In the ever expanding race between the Epic and brand new Alterra pass, Vail has added a backyard setup in Elk City Idaho. Epic pass holders will get 7 days per winter season, and 30 days access in the summer. The setup was built and run by Jake Williams for the past 3 years. Most of the press has been positive, but some of the locals just aren't feeling it.
Concerns of overcrowding the drop in deck and long lines are just some of the fears. At the moment Vail is simply a partner, but many locals think it may only be a matter of time before Vail buys the setup outright for unlimited access on the pass. Jake's next door neighbor Shawn had this to say "What's next? Are they just going to come in and change everything? Replace the old carpeting and PVC rails that have been there since the beginning? That's the soul of this place. You just can't do that!" Some fear they might now get charged money to jump on the partially rusted out 15' trampoline. Limited access to 10 minute sessions, and adding yellow jackets to strictly enforce a "no invert" policy. "What the hell are you even supposed to do on a trampoline then? Like they were made to do backflips and corks, and misties. Now all we can do is grabs and lame ass on axis spins?"
In spite of the opposition, most of the feedback seems to be positive. Many people that have been thinking of buying the pass for years, now finally have the perfect reason. The year round access to park skiing as well as well as the laid back vibes is expected to raise sales of the Epic Pass for the 2018-19 season by as much as 20%. The setup will not be added to the pass for this winter, but you can use it throughout summer 2018 buy purchasing next seasons winter 18/19 Epic Pass.
The dates are listed as unrestricted but Jake's Mom Wendy made sure to let us know that "Even though the pass says unrestricted, I have no problem kicking everyone out if it's a school night and Jake's homework isn't finished!" We admire Mrs. Williams will to keep her son's mind at least slightly sharper than his 4 year old skis.
The setup offers a 16' fatty flat tube rail, 20' long triple barrel a-frame rail, and a 10' shotgun flat. The setup generally changes throughout each day. Jake likes the setup how it is, but said that he is open to building new features, possibly even adding metal rails with his new budget options. "I know some people are against it, saying I'm selling out, but I hope the improvements over the next few years change their minds. I started building this setup to have fun with my friends and that's one thing I don't plan on ever changing!"
In summer, the hours are a little more lenient in addition to epic perks like camping in the backyard, or even the treehouse(If you get there early enough). Mrs. Williams also mentioned that she sometimes makes lemonade or cookies to bring out when it's hot and the sesh is on. Beaver creek has already been offering free cookies for a while, but Mrs. Williams insists hers are the best out there.
We reached out to Alterra for comment. While they didn't comment on Vail Resort's latest Acquisition, they did say "We are happy with our recent expansion and will continue to add to our ever growing options on the Ikon Pass"
While Alterra had nothing to say on the subject, rumor has it they are looking into buying Henry Pelsner's tech deck skatepark as a plan to expand into a more year round option. As with anything else we will let you know if that materializes and keep you updated on the latest in this all out frenzied race for season pass glory!