Vail Resorts

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Vail Resorts
Traded as NYSEMTN
Russell 1000 Component
Founded 1997
Headquarters Broomfield, Colorado, USA
Key people
Robert A. Katz, CEO
Number of employees

Vail Resorts, Inc. is an American mountain resort company. The company is divided into three divisions. The mountain segment owns and operates 19 mountain resorts in three countries, Vail Resorts Hospitality owns or manages hotels, lodging, condominiums and golf courses, and the Vail Resorts Development Company oversees property development and real estate holdings. The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange, symbol MTN. The company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado.


Vail Resorts was founded as Vail Associates Ltd. by Pete Seibert (former WWII 10th Mountain Division ski trooper) and Earl Eaton in the early 1960s. Earl and Peter were both ski patrol guides at Aspen when they shared their dream of finding the "next great ski mountain". Earl, a lifelong resident and son of pioneer families in the area led Peter to the area in March 1957. Peter set off to secure financing and Earl engineered the early lifts. The ski resort was founded and it opened in 1962.[2] George N. Gillett Jr. purchased Vail Associates in 1985.[3] Vail Associates changed its name to Vail Resorts and went public in 1997[4] after Gillett Holdings (owned by George N. Gillett Jr.) went bankrupt.[5] Apollo Management, headed by Leon Black, bought the company out of bankruptcy and took Vail Resorts public, controlling Vail Resorts through its growth until around 2003, when Apollo divested themselves of the controlling interest. Former Apollo executive, Rob Katz, currently runs the company. The skating rink at Beaver Creek was named the Black Family Skating Rink after Leon Black.


In 2001, Vail Resorts acquired the renowned luxury hotel chain RockResorts, which contributed substantially to their brand recognition. RockResorts (with the second "R" now capitalized) was named for its original owners, the Rockefeller Family. As of January 2017, the properties include:

The Pines Lodge at Beaver Creek, CO
The Lodge at Vail, CO
The Osprey at Beaver Creek, CO
The Arrabelle at Vail Square, CO
One Ski Hill Place at Breckenridge Ski Resort
The Grand Summit Hotel in Park City Utah

Subsidiaries and affiliates

All of the company's retail operations are run by a smaller company, [Vail Resorts Retail, VRR], of which Vail owns 70%. The owners of the other 30% are the Gart Brothers, specifically Tom Gart, Ken Gart and John Gart. The Gart family have been in the sporting goods business for 3 generations and were the former owners of Gart Sports, the large chain of sporting goods stores in the western US. Gart Sports was sold by the Gart family in the 1990s and then recently sold again to Sports Authority, which discontinued the use of the Gart Sports name in 2006. In 2010, Vail completed the buyout of the Specialty Sports Venture brand and is now the 100% owner of all SSV operations. In addition to all of the ski shops in the Vail Resorts portfolio of ski areas, the SSV chain of stores includes Bicycle Village in Denver, Colorado Ski & Golf, Boulder Ski Deals, Aspen Sports, Telluride Sports and Mountain Sports Outlet in Summit County and Glenwood Springs and many others. SSV is reportedly the largest Trek bicycles dealer in the world.

Vail Resorts also owns just over 50% of Slifer Smith and Frampton (SSF), the largest real estate brokerage company in the Vail region, controlling over 70% of the real estate transactions in the market. Slifer, Smith and Frampton was called Slifer, Smith and Frampton/Vail Associates Real Estate, but they dropped the "Vail Associates" name in 2003. The founders of SSF are Rod Slifer, a former ski instructor who was recently the mayor of the Town of Vail, Mark Smith, a real estate broker/turned developer who currently also runs East West Partners with Harry Frampton, who was the former President of Vail Associates and currently owns East West Partners. East West Partners has built most of the large building that make up the Beaver Creek Village, including the Marketplace Building, Village Hall and One Beaver Creek. Not to be confused with East West Resorts, a separate property Management Group.

Vail Resorts Development Company (VRDC) is the wholly owned real estate development company that Vail Resorts uses to develop all of its company-owned real estate, other than the projects that East West Partners develops. VRDC developed Bachelor's Gulch, one of the most upscale, ski-in/ski-out resorts in the business with its own Ritz Carlton and just over 100 slopeside mansions. President Gerald Ford kept his ski house in the Strawberry Park section of Beaver Creek, which is between Beaver Creek and Bachelor's Gulch. Arrowhead is the third "peak" in the heavily promoted "village to village ski experience" in which you can ski from Beaver Creek to Bachelor's Gulch to Arrowhead and back again. Arrowhead was a separate ski area unrelated to Beaver Creek for years before they were finally bought by Vail Associates in the early 1990s. VRDC also developed "club" division of Vail Resorts, including the Beaver Creek Club, the Arrowhead Alpine Club, and Game Creek Club (in Vail). VRDC also developed Red Sky Ranch in Wolcott (approximate 10 miles (16 km) west of Beaver Creek), which includes two golf courses and many million dollar golf course homes. All of these clubs are now operated by the "Mountain Division" of Vail Resorts.

List of resorts

Vail Resorts most notably operates the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone ski areas in Colorado, Northstar California, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Heavenly Ski Resort on the California-Nevada border. It acquired the Grand Teton Lodge Company within the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in 1999. The GTLC properties include the Jenny Lake Lodge, Jackson Lake Lodge, and Colter Bay Village.

Name Location Date opened Date acquired Notes Citations
Vail Ski Resort Eagle County, Colorado 1962 N/A The third-largest ski resort in the United States.
Beaver Creek Resort Near Avon, Colorado 1980-81 N/A
Breckenridge Ski Resort Breckenridge, Colorado December 16, 1961 1996 [6]
Keystone Resort Keystone, Colorado November 21, 1970 1996
Heavenly Mountain Resort Lake Tahoe December 15, 1955[7] 2002
Northstar California Placer County, California December 1972 October 25, 2010 [8]
Kirkwood Mountain Resort Kirkwood, California February 22, 2012 [9]
Afton Alps Denmark Township, Washington County, Minnesota December 6, 2012 [10]
Mount Brighton Brighton, Michigan 1960 December 6, 2012 [10]
Canyons Resort Park City, Utah 1968 May 29, 2013 Acquired on a 50-year lease. [11]
Park City Mountain Resort Park City, Utah December 21, 1963 September 11, 2014 In 2015, Vail merged the Park City and Canyons resorts under the Park City Mountain Resort name, connecting them with a gondola. [12][13]
Perisher Ski Resort Perisher Valley, Australia 1951 March 30, 2015. Vail's first Australian property.
Wilmot Mountain Kenosha County, Wisconsin 1938 January 19, 2016
Whistler Blackcomb Whistler, British Columbia, Canada January 1966 August 8, 2016 Purchased 75% interest in Whistler & Blackcomb Partnerships (balance owned by Nippon Cable)
Stowe Mountain Resort Stowe, Vermont 1933 February 21, 2017 Vail's first resort on the East Coast of the United States. [14]
Mount Sunapee Resort Newbury, New Hampshire June 4, 2018 Purchased along side Okemo, first resort in New Hampshire to be owned by Vail [15]
Okemo Mountain Resort Ludlow, Vermont June 4, 2018 Purchased along side Mount Sunapee. View above
Crested Butte Mountain Resort Crested Butte, Colorado June 4, 2018 Purchased with Mt. Sunapee, Stevens Pass, & Okemo [15]
Stevens Pass Stevens Pass, WA June 4, 2018 Purchased along side Mount Sunapee & Okemo
Falls Creek Bogong High Plains, Victoria, Australia 1946 February 22, 2019. Bought from Merlin Entertainments along with Hotham
Hotham Alpine Resort Mount Hotham, Victoria, Australia 1925 February 22, 2019. Bought from Merlin Entertainments along with Falls Creek

Of interest, Vail Resorts offers winter lift passes under the Epic Pass program. This pass program allows users access to several of the mountains listed as well as others across resorts spanning the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe (France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy).[16]


  1. ^ "Vail Resorts Management Company". Vail Resorts. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Lauren Moran (March 19, 2011). "Vail visionaries". Vail Daily. Swift Communications. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Randy Wyrick (May 20, 2011). "1985: The year the deals got done". Vail Daily. Swift Communications. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "Vail Resorts Inc. - 10-K Annual Report". September 30, 1997. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "Gillett Bankruptcy Filing". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Associated Press. August 18, 1992. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "History of the Breckenridge Ski Resort". Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Jeremy Evans (November 21, 2005). "50 years of Heavenly: A chronicle of skiers' dreams and change on the South Shore". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Scott Miller (October 25, 2010). "Vail Resorts acquires Northstar-at-Tahoe". Vail Daily. Swift Communications. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  9. ^ "Vail Resorts To Acquire Kirkwood Mountain Resort". Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Vail Resorts to Acquire Two Ski Areas in Midwest, Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mount Brighton in Michigan". Vail Resorts. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  11. ^ "Vail Resorts acquires long-term lease to Canyons, Utah's largest ski resort". KDVR. May 29, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "Vail Resorts Acquires Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah | Vail Resorts Corporate". September 11, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Mary Forgione (July 29, 2015). "Goodbye Canyons, hello Park City: Utah ski resort on track to be biggest in U.S." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  14. ^ "Vail Resorts To Acquire Stowe Mountain Resort In Stowe, Vermont". February 21, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Vail Resorts in buying spree, acquiring Crested Butte, three other ski areas". Denver Business Journal. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  16. ^ "Epic Season Pass". Retrieved June 16, 2018.

External links

  • Official Website
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