You’ve probably seen the ads telling you that Vail’s Epic Local Pass pays for itself in 4 ski days. With the price of the Epic local pass at $609 (as of writing) and a single day lift ticket at $162 (list price on most weekends), Vail’s marketing seems to match the math (4 single day tickets cost more than the Epic Local Pass).
However, things are not always as they seem.
If you take a look at Vail’s online ticketing system, a different picture emerges. Right now, single day lift tickets are 25% off list price. So, if you know the dates you want to book, you can book a weekend lift ticket at $122. You could get five of those for the price of the Epic Pass. It’s true that is only one more day free, but at $100+ that’s really money. Of course, you’d need to know the dates you were going to ski.
If you are looking for something even more flexible, and even more cheap, you may want to check out the Park City 4-Pack for $299. If you are only going to ski a handful of times (i.e 4 or 5 times) the 4 pack is a cheaper choice. With this pass, you can use the passes when you like (blackouts excluded), like the Epic Local Pass, but you may save some hard earned money.
While many people probably enjoy the freedom of skiing as much as they want throughout the year, and perhaps at resorts outside of Utah, if you know you will only be able to ski 4 times this year at Park City Mountain Resort (or Canyons), you may want to save some money and look at the 4-Pack. In that case you’ll be getting your ski season at 1/2 off.
So, while it may be true that at full, list prices an Epic Local Pass pays for itself in 4 ski days… in practicality, if you are only skiing 4 days, there are cheaper ways to go.