Last chair came early this ski season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For skiers and riders on the Epic Pass, the shortened season has an added letdown: not receiving a pass refund.
Coronavirus brought an abrupt end to the 2019 – 2020 ski season, with every resort in North America closing by March 26. Vail Resorts Inc., which operates 34 North American resorts and 37 resorts worldwide, announced the closure of all of its North American locations on March 15.
Vail ushered in the era of ski mega passes in 2008 when it launched the Epic Pass. Epic Passes for the 2019 – 2020 season ranged in price from $109 (Epic Day Pass) to $729 (Epic Local Pass) to $979 (Epic Pass). The passes provide resort access for the entirety of the ski season. Typically, this covers a period from approximately late November to mid-April, although some resorts stay open as late as July. After hinting that Vail might reopen select resorts for late season skiing, CEO Robert Katz indicated in a statement on April 1 that this is now unlikely.
Vail is offering refunds or credits for offerings such as daily lift tickets, ski and ride lessons, lodging and vacation packages, and equipment rentals. However, it is refusing to provide a refund of any kind to consumers who purchased Epic Passes. According to the class action lawsuit filed by Milberg Phillips Grossman, this is unfair—and unlawful.
Filed in Colorado federal court, the lawsuit seeks pro-rated refunds of the amounts customers paid for an Epic Pass. Proposed class members include anyone who purchased an Epic Pass for the 2019 – 2020 season and was not able to use their pass, or otherwise did not receive the full value of it, following the March 15 closures.
“We’re not challenging Vail’s decision to close their resorts, since there’s quite a bit of evidence that coronavirus did spread at ski resorts,” said Milberg Partner Marc Grossman. “We’re challenging their decision to retain full profits from passes that customers did not receive full value from.”
A member firm of the Coronavirus Litigation Task Force, Milberg has also filed lawsuits against universities for not issuing adequate tuition, room, board, and fee refunds, and against Major League Baseball for not refunding tickets. Since Milberg’s founding in 1965, it has repeatedly taken the lead in landmark cases that have set groundbreaking legal precedents and recovered more than $50 billion in verdicts and settlements.
Epic Pass holders who wish to discuss their rights or interests regarding this class action should contact attorney Jennifer Czeisler at Milberg, toll free at (866) 252-0878 or visit online Milberg.com/contact-us