- Vail Resorts has acquired the ski field leases and related infrastructure at Falls Creek and Hotham Alpine Resorts in Victoria, Australia from a subsidiary of Merlin Entertainments
- Vail Resorts now operates three of the largest ski resorts in Australia including Perisher Ski Resort in New South Wales
- The 2019 Epic Australia Pass, 2018-19 Epic Pass and 2019-20 Epic Pass now provide access to the best skiing and riding in Australia with Perisher and Falls Creek as well as Hotham (subject to certain approvals); North America including Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Park City and more; and Japan with Hakuba Valley and Rusutsu
April 5, 2019 - Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that the Company has closed on its acquisition of the ski field leases and related infrastructure at Falls Creek Alpine Resort and Hotham Alpine Resort in Victoria, Australia. The Company purchased Australian Alpine Enterprises Holdings Pty. Ltd and all related corporate entities that operate Falls Creek and Hotham ski fields from Living and Leisure Australia Group (LLA), a subsidiary of Merlin Entertainments for a final purchase price of approximately AU$179 million, after adjustments for certain agreed-upon terms.
Falls Creek and Hotham join Perisher in Vail Resorts' network of resorts, providing even more options for skiers and snowboarders in Australia. Victoria’s largest alpine resort, Falls Creek, features 450 hectares of terrain including fantastic beginner and intermediate trails that are well suited to families and first-timers. Hotham is nestled amongst the Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Range. Considered the 'Powder Capital' of Australia, Hotham is the only resort in the Southern Hemisphere where the village is located on top of the mountain, ensuring ski-in, ski-out opportunities from anywhere in the village. Located in the picturesque Kosciuszko National Park in South Eastern New South Wales, Perisher's 1,245 hectares of skiable terrain, seven mountain peaks, five terrain parks, more than 100 groomed trails and over 100 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails, make it the Southern Hemisphere's largest mountain resort. Perisher is comprised of four village areas and has varied terrain suitable for any ability level.
The Epic Australia Pass is the most flexible season pass for Australians, and along with the Epic Pass, allows guests to ski and ride year-round, all on one incredible pass. The Epic Australia Pass connects access to Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham (subject to certain approvals) with Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Park City, Breckenridge and more in North America, as well as Hakuba Valley and Rusutsu in Japan. The industry-leading Epic Pass provides skiers and riders with the greatest value in the ski industry and access to world-class resorts including Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Park City and more. The 2019-20 Epic Pass starts at US$939 and provides access for the 2019-20 Northern Hemisphere winter season and the 2020 Australian season. Epic Australia Pass and Epic Pass access to Hotham is dependent on an amendment to the lease, which requires additional governmental approval.
Starting at only AU$859 for Adults, AU$483 for Students (up to year 12) and AU$644 for Seniors (65 years and over), the Epic Australia Pass starts with the 2019 Perisher ski season and concludes with the 2019-20 ski season in the Northern Hemisphere from November 2019 to May 2020. Epic Australia Pass holders can also protect their plans from unforeseen circumstances by purchasing Pass Refund Protection at a new low price of only AU$25, AU$15 for Students and AU$20 for Seniors.
In time for the 2019 season, Epic Australia Pass holders can look forward to AU$4.2 million of capital investments into Perisher, including the new Leichhardt Quad Chairlift and a significant snowmaking project from the bottom of the Happy Valley T-Bar through the load of the new quad chairlift. This new chairlift will increase lift capacity by 75 percent in one of Perisher's most popular areas and will access fantastic beginner, intermediate and advanced runs as well as the famous Leichhardt Terrain Park. The new snowmaking project will link Happy Valley to the base of this new chairlift and will ensure that terrain in this part of the resort can be opened earlier, providing great conditions all winter.
In addition to the season pass options currently on sale, existing 2018-19 Epic Pass holders will now have access to Falls Creek and Hotham (subject to certain approvals). Vail Resorts will continue to honor 2019 season pass products for Falls Creek and Hotham through the duration of the season, with the ability for guests to upgrade to an Epic Australia Pass. The Epic Australia Pass is sold exclusively at epicaustraliapass.com.au and the 2019-20 Epic Pass can be purchased at epicpass.com.
Season pass options for Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham skiers and snowboarders:
Epic Australia Pass: For AU$859 for Adults, AU$483 for Students (up to year 12) and AU$644 for Seniors (65 years and over), the Epic Australia Pass offers the following access and benefits:
- Unlimited, unrestricted access to: Perisher and Falls Creek in the 2019 season and Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte and Stevens Pass during the 2019-20 season, and is expected to include unlimited, unrestricted access to Hotham in the 2019 season. Epic Australia Pass access to Hotham is dependent on an amendment to the lease, which requires additional governmental approval.
- Unlimited access with holiday restrictions to: Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, California and Stowe in Vermont in the 2019-20 season (holiday restrictions apply).
- 10 total days combined at: Whistler Blackcomb, Vail and Beaver Creek in the 2019-20 season
- (holiday restrictions apply and days do not have to be consecutive).
- Limited access to partner resorts, including five consecutive days with no blackout dates at Rusutsu, Japan and five consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley, Japan for the 2019-20 season.
- Discounted tickets: 6 discounted lift tickets at Perisher for family and friends and when purchased online in advance, a savings of up to 50 percent.
- Upgrade the Epic Australia Pass: Pass holders can elevate their skiing and snowboarding experience by upgrading the Epic Australia Pass to avoid holiday restrictions in the best resorts in the U.S. & Canada for unlimited, unrestricted North American access to Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Park City, and more for the 2019-20 ski season.
Epic Pass™: For US$939 for adults and US$489 for children (ages five to 12), the 2019-20 Epic Pass offers the following access and benefits, including access during the 2020 Australian season:
- Unlimited, unrestricted access to: Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stowe, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Stevens Pass, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Wilmot in North America. For the 2020 Australian season, the Epic Pass also includes access to Perisher and Falls Creek in Australia, and is expected to include unlimited, unrestricted access to Hotham. Epic Pass access to Hotham is dependent on an amendment to the lease, which requires additional governmental approval.
- Limited access to partner resorts, including: seven days at each of Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies; five consecutive days at Hakuba Valley, Japan’s ten ski resorts; five consecutive days at Japan’s Rusutsu Resort. The Epic Pass also grants limited access to Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France; 4 Vallées in Switzerland; Arlberg in Austria and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy
- Discounted Tickets: 16 total discounted tickets for family and friends, including ten “Buddy” Tickets (up from six last year) at a flat discounted rate and six “Ski With A Friend” discounted tickets
- $49 Down: For a limited time, a US$49 down payment guarantees the lowest price with the remainder due in September 2019.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 15 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe and Okemo in Vermont; Mt. Sunapee in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
About Merlin Entertainments
Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location based, family entertainment. As Europe's Number 1 and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates over 120 attractions, 18 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries and across 4 continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to over 67 million guests around the word, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its c.28,000 employees (peak season).