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Vail Resorts Planning $320M in Ski-Resort Upgrades

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Vail Resorts, Inc. is planning a number of on-mountain renovation projects for the 2022-23 North American ski and ride season in what will be the company’s largest single-year investment into the guest experience. The sweeping set of 19 new chairlifts, including 12 high-speed lifts, a new eight-person high-speed gondola and six new fixed-grip lifts, is part of Vail Resorts’ $315 million to $325 million capital investment plan for 2022 which is designed to materially reduce wait times, increase uphill capacity and create more lift-served terrain. The projects span 14 resorts coast-to-coast including Whistler Blackcomb, Vail Mountain, Park City Mountain, Keystone Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, Mount Snow and more.

“Our mission at Vail Resorts is to provide an Experience of a Lifetime to anyone who visits our resorts – and delivering on that mission requires constant re-imagination and investment into the guest experience,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Our teams have been hard at work identifying significant opportunities to improve the guest experience and have produced an initial list of exciting lift upgrades, a restaurant expansion and projects that expand access to incredible terrain for next season, with more to be announced.

The announcement is part of Epic Lift Upgrade, Vail Resorts’ new initiative to deliver game-changing lift upgrades that will significantly improve and enhance the guest experience and make getting on and around its mountains easier, faster and more enjoyable. With this latest capital plan, Vail Resorts’ total investment into the guest experience over 15 years is expected to reach approximately $2.2 billion, which has included transformational lift and terrain projects as well as industry-leading snowmaking infrastructure and state-of-the-art technological innovations.

Colorado projects planned ahead of the 2022-23 season include: 

  • Keystone Resort, Bergman Bowl: Enhancements to Bergman Bowl will include a new high-speed 6-person chairlift, increasing lift-served terrain by 555 acres. Additional enhancements include 16 new trails, a ski patrol facility and snowmaking infrastructure. This project unlocks access for novice and intermediate guests and provides expanded entry to expert terrain in Independence and Erickson Bowls.
  • Keystone Resort, Outpost Restaurant: An approximately 6,000-square-foot expansion of the existing Outpost restaurant will add 300 more indoor seats and 75 more outdoor seats for guests.
  • Vail Mountain, Sun Down Lift in the Legendary Back Bowls: The installation of a new high-speed 4-person chair in the Sun Down Bowl from the base of Chair 5 (High Noon Express) to the Wildwood restaurant will materially reduce wait times on peak days at Chair 5 and create the opportunity for skiers and riders to much more conveniently access the trails in Sun Down Bowl.
  • Vail Mountain, Game Creek Bowl: Skiers and riders will see improved reliability and capacity in this popular bowl with the replacement of the current 4-person chair with a new high-speed 6-person lift, increasing capacity by nearly 50%.
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort, Rip’s Ride Lift: The beginner/ski and ride school experience will be enhanced at the highly utilized Peak 8 base area by replacing the current fixed-grip double with a high-speed 4-person chair, increasing uphill capacity by nearly 70% and improving out-of-base circulation.

Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts

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1 Comment

  1. Greg
    September 27, 2021 at 8:37 pm — Reply

    Behold Vail resorts altering their premier mountain with ever more hordes of skier/riders. The transition from the open smooth powderfields of old into open mogul fields continues. The whole mountain already becmes lumpy chop after a big storm. That used to never happen. I am fortunate that I got to enjoy Vail Mountain before they turned it into an over skied, over crowded rat race. It is getting worse. They sold 17% more epic passes for 20-22? More people on the hill means more scraped off and beat up snow, more lift lines, more competition for parking.

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