Earlier this week, Vail Resorts announced a new long-term partnership with Triple Peaks, LLC, the owner of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, and Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, which will all be available on the Epic Pass starting next season.
The addition of the Triple Peaks resorts grows Vail Resort's substantial control of the Colorado ski market with Crested Butte, and further develops their business along the East Coast, which previously only included Stowe in Vermont. The new partnership extends Vail's umbrella to 11 states and provinces across North America.
"We are proud to join the Epic Pass in a long-term season pass alliance," said Tim Mueller, president of Triple Peaks, LLC in the official press release. "Our focus on guest service, reinvestment in our resorts and outstand ski experiences in both New England and the Rocky Mountains aligns well with the Epic Pass and Vail's remarkable line-up of resorts."
Considered by many as "Colorado's last great ski town," the addition of Crested Butte is significant for the Epic Pass, providing big mountain terrain and smaller crowds for those looking to escape the tourist bubble of Vail's other Colorado resorts. It also takes away another possible Colorado mountain for the rival Ikon Pass, which currently includes Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora, and Aspen for next season.
Okemo and Mount Sunapee, while not the biggest resorts in the East, provide Vail Resorts with options for East Coast and New England skiers looking for something close to home. Many consumers have been vocal about the lack of East Coast mountains available on both the Ikon and Epic Passes.
As we roll into the latter half of this season, announcements like these are becoming a near weekly occurrence. The question now is not if Vail Resorts or Alterra Mountain Company will add more resorts to their Epic and Ikon passes for next season, but rather who will be the next mountains to join their expansive network of partnerships. It might only be the middle of March, but next winter's pass wars are already well under way.