Last year there was a collective gasp from the ski industry when Vail Resorts announced its $1 billion deal to absorb Whister Blackcomb, with Epic Pass holders eligible for benefits at the Canadian resort beginning this season (2017/18). Then there was the summertime deal the company inked with Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort (for $41 million) to absorb the ski area into its Epic Pass. It all seems too good to be true if you're en Epic Pass holder — especially seeing as the pass covers a half-dozen resorts in Europe and Australia's Perisher, along with marquee western ski areas like Park City and Heavenly — but the ski industry conglomerate isn't finished. As if Epic Pass holders don't have enough Colorado terrain to choose from (A-Basin, Beaver Creek, Breck, Keystone, and, of course, Vail), Vail Resorts just announced that it's adding Telluride (yes, Telluride!) to the Epic Pass, giving pass holders the opportunity to ski for a week at southwestern Colorado's iconic ski resort with no blackout dates, and 50 percent off lift tickets for each subsequent ski day starting next season (2018/19). Pass holders at Telluride will also receive 50 percent off lift tickets at Vail Resorts-owned ski areas, too. Epic 7-Day and Epic 4-pass holders also receive some sweet perks from the deal, with reciprocating days (7 or 4, depending on the pass) at Telluride.
Vail Resorts' announcement comes on the heels of the news that the valley's golden girl Mikaela Shiffrin will be the face (and an investor) for Alterra Mountain Co.'s Ikon Pass, which covers 23 ski resorts including local mountains like Copper and Winter Park, and bucket list destinations like Jackson Hole, Big Sky, and Snowbird. Vail Resorts still holds the upper hand with benefits at 46 ski areas included in its Epic Pass, but its boardroom is sure to feel the heat from aggressive moves from its competitor. With the acquisition of Telluride however, the company is once again making a case that it's an Epic world, and we're just skiing in it.