Vail Resorts will invest approximately $110 million to $115 million in resort improvements for the upcoming 2015-16 season to elevate the guest experience, bringing its five-year resort investment total to more than $500 million. The centerpiece of this plan will be linking Park City and Canyons, transforming the two resorts into one and completing a number of critical upgrades to the infrastructure. The $50 million project is one of the most ambitious and impactful capital programs in U.S. ski industry history and will create the largest ski resort in the United States with over 7,300 acres of skiable terrain.
“Each year, Vail Resorts is the industry leader in capital improvements to ensure an unparalleled guest experience at each of our resorts,” said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “The overall capital plan reflects our goal to target high return investments which support a premium experience and our improvement plan in Utah will be one of the most transformative ever undertaken in the ski industry.”
Other improvements include upgrading Vail Mountain’s Avanti Express Lift (#2) to a six-passenger high-speed chairlift, expanding the “refreshing” snowmaking system at Beaver Creek, adding new snowmaking to the recently opened Peak 6 terrain at Breckenridge, refreshing the rooms and common areas at the Keystone Lodge and Spa, and unveiling EpicMix Time, a new crowd-sourced, real-time technology which will bring transparency to lift line wait times.
Projects underway and planned this summer for the 2015-16 winter season include:
- The Keystone Lodge and Spa Refresh – The Keystone Lodge and Spa will undergo its own rejuvenation where the hallways will have a new feel after being re-carpeted and the woodwork and room doors being replaced. In addition, the guest rooms on all six floors will be upgraded with new soft goods (pillows, bed spreads, etc.).
- Combining Park City and Canyons into the largest ski resort in the U.S. – The plan to combine Park City and Canyons Resort into the largest ski resort in the U.S. includes the eight-passenger, high-speed, two-way Quicksilver gondola which will transport guests from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. A new restaurant, called Miners Camp, located at the base of the Silverlode Lift, will accommodate 500 indoor seats and will be equipped with a top-of-the-line kitchen. The plan will also complete a number of critical upgrades to the infrastructure of both resorts, including upgrading the King Con and Motherlode Lifts, upgrading the Summit House Restaurant and expanding Red Pine Lodge, new and widened trails, and additional snowmaking.
- Six-Passenger Avanti Express Lift (#2) at Vail – Vail Mountain continues its wave of investments, replacing the Avanti Express Lift (#2) with a six-passenger lift. The Avanti Express Lift (#2) is a primary lift on the front side of Vail Mountain, serving intermediate and advanced terrain, dispersing skiers and snowboarders from the Lionshead area to mid-mountain. Upgrading the lift will reduce wait times and improve reliability. A loading conveyor and gates will improve efficiency and increase capacity by up to 30 percent, vastly improving skier and snowboarder circulation.
- Beaver Creek snowmaking refresh expands for 2015-16 – Beaver Creek’s unrivaled commitment to providing high-quality snow surfaces for skiers and riders further expands this season. Last season, Gold Dust Trail was equipped with 24 fully-automated fan guns. This winter, 23 fully-automated fan guns will equip Red Tail and Centennial trails, two of the most popular intermediate runs on the mountain. Snowmaking guns will also be added to enhance the “Snowmaking Refresh” fleet and tasked to add a dusting of snow atop the groomed trails. This one-of-a-kind system ensures, regardless of natural snowfall, the resort’s guests will always be skiing or riding on the freshest snow available every day.
- Snowmaking on Peak 6 at Breckenridge – Breckenridge will lay a mile of new snowmaking pipes on Lost Horizon and Barton Breezeway trails on Peak 6. Adding snowmaking to this lower-mountain terrain is critical to get the popular new area open in the early season regardless of natural snowfall.