Everyone thrills at an ‘epic’ season. Now, Vail Resorts is offering the Epic Season Pass, a new unlimited, unrestricted season pass that’s valid for the entire 2008-2009 ski and snowboard season at five of the arguably top-rated resorts in the world: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly, all for an initial price of only $579.
Vail advertises that the EPIC pass offers an epic amount of skiing and riding across five world-class mountain resorts with 17,400 acres of terrain, 128 chairlifts and 722 trails, for the day the resorts open in November until closed in April, including every holiday in between.
But according to the Colorado Confidential website, The head of the Vail Chamber of Commerce and Business Association sees the pass as an epic headache. Village business chief Kaye Ferry is afraid Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for next season will bring more tourists to the ski town.
“Throughout the history of (Vail), we have appealed to exclusivity,” Ferry is quoted on the website as saying. “The only people we let up there during Christmas are the ones with the big homes and their ski instructors.
“We had eliminated the Front Range riffraff, and all of a sudden, we’re selling a pass that’s to the masses.”
Epic may also be used to describe the terms of the waiver required for purchase of the new pass. Many folks are under the impression these waivers do not hold up in court. This is a serious misconception, Colorado enforces these waivers even as against minors, see Ski Safety News Winter 2000. The release in this document is particularly all-encompassing:
“HOLDER” MEANS THE SEASON PASS APPLICANT LISTED ON THIS FORM USING THE SEASON PASS. THE “UNDERSIGNED” MEANS THE HOLDER, AND WHEN THE HOLDER IS UNDER AGE 18, IT INCLUDES SUCH HOLDER’S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN SIGNING ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF OR HERSELF AND ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR HOLDER. THE UNDERSIGNED UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT SKIING, SNOWBOARDING AND USING SKI AREA FACILITIES, INCLUDING THE LIFTS, FOR ANY PURPOSE (HEREINAFTER THE “ACTIVITY”) CAN BE HAZARDOUS AND PRESENTS A RISK OF PHYSICAL INJURY OR DEATH.
The Undersigned expressly ASSUME ALL RISKS associated with Holder’s participation in the Activity, known or unknown, inherent or otherwise; the Undersigned agree and understand these risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with: marked and unmarked obstacles, slick or uneven walking surfaces, surfaces covered with ice and snow, varying weather and surface conditions, diminished visibility, rugged mountainous terrain, variations in terrain, bumps, stumps, forest growth, downed timber, rocks of various sizes, strenuous activity, high altitude, collisions, failure of protective barriers and fencing and sharing the ski area facilities and Activity venues with people directly involved and/or not directly involved in the Activity. Holder assumes the responsibility of maintaining control at all times while engaging in the Activity. The Undersigned understand and acknowledge: 1) Holder has been informed and understands all rules and regulations of participation in the Activity; 2) Holder is responsible for reading, understanding and complying with all signage, including instructions on use of the lifts; 3) Holder must have the physical dexterity and knowledge sufficient to safely load, ride and unload the lifts; 4) Holder assumes the risks of riding the lifts and engaging in activities accessible from the lifts; 5) Holder may encounter snowmobiles, snowmaking, snow-grooming equipment at any time; and 6) that falls and collisions occur and that injuries are a common and ordinary occurrence of the Activity. The Undersigned also understand and agree that A MINOR HOLDER MAY USE THE SKI LIFTS WITHOUT AN ADULT PRESENT. RECOGNIZING THESE RISKS, HOLDER VOLUNTARILY CHOOSES TO TAKE PART IN THE ACTIVITY. A minor Holder’s parent or legal guardian acknowledges: 1) they have spoken to the minor Holder about the Activity; 2) the minor Holder understands and appreciates the risks of participating in the Activity; 3) the minor Holder has voluntarily decided to participate in the Activity.
The Undersigned ASSUME ALL RISKS associated with the Holder’s participation in the Activity. IN CONSIDERATION OF ALLOWING HOLDER TO USE THE SKI AREA FACILITIES, THE UNDERSIGNED AGREE TO HOLD HARMLESS, RELEASE, DEFEND, AND INDEMNIFY Vail Resorts, Inc., The Vail Corporation, it’s affiliated companies and subsidiaries, including but not limited to those that operate the Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge resorts, Heavenly Valley, Limited Partnership d/b/a Heavenly Mountain Resort, its General Partner VR Heavenly I, Inc., Dundee Realty USA, LLC d/b/a Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the United States, and all their respective insurance companies, successors in interest, agents, employees, representatives, assignees, officers, directors, and shareholders (each herein a “Released Party”) FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY and/or claims for injury or death to persons or damage to properties arising from the Holder’s engagement in the Activity. The Undersigned take full responsibility for any injury or loss to Holder, including death, which Holder may suffer, arising in whole or in part out of the Activity, INCLUDING THOSE INJURIES AND DAMAGES CAUSED BY ANY RELEASED PARTY’S ALLEGED OR ACTUAL NEGLIGENCE OR BREACH OF ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY. By execution of this release, THE UNDERSIGNED AGREE NOT TO SUE ANY RELEASED PARTY and agree they are releasing any right to make a claim or file a lawsuit against any Released Party. The Undersigned further agree to defend and indemnify each Released Party for any and all claims of the Undersigned and/or a third party arising in whole or in part from Holder’s engagement in the Activity. The Undersigned agree to pay all costs and attorney’s fees incurred by any Released Party in defending a claim or suit brought by or on behalf of the Undersigned.
I HAVE HAD SUFFICIENT TIME TO CAREFULLY READ THE FOREGOING LIABILITY RELEASE. I UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENTS AND SIGN IT WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF ITS SIGNIFICANCE. I AM AWARE I AM RELEASING CERTAIN LEGAL RIGHTS THAT I, AND/OR MY CHILD, MAY OTHERWISE HAVE.
Note the operable language – “The Undersigned take full responsibility for any injury or loss to Holder, including death, which Holder may suffer, arising in whole or in part out of the Activity, INCLUDING THOSE INJURIES AND DAMAGES CAUSED BY ANY RELEASED PARTY’S ALLEGED OR ACTUAL NEGLIGENCE OR BREACH OF ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY. By execution of this release, THE UNDERSIGNED AGREE NOT TO SUE ANY RELEASED PARTY and agree they are releasing any right to make a claim or file a lawsuit against any Released Party.” No lawsuits no matter what they do to you….including an epic catastrophe.