The 2021-22 Epic Australia Pass is out now, only $AUD859 for as much skiing or riding as you want downunder next winter at Perisher, Falls and Hotham, plus up top at a huge selection of resorts great and small.
Australia’s version of the World’s favourite ski pass is more than ever the World’s best ski pass value. With the Aussie dollar in the low 70 cents range that’s only around $USD 625 according to XE.com as we write this, so we get it cheaper than anyone!
The pass for planet snow ..
Young uns and silver foxes get it for less: $489 for students (up to year 12) and $669 for seniors (65+ years).
In all cases it’s only $49 deposit upfront.
This 2020 COVID-19 season was tough, no question.
Especially for Victoria. Despite the infection threat, the difficulties and all the problems, Vail Resorts Australian CEO Peter Brulisauer came out early with the news they would be honouring and backing the Epic Australia Pass 2020. As the COVID-19 operational goalposts set by the NSW and Victorian governments changed they kept pushing out the dates for client’s choice of final payment or refund according to what pass buyers wanted to do based on their circumstances.
“We are excited to launch the 2021 Epic Australia Pass and look forward to welcoming our guests back to our resorts for the 2021 season” says Brulisauer. “This past season was challenging, especially with the early end to the season at our Victorian resorts, but we’re looking forward to the bluebird days on our horizon, here in Australia and across North America and Japan.”
As it panned out, NSW functioned relatively normally, and Perisher was likewise able to function as normally as possible. After initial pre-reservation requirements and number limits as terrain opened up early in the season, Perisher soon moved to unlimited access for 2020 Epic Pass holders. That remains in place now. As of today (10/9/20) there are still 31 lifts running across all 4 resort areas, and it got up to 46 of 47, with just Olympic the hold out – hey, as we said, some of us prefer it that way.
In Victoria, after briefly getting COVID-19 under control and allowing resorts to open, the resurgence of the virus left no option but to close Falls and Hotham lifts there, as Brulisauer explained at the time.
Through it all, refunds and credit policies were made available and clear to guests.
The 2021-22 Epic Australia Pass comes with free Epic Coverage.
This replaces the need to purchase Pass Refund Protection. Epic Coverage provides refunds associated with certain resort closures, including those due to COVID-19, and expands coverage to provide refunds to guests for personal events, including illness, job loss and injury. That is pretty generous and far-reaching.
Barring a very early approval and high success rate for a vaccine, the prospects of using 2020-21 passes up north this winter look slim. Even with a vaccine, airlines and international travel will not be back to anything like normal capacity for quite a while. At the moment it’s all academic, Australians are not even allowed to leave the country without government approval.
But for 2021 downunder we can expect things to be under control.
As mentioned, NSW has operated a successful snow season without any problems or outbreaks. Surely Victoria will get things under control before next winter. And presumably Australia will start to function as a nation again, so we can all move about freely within our national borders – Queenslanders and Sandgropers will be able to ski again!
Nothing is certain, but international travel should also be back on the agenda come northern winter 2021-22.
If not, worst case scenario provisions are built into your Epic Australia Pass failsafe options. Vail Resorts have worked hard to ensure their headline product is as flexible as posssible to adapt to changing circumstances. Enforced resort closures there last season meant a huge headache and lot of work, which they put in to ensure a summer season and be ready for the upcoming winter there – all the time with a far, far worse COVID-19 situation across America than Australia has experienced.
With Thredbo deciding to cancel their season passes for 2020 and replace them with a flat daily rate the relative cost differential between skiing the two big NSW resorts blew out to the largest we can remember in 37 years skiing them both. Thredbo has postponed a decision on whether to offer season passes for 2021.
Buller by contrast did a similar great job as Vail Resorts honouring Season Passes for 2020, and eventually offering an incredible refund policy as we reported, and their Season Memberships are on sale now also. So Victorians have all their cards (except Get Out of Lockdown Free) on the table to make a choice.
It’s a tough choice down there according to your Big 3 preferences, for NSW and rest-of-OZ the 2021-22 Epic Australia Pass is a no brainer deal – check the details, get yours on the link.