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Vail Resorts on Monday issued the following press release on opening dates this coming ski season for its five Colorado ski areas:
Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte announced today their opening dates for the winter 2022-23 season, starting with Keystone’s kick-off in October and running all the way until spring with Breckenridge open well into May. Keystone will open as soon as weather and conditions permit in October, thanks to its state-of-the-art, energy-efficient snowmaking system. Breckenridge and Vail will follow on Nov. 11, and Beaver Creek and Crested Butte will open on Nov. 23. All dates are weather and conditions dependent.
This season, guests are encouraged to purchase their lift tickets or Epic Pass product in advance, as Vail Resorts will limit the number of lift tickets each day in order to prioritize the guest experience at each mountain. Vail Resorts is also investing $300 million in the guest experience this season, with new lifts at Vail and Breckenridge, a restaurant expansion at Keystone, and exciting events at all five resorts. Guests can expect more normal indoor operations this season as dining facilities will no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or dining reservations. More details below.
“Our team is excited for the snow to start falling and to welcome guests back to ski and ride at our resorts this season,” said Bill Rock, senior vice president of the mountain division of Vail Resorts. “I’m so grateful to all of our team members who have been working hard preparing for this season since the lifts stopped last spring. We are deeply committed to providing both our employees and guests with the Experience of a Lifetime at our resorts, and we’re excited to share the passion we all have for these mountains we love so much.”
Keystone Resort – Opening October TBD, as early as possible
One of the closest ski resorts to Denver, Keystone is a winter wonderland with more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain across three peaks, night skiing and a ton of fun activities in addition to skiing and riding, including snow tubing, ice skating, sleigh rides and more. With the resort’s Kids Ski Free program, kids 12 and younger can ski and ride for free every day, all season long with just two or more nights of lodging booked through the resort. Convenient touches like free parking and complimentary red wagons for carrying gear and excited kiddos, make getting to the slopes that much easier. Plus, skiers and riders can start their winter early at Keystone. With a state-of-the-art, automated and energy-efficient snowmaking system, Keystone plans to kick off the winter season as early as possible in October. Plus, Epic Pass holders can take advantage of exclusive early access to the slopes an hour before the general public on Nov. 11, Nov. 18 and Dec. 2 for Pass Holder First Tracks.
Vail Mountain – Opening Nov. 11
Vail Mountain is like nothing on earth, built on the pioneering spirit embodied by its founders. There’s a feeling skiers and snowboarders only get by visiting the fabled resort and its Seven Legendary Back Bowls, and the resort will be celebrating 60 years of that classic energy and excitement – all season long. Vail Mountain is taking a modern twist on those Vintage Vail emotions while also looking towards what the next 60 years will look like for the resort and the industry.
This season, Vail will introduce the Sun Down Lift, a new high-speed 4-person chair that will connect the bottom of Sun Down Bowl to Wildwood and allow for more seamless guest access between Lionshead Village and the Seven Legendary Back Bowls. The lift in Game Creek Bowl will also be upgraded to a new high-speed 6-person lift, which will increase capacity by nearly 50%.
Breckenridge – Opening Nov. 11
Breck is big. Like Five (mountain) Peaks and nearly 3,000 acres big. Many resorts feature just one mountain, but Breck is part of an entire mountain range, comprised of Peaks 6 through 10 spanning north to south within Colorado’s distinct Ten Mile Range. Between the resort’s vast terrain and continued investments into the mountain, there is always something new to experience at Breck. On the heels of installing the brand-new Freedom SuperChair on Peak 7 last year, this winter the focus turns to Peak 8 and the Rip’s Ride chairlift. Rip’s Ride is being upgraded to a new, high-speed quad to enhance the experience on one of the resort’s primary learning areas and allow for more time spent on the snow. In addition, the resort will continue to transform the Peak 8 base area experience next summer and the following winter, with plans to conduct grading work and remove old building structures on the snow, and upgrade 5-Chair to a high-speed quad, all of which will continue to enhance the experience at Breck’s most popular base area.
Beaver Creek Resort – Opening Nov. 23
As the world’s best luxury family resort, Beaver Creek is the place to relax, indulge, and explore this season. While maintaining the traditions its known and loved for, Beaver Creek will introduce new experiences and adventures for everyone for 2022/23. McCoy Park is in its sophomore season, offering beginner and intermediate natural, groomed and gladed runs for all adventurers. The beloved Cookie Time is a decades-old tradition, with the aroma of delicious chocolate chip cookies sweeping through the village. But there’s more than just sweet treats at the resort this season: Allie’s, Zach’s, and Beano’s fine dining cabins on the mountain offer bucket-list culinary experiences, with snowcat-drawn sleigh rides to elevated epicurean escapes. In the intimate alpine village, refined luxury abounds, elevated by recent and ongoing investments in infrastructure, as well as art and activation that create a buzz about the base area. And as always, Beaver Creek offers incredible terrain for all types of adventurers, from the Signature Parks collection to the renowned Birds of Prey World Cup race course.
Crested Butte – Opening Nov. 23
Unleash your wild side and explore your limits at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. With 561 acres of double-black-diamond terrain, Crested Butte is known as the North American birthplace of inbounds extreme skiing and riding. Advanced and expert terrain account for nearly two-thirds of the mountain’s overall acreage, pushing even the best of the best to elevate their skills and leave with more confidence than when they arrived. With the Peachtree lift now in its second season servicing beginner terrain, skiers and riders of all levels can feel inspired to choose their challenge and find their stepping stone to the steeps.
Lift Ticket Limitations
Guests planning to visit this winter – whether one day or every day – are encouraged to purchase their lift access in advance – whether it is a lift ticket, Epic Day Pass or season pass. Lift tickets will be limited every day, across every resort, during the 2022/23 season in order to preserve the guest experience at each resort. Availability of lift tickets will be visible on resort websites in the coming weeks. If tickets are sold out online, guests will not be able to purchase them at ticket windows.
Passes, including Epic Day Passes, and Pass Holder benefit tickets will not be limited. There is also no impact to guests who enroll in ski and ride school lessons that include lift access, or to employee and dependent pass access.
Vail Resorts will not require face coverings, vaccines or dining reservations this coming season across its resorts. With safety as its top priority, the company will continue to monitor the changing dynamics of the pandemic, but at this time does not plan to have any of these measures in place. Employees will continue to complete daily health screenings and resorts will still apply enhanced cleaning practices.
A New Direction
Vail Resorts is investing heavily in its strongest asset this season – its team members. The company is increasing employee pay as part of an incremental annual $175 million investment in employees. It includes a new $20 per hour minimum wage at all 37 North American resorts this winter, as well as a $21 per hour minimum wage for patrol, maintenance technicians, and certified commercial vehicle drivers. Hourly employee wages will also increase with compression adjustments based on leadership and career stage differentials. This represents an average wage increase of nearly 30% across hourly employees in North America, as well as leadership development opportunities, investing in affordable employee housing and other employee benefits and perks.
Epic Lift Upgrade
Vail Resorts is investing $300 million in the guest experience for the upcoming 2022/23 season. That includes Epic Lift Upgrade, the company’s largest ever single-year investment into the ski and ride experience. With this latest capital plan, Vail Resorts’ total investment into the guest experience over 15 years is expected to reach approximately $2.2 billion. This investment, along with the access and value of the Epic Pass, continues to make getting on and around the mountain easier and better than ever.
Skiers and riders have until Labor Day to lock in the best price on their Epic Pass. Pass products, including regional passes and day passes, are available now on the Epic Pass website, but prices go up September 6. New this season, guests can purchase any Epic Pass product using Epic FlexPay, which enables payment via easy monthly installments with zero down payment and zero interest.
For a limited time, travelers who book their winter trips in advance will receive discounted rates on lodging. From Aug. 30-Sept. 6, Vail Resorts’ Winter Getaway Sale will feature the best winter lodging rates across its portfolio of premier mountain destinations in North America. Epic Pass Holders can take advantage of the deal sooner with early access to the sale starting Aug. 25. Plus, Epic Pass Holders receive an additional 20% off lodging rates with Epic Mountain Rewards.