Epic pass now covers Whistler
Vail Resorts continued its relentless global expansion last month when it finalised the acquisition of the massive Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in Canada. Significantly for Australian skiers, the move means season passes purchased for Perisher in the NSW skifields can also now be used at Whistler, with a “sneak preview” five days of access provided for holders of the 2016 Epic Australia pass. This could be a key opportunity for travel agents, because with Whistler one of the most popular international snowsports destination for Aussies the ability to ski free could definitely put a Canadian ski holiday on the agenda for the upcoming northern winter. As well as splashing the cash on the Whistler deal, Vail Resorts ceo Rob Katz and his wife Elaana also last month reached into their own pockets to make a US$2 million personal contribution to local community non-profit groups operating in the areas where Vail has resorts. The largesse extended to Cooma in NSW, where they provided A$100,000 to the Monaro Early Intervention Service, which helps children in the region who have a disability of developmental delay. “The success of our local communities brings a number of unique challenges that require our focus and attention – none more important than helping kids and families who are most vulnerable. Elana and I feel fortunate to be able to provide this support to these outstanding non-profits to allow them to continue their great work,” Katz said.