Love 'em or hate 'em, Vail Resorts is the 800-pound gorilla in the ski industry, successfully expanding from Lake Tahoe to Michigan and of course, into Utah. With Vail's recent purchase of Park City Mountain Resort for $182.5 million, Vail now controls an estimated two-thirds of Utah's most lucrative ski market: destination skiers. Curbed Ski has already broken down what the sale means for this year and beyond, but we want to know: are you more or less likely to ski Park City Mountain Resort this year?
There are plenty of reasons why Utah newbies might head to Park City now that Vail operates two out of the three resorts. PCMR is now on the Epic Pass, the Vail Resorts season pass that features 22 ski areas. And Salt Lake City is a short hopper flight from Denver and not far from California, where a majority of Epic Pass holders reside. There's also the expanded benefit of being able to ski two ski areas in Utah on the Epic Pass (PCMR and Canyons) instead of just one. Skiers love choice, and together the two resorts offer 7,000 acres of prime Utah powder.
At the same time, some people have a virulent hatred for all things Vail. They rag on Vail Mountain, the company, and rave about what corporatism has done to the ski industry. There's no denying Vail's influence; Vail Resorts is the largest ski resort company in the United States and the owner of America's most popular mountain, Vail. For better or for worse, Vail Resorts has learned how to turn a profit in the incredibly risky business of snow. They have embraced what The Atlantic's Derek Thompson calls mountain monopolies. Vail doesn't just own skiers, they own the mountain. From equipment rentals to lodging, food and beverage, and snow school, Vail is like the Disneyland of the ski industry, making a mountain vacation about much more than the skiing. For some skiers and snowboarders, Vail's purchase of PCMR might offer a reason to stay away this season.
It's your turn Curbediverse.
· Editorial: Utah, Colorado share a lift as Vail era begins [Salt Lake Tribune]
· No Business Like Snow Business: The Economics of Big Ski Resorts [The Atlantic]
· What Vail's Purchase of Park City Means for Skiers This Year [Curbed Ski]
· Breaking: Vail Resorts Buys Park City Mountain Resort [Curbed Ski]
· All PCMR-Talisker Lawsuit Coverage [Curbed Ski]
· Vote Now: Is ONE Wasatch the Next Big Thing For Utah Skiing? [Curbed Ski]
· New Map Shows How 7 Utah Ski Areas Could Become One [Curbed Ski]
· Which Ski Resort Has The Most Skiing in North America? [Curbed Ski]