DENVER -- In email sent out to Epic Pass holders Monday afternoon, The CEO of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz, released the COVID-19 plans for the upcoming season.
Lifts and gondolas will be loaded at normal capacity. Face coverings will be required indoors. Reservations won’t be required for skiing and snowboarding. There will be a vaccination requirement for guests 12 and older wanting to eat indoors at cafeteria- style restaurants, but not for full-service restaurants.
“Am I going to have to have my card, you know, with me everywhere I go — a picture of it?” wondered James Lopilato.
Lopilato has been snowboarding for years. For him, it’s a getaway.
“I mean, snowboarding is like my therapy in the winter, you know. It's just the release from work life,” said Lopilato.
Already fully-vaccinated, Lopilato says he understands the requirements even though he feels the cafeteria-style and full-service restaurants are similar.
“The cafeteria seems to me like it get gets more foot traffic because that's kind of the quicker one where people are just looking for a snack to get back on the mountain. They don't really sit down and eat and also there's the outside area where people sit out, but it doesn't really add up,” said Lopilato.
It especially doesn’t add up to Lindsay Reeves.
“I am not OK with this. I do not agree with it, no matter what the situation is,” said Reeves.
Reeves and her husband live in San Diego and have had the Epic Pass for three years. They have chosen to not get vaccinated yet. It wasn’t until Monday afternoon, after already paying for the pass, she says she was made aware of the vaccine requirement.
“If we were given the option, we might have actually been like, 'You know what? OK, we'll have to make do.' But because we didn't get the option, that just fires me inside,” said Reeves.
When she got on the phone with a customer service representative with Epic Pass, the answer was clear.
“She said, I'm sorry, you will not be getting a refund,” said Reeves.
Leaving her and many others on social media venting their frustrations.
“I can't be the first caller and I know I'm not going to be the last caller,” said Reeves.
Vail Resorts says this decision is an important protection. In statement they say in part,"When guests purchase a pass, the terms & conditions outline that all guests will be required to follow health and safety protocols as a condition of using their pass."
So far, other major resort operators are still assessing all possible measures.