Vail Resorts introduced their new “My Epic Gear” program earlier this week, allowing guests to participate in a season-long rental option with the ability to swap out gear at will.
Guests will be able to choose gear for the season, guaranteeing that it will be available and fully tuned any day, and be able to try other ski and snowboard options when available. Gear will be delivered to those staying in certain Vail Resorts properties and a slope side pick-up/drop-off will be available for those who aren’t.
According to the company’s press release, 15 different brands and more than 50 total models of the most popular skis and snowboards will be available for rent, and high-quality boots with insoles will be available for a “customized fit”. Gear selection, boot fit, delivery, and recommendations will all be available to members through the My Epic app.
“Having the right gear is essential to the experience of every skier and rider, however, the traditional model of gear ownership and gear rental has not changed in decades. My Epic Gear reimagines gear ownership and gear rental, whether guests want the certainty of their gear for the season or for the day, transforming the quality, service, convenience and cost of one of the most critical parts of the mountain experience.” – Vail Resorts chief executive officer Kristen Lynch
A limited number of Epic Pass Holders will be chosen to test the program through the 2023/24 season at Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, and, of course, Vail. The program intends to expand to Whistler Blackcomb, Park City Mountain, Crested Butte, Heavenly, Northstar, Stowe, Okemo and Mount Snow for the 2024/25. Membership fee will cost $50 for the season, enabling users to access the $50 daily gear reservation.
“Most gear owners have their skis and snowboard sitting idle, untuned, for most of the year, but they want the certainty of having the gear they want when they get on the mountain. My Epic Gear will offer a much lower cost option, without the hassle of transporting, maintaining, or upgrading to the latest models, while still providing the certainty of having the gear they choose when they get on the mountain. For gear renters, My Epic Gear gets them the best skis and snowboards, name brand, high quality-boots with a customized fit, and the specific gear they want, ready for them, when and where they want it.”
Vail isn’t the first company to introduce a program like this, and they certainly won’t be the last. That said, if you plan on skiing for four or five days in a season, I’d say $250-$300 is a decent price for rentals, especially when you’re allowed to switch your skis out depending on the conditions. My main concern with rentals is always ski boots. Though the program claims they’ll be able to provide a solid, custom fit, I can’t see how that would really be possible without a full blown customization of the liner and potentially the shell.
Featured Image Credit: Keystone Resort via Facebook