Vail Resorts wants us to know just how much money the empire is spending to improve some of our favorite resorts. It's not trivial. Between $110 million and $115 million is going toward winter improvements for the upcoming season. The largest beneficiary of that largesse is the new Park City, with a total project cost of $50 million to tie together what used to be Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons. Building the largest ski resort in the United States, at more than 7,300 acres, will take digging into the piggy bank.
The new eight-passenger Quicksilver gondola, which will run from the Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons, will make the physical link between the two formerly independent resorts. Park City will also get a new 500-seat restaurant as part of the upgrades: Miners Camp, at the base of Silverlode. Other improvements as part of the Park City project include upgrading the King Con and Motherlode lifts, updating the Summit House Restaurant, expanding Red Pine Lodge, widening some trails and more snowmaking.
Other big projects underway for the 2015-16 ski season across the empire's other resorts include a new six-person lift at Vail, upgrades at the Keystone Lodge and Spa, adding snowmaking around Breckenridge's new Peak 6 and "refreshing" the snowmaking system in Beaver Creek. Also included under improvements is the new EpicMix feature that promises to give you the wait times for lift lines at some resorts.
Vail Resorts boasts that this latest round of investment now puts them north of $500 million for the past five years. For a little context, Intrawest, another publicly-held ski resort operator, has been in the $30 million range for capital expenditures each of the past two seasons. And even that comparison might not be generous enough to Vail, as Intrawest's capital expenditure figure includes things like maintenance that probably don't fit Vail's definition of improvements.
· Vail is Going to Tell You How Long Lift Waits Are [Curbed Ski]
· Vail's New Name for Park City Resort is Revealed [Curbed Ski]
· Town of Breckenridge and Vail Resorts Reach a Tax Agreement [Curbed Ski]
· Vail Resorts: Season Pass Sales Boost Profits Despite Drought [Curbed Ski]
· Vail Resorts Raises Minimum Wage for Employees to $10 [Curbed Ski]