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stowe, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Stevens PassMount Snow, Attitash, Wildcat, Crotched, Hunter Mountain, Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River, Hidden Valley, Snow Creek, Paoli Peaks.
    • Partner access: For guests purchasing four or more days of access, they may also use days purchased to access Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin and Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.  
    • Bonus Days: the Epic Day Pass includes free bonus days to match total days purchased that can be used at Wilmot, Mt. Brighton or Afton Alps.

·         Military Epic Pass™: Vail Resorts is proud to celebrate those who serve others. For $199 for Active and Retired Military and their dependents and $579 for Veteran Military and their dependents, the Military Epic Pass offers the following access:

  • Unlimited, unrestricted access to: Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stowe, Okemo, Mount Snow, Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat, Crotched, Hunter, Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Stevens Pass, Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River, Hidden Valley, Snow Creek, Paoli Peaks, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Wilmot in North America. The Military Epic Pass also includes access to Perisher, Falls Creek, and Hotham in Australia.

Guests can purchase season passes and start planning their next winter vacation today at www.epicpass.com.

Season Pass Benefits

All season pass holders are a part of the Epic Pass Club, which includes access to the inside track on exclusive discounts, events, and news. Perks only available to pass holders include food discounts, lodging deals, giveaways, and more. Dive into specific benefits for your region at www.epicpass.com..

Season Pass Insurance

Vail Resorts encourages guests to purchase pass insurance, which ranges from $12 to $32 depending on the type of pass purchased. All of the Company’s season pass products are non-refundable and non-transferable; however, pass insurance covers pass holders in the event of unexpected circumstances including sickness, injury and job loss. Find out more at www.epicpass.com.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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