Vail Resorts announced reopening dates across North America for 2021-22 season
Vail Resorts has announced its schedule of opening dates for its 34 North American resorts. The action kicks off at Keystone in October, with the resort set to open as early as possible thanks to recent investments in an energy-efficient snowmaking system. As a result of this and many other investments in snowmaking technology in recent years, 15 of the company’s North American resorts — including 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:
- 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:
- 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)
No Covid protocols this year, hopefully
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.
Prices are lower than last season, Labor Day sales
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% this year. Labor Day is the last day to get an Epic Pass, Epic Day Pass or any pass option at the lowest price this year. Some of the most popular pass offerings include:
- Epic Pass ($783 vs. $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.
- Epic Local Pass ($583 vs. $729 last season) provides unlimited, unrestricted access to 26 resorts – including Breckenridge and Keystone – from the East to the West coast, as well as holiday-restricted access to resorts like Park City, Heavenly and Stowe, and 10 days total to use at Vail, Beaver Creek and Whistler Blackcomb.
- Northeast Value Pass ($479 vs. $599 last season) provides access to 18 resorts across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including Stowe, Okemo, Hunter Mountain, Mt. Snow and Liberty.
- 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 $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 $67 for one day.
In addition, Epic Mountain Rewards offers pass holders the best ski trip deals, including 20% 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.
Progress on summer upgrades
Okemo is undergoing a transformational upgrade as part of a Vail Resorts capital improvements plan designed to make getting on and around the mountain faster and easier. Enhancements at Okemo include lift upgrades, terrain and snowmaking expansion, as well as an improved arrival process and an aesthetic refresh at Okemo’s Clock Tower base area.
Lift upgrades will improved access to the summit via the Quantum Six and Evergreen Summit Express. Okemo is upgrading the Quantum lift at Jackson Gore from a four-person to a six-person, high-speed chairlift, now named the Quantum Six, and relocating the existing four-person, high-speed Quantum lift to replace the Green Ridge three-person chairlift, and renaming it Evergreen Summit Express. This will increase uphill capacity and improve guest circulation across the resort.
A new Green Link trail will also expedite summit access from Jackson Gore. The new connector trail leads from the intersection of Upper Mountain Road and Roundhouse Run to the base of the new Evergreen Summit Express, making the summit and its variety of terrain more accessible. Skiers and riders approaching from the Jackson Gore area will have faster and easier summit access, relieving congestion at the resort’s primary summit lift, The Sunburst Six, and improving the overall mountain experience.
In addition to installing snowmaking on the new Green Link trail, Okemo is upgrading snowmaking infrastructure on Upper World Cup, Sapphire, as needed around the mountain, and reconfiguring some of the system to accommodate the added snowmaking coverage. With this upgrade, Okemo maintains its status of greatest snowmaking coverage in Vermont, having the capability to cover 98% of its trails.
Okemo is adding a new Prinoth Bison to its fleet of snow groomers. With Caterpillar’s cleanest stage V engine, the 422 horsepower Bison offers low fuel consumption, low emissions and is more powerful than ever. Okemo’s commitment to creating a quality snow service has earned the resort many grooming accolades and awards through the years.
For more information visit vailresorts.com.