The Epic Pass Buddy Pass is a discounted lift ticket that current Epic Pass holders can purchase for friends and family. The pass holder can purchase up to ten Buddy Passes per year at a discounted rate – when compared to gate prices.
However, not all Epic Pass holders have the benefit of buying buddy passes.
Buddy vs. Ski-With-A-Friend (SWAF) Tickets
Ski With A Friend and Buddy Tickets are often confused with each other, and rightly so. There are only minor differences between the two, but since Epic currently has them both, we’ll do our best to describe them here.
Ski With A Friend (SWAF) Tickets are discounted single day lift tickets that offer bigger savings than the standard lift ticket discount. The discount varies according to the daily rate at each resort. Buddy Tickets, on the other hand, come at a steeper discount, and are single day lift tickets with a fixed price for each resort. They offer the same great discounted price each day of the season.
Essentially, SWAF ticket prices vary based on the day (i.e. weekend and holiday will be pricier than a weekday), while buddy tickets are a flat price no matter the day. Both tickets, however, fluctuate their prices based on the resort they are purchased for.
Does My Epic Pass Have Buddy Tickets?
To have access to the buddy pass perk, you need to have bought your Epic Season Pass before a certain date. In 2022, it was May 30th, which was around two months or so after the season tickets for the next year went on sale. However, the earlier you buy your season tickets, the more Buddy passes you get. Here are the exact dates and ticket amounts for the 2022/23 ski season:
- 10 buddy tickets if you purchased before April 21, 2022
- 2 buddy tickets if you purchased before May 30, 2022
- 6 Ski With A Friend tickets, regardless of date purchased
Buddy Tickets are a benefit exclusively offered to pass holders who purchase or renew their season pass in the Spring. If you purchased your Epic passes any time after the cutoff date… you don’t get buddy passes.
Pass Type Exceptions
Not all pass products come with Buddy or Ski-With-A-Friend Tickets, regardless of when they were purchased.
Passes that ARE eligible for Ski-With-A-Friend and Buddy Tickets include virtually all types of season-long passes like the Epic Pass, and the Epic Local and Value Passes.
Passes that ARE NOT eligible for Ski-With-A-Friend and Buddy Tickets include the Epic Day Pass, the Whistler Blackcomb Passes and the Epic SchoolKids Pass. Furthermore, a few senior and child season tickets do not have access to buddy passes.
How Big is the Buddy Pass Discount?
The Buddy Pass allows the holder to access the same ski resorts as the Epic Pass holder, but typically at a higher cost than the pass holder paid for their Epic Pass. So while the buddy pass is cheaper than if you were to buy the lift ticket at the gate, it is still pricier than if that person had just bought an Epic pass to begin with.
Buddy tickets offer a flat rate discount off a full-day lift ticket, on average around 40% off gate prices. The actual discount depends on the ski resort, but the discounts range anywhere from 34-48%.
SWAF tickets offer a slightly smaller discount. Their discounts average around 20%, and range anywhere from 19-29%.
How to Purchase & Use a Buddy Pass
Buddy or SWAF Tickets need to be purchased online or at the resort’s ticket window. Here are the steps to take if you were to do it online:
- Log into your epicpass.com account, and navigate to your Passes page, and look for the “benefit tickets” section. Select “Send to a friend”, then choose the resort and day you want to ski or ride together. Your friend will receive an email with a link to purchase the discounted ticket online. If you do not see this option, then the pass you purchased is not eligible for benefit passes.
- Pick up the Buddy or SWAF Ticket at the resort’s customer service or ticket window. It should be noted that the Epic Season Pass holder must be present at the time of SWAF/Buddy ticket pickup.
- Once you have your pass, you simply walk to any lift and start your day!