Vail Resorts’ latest venture will attempt to revolutionize ski and snowboarding rentals.
This season, the ski resort giant is doing a pilot run of My Epic Gear. This membership program gives users access to fifteen top ski and snowboard brands at each mountain that offer the service. Each location will have more than fifty of the most popular ski and snowboard models. For ski and snowboard boots, they’ll have users come into one of their shops to get customized insoles thanks to their boot fit scanning technology. The cost is $50 to join, then $50 for each visit where you use the gear.
According to Vail Resorts, here are the benefits of joining the program:
- “Choose a model of ski or snowboard at the beginning of a season, and be guaranteed that model will be available any day of the season, fully tuned.
- Try a different model of ski or snowboard any day, such as powder skis, based on availability.
- Select from the most popular and latest skis, snowboards and boots.
- Choose from name brand, high-quality ski and snowboard boots with customized insoles and boot fitting process. Option to opt out of choosing boots, if guests prefer to use their own.
- Ease of free in-resort delivery, and slopeside pick up and drop off every day, at every participating mountain resort.
- The new My Epic app will manage the entire experience, from gear selection to boot fitting to delivery.
- Low daily fee for each day the gear is used.”
This initial season will have the service situated at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Next winter, they will offer it at the aforementioned mountains, along with Whistler Blackcomb, Park City Mountain Resort, Crested Butte, Heavenly, Northstar, Stowe, Okemo, and Mt. Snow.
Kirsten Lynch, who’s the CEO of Vail Resorts, said the following in the March press release about the service:
“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.
Like many other business models in lodging and transportation that leverage technology and scale to allow guests to transition from ownership to the benefits of the ‘access economy,’ My Epic Gear will leverage our extensive footprint and experience selling, renting, and delivering gear, our prime slopeside locations across our mountain resorts, our data, the relationships we have with top gear vendors and over two million Pass Holders, as well as the scale to invest in the technology and most popular gear for the guest…
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.”
If you’re interested in trying this service out, it sounds like you’ll need to wait until next fall. Vail Resorts’ website says that applications for My Epic Gear have closed on November 16th, with an official launch for everyone set for the 2024-25 season.
What are your thoughts on this new rental service from Vail Resorts? If you’re a part of the ski rental industry and have opinions (positive or negative) about it, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Credits: Vail Resorts