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Vail Resorts
Public
Traded as NYSEMTN
Russell 1000 Component
Founded 1997
Headquarters Broomfield, Colorado, USA
Key people
Robert A. Katz, CEO
Revenue US$2.271 Billion (2019)
US$301.2 Million (2019)
Number of employees
20,150

Vail Resorts, Inc. is an American mountain resort company. The company is divided into three divisions. The mountain segment owns and operates 37 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.

History

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, Colorado 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. George N. Gillett Jr. purchased Vail Associates in 1985. Vail Associates changed its name to Vail Resorts and went public in 1997 after Gillett Holdings (owned by George N. Gillett Jr.) went bankrupt. 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, Colorado was named the Black Family Skating Rink after Leon Black.

RockResorts

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 operate 37 ski resorts in the United States, Canada and Australia. Most notably the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Crested Butte ski areas in Colorado, Northstar California, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Heavenly Mountain Resort on the California-Nevada border. They also aquired the largest ski resort in North America: Whistler Blackcomb, located in British Columbia, Canada. Vail Resorts offers a variety of multi-resort season passes under the Epic Pass program. The Epic Pass also has partnerships that allows access to several other resorts in the US, Canada, Japan, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. Vail Resorts 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 Number of lifts Date opened Date acquired Notes Citations
Afton Alps Denmark Township, Washington County, Minnesota 22 December 6, 2012
Alpine Valley Ohio 5 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Attitash Mountain New Hampshire 9 January 1965 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Beaver Creek Resort Near Avon, Colorado 25 1980-81 N/A
Big Boulder Pennsylvania September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Boston Mills Ohio * September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains. * 16 lifts jointly with Brandywine
Brandywine Ohio * September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains. * 16 lifts jointly with Boston Mills
Breckenridge Ski Resort Breckenridge, Colorado 32 December 16, 1961 1996
Canyons Resort Park City, Utah 21 1968 May 29, 2013 Acquired on a 50-year lease.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort Crested Butte, Colorado 16 1960 September 27, 2018 Purchased with Mt. Sunapee, Stevens Pass, and Okemo.
Crotched Mountain New Hampshire 5 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Falls Creek Bogong High Plains, Victoria, Australia 14 1946 February 22, 2019. Bought from Merlin Entertainments along with Hotham.
Heavenly Mountain Resort Lake Tahoe 30 December 15, 1955 2002
Hidden Valley Missouri September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Hotham Alpine Resort Mount Hotham, Victoria, Australia 14 1925 February 22, 2019. Bought from Merlin Entertainments along with Falls Creek.
Hunter Mountain Hunter, New York 15 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Jack Frost Pennsylvania September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Keystone Resort Keystone, Colorado 20 November 21, 1970 1996
Kirkwood Mountain Resort Kirkwood, California 15 February 22, 2012
Liberty Mountain Resort Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania 9 1960 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Mad River Mountain Ohio 12 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Mount Brighton Brighton, Michigan 12 1960 December 6, 2012
Mount Snow Dover, Vermont 20 1954 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Mount Sunapee Resort Newbury, New Hampshire 11 September 27, 2018 Owned by State of NH but operated alongside Okemo, first resort in New Hampshire to be operated by Vail
Northstar California Placer County, California 20 December 1972 October 25, 2010
Okemo Mountain Resort Ludlow, Vermont 20 January 1956 September 27, 2018 Purchased alongside Mount Sunapee, Stevens Pass, and Crested Butte.
Paoli Peaks Paoli Township, Indiana 8 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Park City Mountain Resort Park City, Utah 41 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.
Perisher Ski Resort Perisher Valley, Australia 46 1951 March 30, 2015. Vail's first Australian property.
Roundtop Mountain Resort Pennsylvania 7 1964 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Snow Creek Weston, Missouri 5 1986 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Stevens Pass Cascade Range, Washington 10 1937 June 4, 2018 Purchased alongside Mount Sunapee, and Okemo.
Stowe Mountain Resort Stowe, Vermont 12 1933 February 21, 2017 Vail's first resort on the East Coast of the United States.
Vail Ski Resort Eagle County, Colorado 31 1962 N/A The third-largest ski resort in the United States.
Whistler Blackcomb Whistler, British Columbia, Canada 37 January 1966 August 8, 2016 Purchased 75% interest in Whistler & Blackcomb Partnerships (balance owned by Nippon Cable)
Whitetail Resort Pennsylvania 9 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.
Wildcat Mountain Ski Area New Hampshire 5 1933 September 24, 2019. Wildcat trail cut by CCC in 1933. Original gondola started operation in 1958. Peak Resorts acquired Wildcat in 2010.
Wilmot Mountain Kenosha County, Wisconsin 11 1938 January 19, 2016
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