FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BAQUEIRA BERET PREVIEW
The 2023 Freeride World Tour (FWT) is finally kicking off, as athletes and FWT staff prepare to return to the Spanish Pyrenees for one of the hottest events of the season.
Vail Resorts has announced the opening dates of its 34 North American resorts, offering guests one of the longest ski seasons in the country with a focus on safety and the guest experience. The action kicks off at Keystone this October, with the resort set to open as early as possible thanks to recent investments in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient snowmaking system. And with enterprise-wide investments in snowmaking technology in recent years, 15 of the company’s North American resorts – including Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Vail and Okemo – are set to open for skiing and riding in November.
“We are thrilled to welcome guests back this season for a fantastic winter of outdoor fun across our portfolio of resorts,” said James O’Donnell, president of the mountain division of Vail Resorts. “As always, our goal is to provide a safe and memorable experience of a lifetime for our guests and employees, and to do everything we can to provide incredible skiing and riding all season long.”
Rockies & West planned opening dates, which are subject to change:
• October: Keystone (CO) – as early as possible, as weather and conditions permit
• Nov. 12: Breckenridge (CO), Vail (CO)
• Nov. 19: Heavenly (CA), Northstar (CA), Park City (UT)
• Nov. 24: Beaver Creek (CO), Crested Butte (CO)
• Nov. 25: Whistler Blackcomb (Canada)
• Dec. 3: Kirkwood (CA), Stevens Pass (WA)
East planned opening dates, which are subject to change:
• Nov. 19: Afton Alps (MN), Hunter (NY), Mt. Snow (VT), Stowe (VT), Wildcat (NH)
• Nov. 20: Okemo (VT)
• Nov. 24: Mt. Sunapee (NH)
• Dec. 3: Attitash (NH), Crotched (NH), Jack Frost (PA), Mt. Brighton (MI), Wilmot (WI)
• Dec. 17: Big Boulder (PA), Liberty (PA), Roundtop (PA), Whitetail (PA)
• Dec. 18: Alpine Valley (OH), Boston Mills and Brandywine (OH), Hidden Valley (MO), Mad River (OH), Paoli Peaks (IN), Snow Creek (MO)
Vail Resorts prioritizes the health and safety of its guests, employees and communities and will continue to monitor public health guidance surrounding COVID-19. Details of any necessary safety protocols will be communicated ahead of the season as the situation continues to evolve. At this time, Vail Resorts does not plan to have a mountain access reservation system.
Last Chance for the Best Deal in Skiing and Riding; Epic Pass Prices Reduced 20 Percent, Increase Coming Labour Day
As the winter season draws near, so does the last chance for skiers and riders to get the lowest price on the entire suite of 2021/22 Epic Pass products, which saw a major price reduction of 20 percent this year. Labour Day is the last day to get an Epic Pass, Epic Day Pass or any pass option at the lowest price this year – unlocking access to resorts across the Northeast, Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest, including Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, and limited access to Resorts of Canadian Rockies destinations of Nakiska in Alberta as well as Fernie, Kimberley and Kicking Horse in British Columbia and Mont-Sainte-Anne and Stoneham in Quebec.
Skiers and riders can get the best ski and snowboard pass deal by purchasing a pass before prices go up after September 6. Some of the most popular pass offerings include:
• Epic Pass (USD$783 vs. USD$979 last season) provides unlimited, unrestricted access to 34 North American resorts – including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Park City and Whistler Blackcomb – as well as access to many partner resorts, including Telluride, Snowbasin and Sun Valley.
• Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited Pass (CAD$1,119 vs. CAD$1,399 last season) provides unlimited, unrestricted access for skiing and riding exclusively at Whistler Blackcomb. Pass holders also receive 50% off lift tickets at other select Vail Resorts properties, and 20% off at select retail stores and on-mountain dining.
• Northeast Value Pass (USD$479 vs. USD$599 last season) provides access to 18 resorts across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including Stowe, Okemo, Hunter Mountain, Mt. Snow and Liberty.
• EDGE Card is exclusively available for residents of Canada and Washington State, providing the ability to ski and ride on a flexible schedule with a 2-Day (starting at CAD$175 vs. CAD$219 last season), 5-Day (starting at CAD$367 vs. CAD$459 last season) or 10-Day card (starting at CAD$631 vs. CAD$789 last season) – just CAD$64 per day. Guests can use up to two days with the 5-Day EDGE Card, or up to three days with the 10-Day EDGE Card at Vail, Park City, Stevens Pass and more.
• Epic Day Pass is the best option for anyone who plans to hit the slopes only one to seven days next season. With Epic Day Pass, guests can visit premier resorts like Vail, Beaver Creek and Whistler Blackcomb for as low as USD$87 for one day, with discounts increasing as more days are purchased, and – a new option this year – resorts like Keystone, Heavenly and Stowe for as low as USD$67 for one day.
In addition to reducing the cost of accessing the mountains, Epic Pass products provide significant savings on the rest of the mountain experience. Epic Mountain Rewards offers pass holders the best ski trip deals, including 20 percent off on-mountain dining, lodging, group ski and ride school lessons, equipment rentals and more at Vail Resorts’ 34 North American owned and operated resorts. All passes also include the Epic Coverage refund policy at no additional cost, providing refunds for certain resort closures and personal events such as job loss, injury or illness.
Coast-to-Coast Experiences of a Lifetime
• Pacific Northwest: Whistler Blackcomb continues to offer more terrain choices than nearly any other mountain destination in the world. With a combination of thrilling descents, exquisite scenery and a mountain town like no other, there’s something for everyone at the largest resort in North America. Book an Extremely Canadian Steeps Clinic, finally make heli-ski dreams a reality or book a private lesson with an Olympian. For guests looking to explore the area and make full use of their Epic Pass perks, Stevens Pass is only five hours away. Known for its deep powder, rolling groomed runs to steep slopes, surrounded by trees and nestled into the mountains, Stevens Pass is a picture-perfect ski area for families and seasoned skiers alike.
• Rockies: The North American ski season is set to kick off at Keystone in October. Summit County’s largest resorts provide skiers and riders an endless winter of fun and one of the longest ski seasons in North America, with Keystone opening as early as possible in October and Breckenridge closing the season in May. Vail Mountain’s industry-leading snowmaking enhancement project is prepared to deliver the Biggest Opening in Colorado. Guests can look forward to exploring new terrain for the whole family with Beaver Creek’s 250-acre terrain expansion – McCoy Park – and can ski and ride to new heights with new chairlifts at Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Keystone. Or, head to Utah to explore the endless terrain and stunning mountain vistas at Park City Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States.
• Tahoe: The #TahoeTrifecta of Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood offers skiers and riders three world-class resorts with more than 10,000 acres of terrain to explore. Heavenly is the social Lake Tahoe mountain playground with unparalleled lake views and truly inspiring beauty that spans two states (California and Nevada). Northstar is California’s ultimate destination to relax and recharge in a pristine setting. Kirkwood provides a pure mountain escape with an authentic community and access to advanced and expert terrain.
• East: Skiers and riders in cities across the East have access to an unbeatable network of resorts throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. Those looking to sample the charm and tradition of New England skiing can use the Northeast Value Pass to visit seven iconic resort destinations in Vermont and New Hampshire – all within driving distance of one another – plus many more. Planning a trip out West? The Epic Local Pass gives access to ski or ride close to home and at world-class destinations out West all on one pass. Additionally, Okemo is undergoing a transformational upgrade, including two major lift upgrades that will make getting on and around the mountain faster and easier. Capital improvements to lifts, snowmaking, lodges and terrain are also underway at Attitash and Wildcat that will improve the experience for all guests.