Posts Tagged Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts to Acquire Two Ski Areas in Midwest, Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mount Brighton in Michigan


*  Acquisitions Join Guests of Premier Urban Midwest Ski Areas with Vail
Resorts’ Seven World-Class Mountain Resorts
BROOMFIELD, Colo.—Dec. 6, 2012—Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced today that it
has entered into agreements to purchase two premier urban ski areas in the Midwest, Afton Alps
in Minnesota and Mount Brighton in Michigan, for total cash consideration of $20 million. Both
ski areas serve major snow sports markets in the Midwest with more than 468,000 active skiers
and snowboarders in the nearby Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit metropolitan areas. Vail
Resorts plans to upgrade and enhance the experience at each resort and create opportunities to
connect guests from each of these ski areas to its seven world-class resorts in Colorado and Lake
Tahoe through season pass and other lift ticket products.
“We are thrilled to welcome Afton Alps and Mount Brighton to the Vail Resorts family. These
acquisitions are part of a new strategy for Vail Resorts to drive season pass sales and build
broader guest loyalty by looking at premier smaller ski areas located near major urban markets.
We plan to bring state-of-the-art racing, terrain parks, coaching and technology to the guest
experience. We also will connect these urban ski areas to our world-class resorts in Colorado,
California and Nevada with new season pass offerings, providing the chance to experience the
best skiing and riding locally and in the West,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive
officer of Vail Resorts.
“Afton Alps’ great terrain and strong heritage built by the Augustine family make it an ideal ski
area for our entry into the Minneapolis-St. Paul market. Similarly, Mount Brighton is a great
area for beginners and advanced skiers alike in the Detroit, Lansing and Ann Arbor markets
with a strong snow sports tradition built over decades by the Tippett and Bruhn families. We
plan to honor the important legacy of each ski area for their loyal guests while investing to
enhance the experience in the years to come.” Katz added.
Vail Resorts plans to enhance both the on-mountain and base area experience at each ski area.
These enhancements will include redesigned and updated terrain parks, best-in-class coaching
and instruction for all levels of skiers and riders, dedicated racing programs, expanded dining
and entertainment options at the base area, and integrated technology and social media
programs like EpicMix, EpicMix Photo and EpicMix Racing. The Company also will invest in
each ski area’s infrastructure to improve snowmaking, parking and access to provide a more
consistent experience throughout the season. Finally, the Company will be reviewing
opportunities to add new summer activities. The Company will be outlining its plans in the
coming months and meeting with the local communities to seek their input.
Nearing its 50th anniversary, Afton Alps is the largest ski area near a major city in the Midwest
with 48 trails on nearly 300 acres, 18 lifts, four base areas, night skiing and riding, tubing and

an 18-hole golf course. Afton Alps is located 33 miles from more than two million people and
more than 161,000 skiers and snowboarders in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
Open since 1960, Mount Brighton features 26 trails on 130 acres, six lifts, night skiing and
riding and an 18-hole golf course. The ski area is located 43 miles from Detroit and is within
reach of more than four million people and more than 307,000 skiers and snowboarders in the
Detroit, Lansing and Ann Arbor metropolitan areas.
Vail Resorts is planning season pass products for both Afton Alps and Mount Brighton in time
for the 2013-2014 season pass sales period, beginning in March 2013. In the meantime, to
welcome both ski areas into the Vail Resorts family, Afton Alps and Mount Brighton season pass
holders will immediately receive a 25-percent discount off of the window rate on lift tickets at
Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood this season.

For more information, visit http://www.aftonalpsisepic.com and
http://www.mtbrightonisepic.com.
The Company expects to complete the purchase of both urban ski areas within the next month;
closing is subject to certain conditions.

 

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Vail Mountain Names New Gondola “One” in Honor of Resort’s First Lift and Ongoing Commitment to Excellence


  • New lift installed in conjunction with Vail’s 50th anniversary
  • Cabin #50 will be gold as an ongoing reminder of Vail’s golden anniversary
  • Gondola will open to the public on opening day of the 50th anniversary season, Friday, Nov. 16 following a formal dedication

VAIL, Colo. — Nov. 9, 2012 — Vail Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States, announced today its new, state-of-the-art gondola, installed this summer in conjunction with the resort’s 50th anniversary celebration will be named “One.” The lift’s numerical designation will also be #1. The name is a tribute to Vail’s original gondola – the first in Colorado – and the first lift skiers took at the resort when it opened on Dec. 15, 1962 in the same location as the new gondola. The name is also a symbol of the resort’s ongoing commitment to making Vail the top mountain resort in the world.

One-hundred ten of the gondola’s 111 cabins were designed with a silver finish and full-length tinted windows while cabin #50 has been painted gold as an ongoing reminder that the lift is an integral part of Vail’s 50th anniversary celebration. A grand opening dedication will be held Friday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m.

“Vail’s new gondola, One, is a tremendous step forward for both Vail Resorts and the ski and snowboard industry as well as an incredible investment in the guest experience,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “We could not be more excited to officially dedicate and launch it on opening day of such a monumental season for Vail Mountain.”

The gondola, constructed by Leitner-Poma of America, is the first of its kind in North America. The 10-passenger cabins feature heated, cushioned seats and Wi-Fi access. It has a speed of 1,200 feet per minute and a ride time of just under eight minutes. It is the fastest gondola of its type in the world, creating a 40 percent increase in uphill capacity over the previous Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16), a high-speed quad chairlift constructed in 1985.

More than 70 percent of the lift was manufactured just two hours west of Vail at Leitner-Poma’s Grand Junction plant. The cabins and other portions of the gondola were constructed in Europe.

 

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Vail sweeps T+L’s World’s Best Hotels with Top 3 in Continental U.S. – Vail Business Journal


 

Kim Marquis | Mon., July 9, 2012

VAIL—The newly renovated Osprey at Beaver Creek was named Best Resort in the Continental U.S. in Travel + Leisure’s annual reader survey released Friday.

Two additional Vail-area hotels — The Sebastian in Lionshead and Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek — were second and third on the prestigious list. Both the Osprey and Pines Lodge are RockResorts properties, the luxury lodging company owned by Vail Resorts.

“We are honored to have two of our RockResorts properties at the top of the Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey,” Broomfield-based RockResorts CEO James O’Donnell said in a statement. “Our teams strive to ensure our guests have a true experience of a lifetime whether staying with us in our hotel properties or enjoying our iconic mountain resorts like Beaver Creek.”

The Osprey is a mere 26 feet from the Strawberry Park Express chair lift. It was recently renovated to reflect contemporary design and luxury amenities, including an award-winning gourmet tapas bar and restaurant. The intimate, 60-room Pines Lodge is located on the slopes at Beaver Creek Resort.

The Sebastian in the Vail Village dubs itself a boutique hotel with 100 rooms and seven suites. It is owned by Timbers Resorts, which also owns Dancing Bear in Aspen and One Timbers Place in Steamboat Springs.

This marks the first year for all three Vail-area hotels to appear on the magazine’s “Best” hotels list. Also appearing were the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch (No. 8), The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs (No. 22), Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa (No. 30), and the Four Seasons Resort in Vail (No. 33).

The survey ranks readers’ favorite hotels, cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, car rental agencies, spas, safari outfitters and tour operators. Winners will be featured in the August online and print editions.

This year’s survey showed that the allure of the exotic and the new remains as strong as ever, according to Travel+Leisure Editor-in-Chief Nany Novogrod.

“Along with great service, our readers crave adventure and the outdoors, reflected in their selection of this year’s top three resorts in the Continental U.S., all located in Colorado mountain towns,” Novogrod said in a statement.

The survey among the magazine’s readers took place from Dec. 1, 2011 to March 31. Travel + Leisure covers culture, food, style and design, and has the largest audience among travel magazines.

 

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Vail Resorts Epic Passes Go on Sale


Vail Resorts announced that Epic Passes for the 2012/2013 ski season are now on sale.  There are a variety of options to choose from:

  1. Epic Pass:  The original.  Completely unrestricted access to all 7 mountains in the Vail Resorts family including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.  Also unrestricted access to Arapahoe Basin.$659 for Adults, $339 for kids.
  2. Epic 7-Day:  7 unrestricted days at all Vail Resorts mountains except Kirkwood.  $509 for adults, $259 for kids.
  3. Epic Local Pass:  This pass has restrictions on when and where you can ski.  Unlimited access to Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin.  10 restricted days at Vail and Beaver Creek.  Limited restrictions at the California resorts of Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.  $509 for adults, $389 for teens, and $259 for kids.
  4. Summit Value  Pass:  Unlimited access to Keystone and Araphoe Basin.  Limited restrictions to Breckenridge.  $419 for adults, $329 for teens, and $209 for kids.
  5. Tahoe Local Pass:  Access with limited restrictions to Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.  $419 for adults, $319 for teens, and $199 for kids.
  6. Tahoe Value Pass:  Ski or ride 7 days a week at Heavenly and 6 days a week at Northstar and Kirkwood with some restrictions.  $379 for adults, $299 for teens, $179 for kids, and $299 for seniors.

It is hard to beat the value in these passes considering the price of 1-day lift tickets.  For anyone skiing more than just a few days, one of these passes is bound to fit not only your plans for next season but also your budget.  Go to the following site for more details and to reserve your pass now;  Vail Resorts Epic Passes.  You need to act before 4/15/12 to get the best prices.

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Vail Resorts To Acquire Kirkwood Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif., Creating an Unparalleled Offering for Skiers and Riders in the Tahoe Region with the Combination of Heavenly and Northstar


— Heavenly and Northstar pass holders get immediate access to Kirkwood and Kirkwood pass holders get immediate access to Heavenly and Northstar

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Kirkwood Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe, Calif., recognized by skiers and snowboarders as offering some of the best high alpine advanced terrain in North America. Vail Resorts is purchasing the ski resort as well as the undeveloped sites at the center of the base area which are zoned for residential and commercial development for a purchase price of approximately $18.0 million. The seller will retain a participation interest in the base area parcels and will continue to own the remainder of the real estate development sites. Following the acquisition, Vail Resorts will now operate three world-class mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region which between them offer the entire breadth of the skiing and riding experience, including Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, Northstar California on the north shore and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Vail Resorts also announced that, effective immediately, Heavenly and Northstar pass holders will have access to Kirkwood and Kirkwood pass holders will be able to ski and ride Heavenly and Northstar.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kirkwood into our family as our seventh world-class mountain resort. Kirkwood offers some of the most extraordinary ski terrain found anywhere in North America with high alpine trails and the most annual average snowfall in Lake Tahoe. Kirkwood represents skiing and riding at its purest, something we intend to retain and protect long into the future,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “When combined with Heavenly and Northstar, we will be able to offer our guests and pass holders unparalleled value with the very best that Lake Tahoe has to offer. We are excited to be able to offer Kirkwood to our pass holders right away — it’s like opening day to a whole new season.”

As of today, Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders will have unrestricted access to ski and ride Kirkwood. Tahoe Value Pass holders can ski and ride there every day except on Saturdays. Kirkwood pass holders with the following passes will have access to Heavenly and Northstar: Premium Pass holders and 7 Wood Pass holders will have unlimited, unrestricted access to Heavenly and Northstar, while 6 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar six days a week, Sunday-Friday, with no holiday restrictions. 5 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar five days a week, Monday-Friday. The Company also announced that it intends to retain a Kirkwood-only season pass and Kirkwood-only daily lift tickets, priced comparably to what’s offered today. For more information on how to use your pass at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood, visit www.bestoftahoe.com.

Located about 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood Mountain Resort offers pure high alpine skiing and riding at its best. The ski resort’s unique location, completely surrounded by National Forest atop the Sierra Crest combined with elevations ranging 7,800 to 9,800 feet, create a geographical predisposition to receive the lightest, driest and most plentiful snow in the Tahoe region with an average of 472 inches annually. Kirkwood offers 2,000 feet of vertical drop and more than 2,300 acres of terrain from groomed beginner runs to hair-raising cornices, cliffs and the most high-angle grooming around. The resort offers four terrain parks, from beginner to advanced, as well as a Boarder X course.

Vail Resorts expects to close on the acquisition of Kirkwood Mountain Resort within the next month. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Closing is subject to certain conditions, including transfer of the U.S. Forest Service Permit.

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Vail Resorts pursues global growth – Vail Daily


EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado — Vail Resorts is changing its management around for what company CEO Rob Katz said will best position the company to achieve its long-term strategic vision.

Katz said an email to company employees last week announcing that John Garnsey will become president-international as of April 15. The restructuring also means Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer Chris Jarnot “will take on oversight over Beaver Creek and Doug Lovell, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek, will report to Chris.”

Blaise Carrig, currently a co-president along with Garnsey, will take on the oversight of North American mountain resort operations, according to Katz’s email. And in Summit County, Pat Campbell, the chief operating officer of Breckenridge, will continue to report to Carrig and will also take on oversight of Keystone, while Keystone General Manager John Buhler will now report to Campbell.

Beth Howard, the vice president of mountain dining, will now report to Carrig, and Tim Beck, vice president of mountain planning, will continue to report to Garnsey.

“To think big, we need a team with incredible strength, experience and leadership and we are very fortunate to have leaders who can deliver that and more,” wrote Katz. “For the vast majority of you, these changes should be business as usual. But for all of us, down the road, we will undoubtedly look back on these changes as the building blocks to achieving something very special.”

Will Marks, managing director at JMP Securities and a Vail Resorts analyst, said the company told analysts last year that it was looking at potential expansion in Europe and Asia, and potentially South America.

“This news kind of further highlights that they are serious about expanding outside of the U.S.,” Marks said.

Garnsey said he has already been focusing a lot of his efforts on the international side of the business for about the last year and a half.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for me to do this,” Garnsey said. “One of the strategies that our company is focusing on is growing the company, and growing it not only domestically, but also globally. One of my roles will be to continue, as I’ve been doing for the last two years, exploring those opportunities.”

Garnsey said part of the role is to understand more about the international ski industry and what opportunities may exist. He said a potential goal, while reiterating that nothing has been defined yet, could be international acquisitions.

“How long that takes, we have no idea,” Garnsey said. “We’re out there trying to listen and learn and understand the landscape.”

Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said of the shift that all senior leaders are stepping up to share responsibility for the Mountain Division now that Carrig is taking on leadership at all the North American resorts. She said, via email to the Vail Daily, that Jarnot’s new role is well suited because he has an “intimate knowledge of Beaver Creek, having been VP of marketing for both Vail and Beaver Creek in the past and VP of marketing for the company from 2003-2008, and is very familiar with all of the issues facing Eagle County.”

Lovell, Ladyga said, will continue overseeing Beaver Creek as he does now, with Jarnot becoming Lovell’s “more frequent contact to ensure alignment with all of our company and county-wide objectives, with (Carrig) continuing to provide broad strategic direction for both resorts.”

“And, importantly, John (Garnsey) will remain fully engaged in community efforts in Eagle County and still resides there,” Ladyga wrote.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.

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Big News From Vail Resorts – A New Gondola to Replace the Vista Bahn


Vail Mountain Announces a State-of-the-Art Gondola to Replace Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) in Vail Village

  • Opening of new gondola will coincide with Vail’s 50th anniversary in December 2012
  • High-capacity gondola – first of its kind in North America – will increase uphill capacity by 40 percent and include new features such as free Wi-Fi access

VAIL, Colo. — Dec. 19, 2011 — Vail Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States, has already begun making plans for its 50th anniversary in December 2012, by announcing the planned installation of a new, state-of-the art gondola to replace the Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) in Vail Village.

The new gondola, which will have the number “1” to commemorate Vail’s original gondola in that location, will provide a 40 percent improvement in uphill capacity over the existing Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) – the highest of any gondola in North America. The state-of-the-art gondola, the first installation of its kind in North America, will offer new features, such as free Wi-Fi access for guests.

“We could think of no better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vail Mountain than by making a dramatic investment to improve the experience for our guests. The new gondola will set a standard for how we transport guests up the mountain, significantly reducing wait times at one of the most popular and recognized lifts anywhere in the world. It will also offer a protected and comfortable ride, complete with free Wi-Fi access,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “The new gondola continues a long tradition of Vail’s investments to set the leading position in guest service anywhere in the mountain resort industry.”

“The new gondola in Vail Village will provide the final touch to Vail’s multi-billion dollar renaissance over the past decade, which has been the result of an incredible partnership between Vail Resorts, the Town of Vail and the entire Vail community,” said Andy Daly, mayor of the Town of Vail. “These investments have ensured Vail’s leadership position in the resort industry for many years to come.”

The new gondola will be located in the same location as the existing lift and will reach the same location at Mid-Vail. The gondola is a state-of-the-art lift replacing the technology of the existing high-speed quad lift that was installed in 1985, approximately 26 years ago, and reintroducing a gondola to Vail Village not experienced since the 1970s. The gondola is proposed to be installed in the spring and summer of 2012 and be operational for opening day of the 2012-2013 ski season, just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vail.

The base lift facility will be similar to the existing equipment but instead of chairs hanging from a cable, there will be gondola cabins. Unlike the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) in Lionshead, which is an enclosed facility, the new gondola will be an open air terminal.

The new gondola is subject to Town of Vail and U.S. Forest Service approval. Additional details on the design and approval of the proposed gondola will be available in the coming months.

For more information about Vail Mountain, visit Vail.com or contact the Mountain Information Center at (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8425).

About Vail Mountain

Quickly approaching its 50th anniversary in December 2012 and coveted as the largest ski resort in the United States with more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain, Vail is an extraordinary winter vacation destination. Spanning seven miles are seven legendary Back Bowls, blanketed last season with more than 40 feet of powder snow. Under blue skies more than 300 days each year and with more groomed terrain than anywhere on the planet, families reconnect and celebrate here from year to year and generation to generation. The vacation experience is world class, from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School to the events, activities and festivals, the shops and spas, abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations. Coupled with the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail’s founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail can still credibly lay claim to being a resort like nothing on earth. www.Vail.com.

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