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Vail Resorts on Wednesday announced details of the 2015-2016 Eagle County Merchant Pass program, which is consistent with the product offering from years past and offers access to skiing and snowboarding on more than 11,000 acres at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, with some restrictions.
The 2015-2016 Eagle County Merchant Pass is now available at both Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort will be offered for $769. The price of the pass is subject to change with sufficient notice and available for purchase all season.
The Merchant Pass program has been in existence for many years, providing a compelling hiring tool for local businesses due to the wide-ranging benefits for employees and, most importantly, unlike other pass products, the pass ownership resides with the business versus an individual and features a one-time transfer for $100 to accommodate employee changes. Unlike the Epic Pass, which is owned by the pass holder and cannot be revoked or transferred by an employer regardless of who paid for it, the Merchant Pass is owned by the “merchant” or business and in the event that an employee leaves, the pass must be deactivated by the business and may be transferred to another employee. The Merchant Pass will be restricted at Vail and Beaver Creek Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 26-31, 2015, and Jan. 16, 2016 and Feb.13-14, 2016. The Merchant Pass is unrestricted at Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin.
The Merchant Pass provides a number of ancillary benefits to employees. Benefit offerings include access to Vail Resorts’ popular ski and snowboard application, EpicMix, six ski-with-a-friend tickets and six buddy lift tickets, summer lift access at Vail and Beaver Creek (excluding bike haul), Adventure Ridge discounts during the winter season, one free ski or snowboard group lesson at Vail or Beaver Creek, Nordic lesson discounts and more. Some restrictions apply for these benefits.
Qualifying for the Merchant Pass
In order to be eligible for the Merchant Pass program, businesses must first belong to the Vail Chamber & Business Association (VCBA), or Vail Valley Partnership (VVP). Second, businesses must participate in one of a variety of qualifying programs:
The Vail Valley Partnership offers its members access to their Platinum Service Program at a discounted rate. This is a secret shopper program with packages of 6 or 12 shops for local businesses. Businesses can also become eligible if representatives attend the VVP annual meeting on December 8, 2015 at the Minturn Town Center or if businesses participate in the EGE Air Alliance at a $500 or greater level.
The Vail Chamber & Business Association offers its members a mystery shopper program as a means of becoming eligible for the Merchant Pass program. In addition, attendance at the VCBA annual meeting on November 17, 2015 at the Sebastian Hotel, geared toward business owners/management, or their Vail Welcome Center/Community Host meeting on December 3, 2015, geared toward any level employee, will qualify participants for the Merchant Pass program. Lastly, the VCBA offers weekly walking tours identifying key locations in Vail and Lionshead villages until December 17, 2015 as a way to gain access to the program and are limited to 15 participants per tour on a first come, first served basis.
Additional Merchant Pass Benefits
To obtain a Merchant Pass, businesses must contact their qualified association to determine eligibility. All Merchant Pass information is distributed through the associations. Vail Merchant Pass sales will begin Nov. 6 at the Lionshead season pass office in Vail and Nov. 7 at the Beaver Creek pass office. Vail Mountain is scheduled to open Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 and Beaver Creek Resort is scheduled to open Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015.
For additional information about the 2015-2016 Vail Resorts Merchant Pass, call (970) SKI-3080 (754-3080), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.vail.com/vbcmerchantpass. For information about qualifying programs, contact the associations. For the Vail Valley Partnership call (970) 477-4027 or e-mail email@example.com, and for the Vail Chamber & Business Association call (970) 477-0075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.