Final Record of Decision Published for Vail Mountain’s Snowmaking Expansion Plan

01 April 2019
  • Plan to increase and modernize snowmaking capabilities would enhance pre-Thanksgiving opening and improved early-season trail connections
  • First phase of snowmaking expansion to be fully operational for winter 2019-2020
VAIL, Colo. – April 1, 2019 – The U.S. Forest Service has posted a final record of decision regarding Vail Mountain’s proposal to improve its existing snowmaking system and expand snowmaking on the upper-mountain. The snowmaking expansion project was submitted in September 2018 and has undergone a comprehensive environmental review.
 
The first phase of the plan is expected to begin in summer 2019 and will consist of enhancing existing snowmaking in various locations on the mountain and providing new snowmaking capabilities, resulting in 192 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking infrastructure, including 65 acres of new snowmaking capabilities. New snowmaking capabilities will be implemented on Swingsville Ridge, Swingsville, Meadows, and Ramshorn, located in the Mid-Vail area of the mountain; Bear Tree, Cold Feet, a portion of Upper Lion’s Way, and Lodgepole in the area of the Avanti Express Lift (#2); Coyote Crossing, Practice Parkway, and Ledges in the Eagles Nest area; and beginner enhancements in the Gopher Hill Lift (#12) area.
 
“We’re excited to be able to move forward and begin construction this summer on the first phase of this plan, which will provide a more predictable opening date, high-quality conditions during the early- and mid-season, and more reliable conditions through mid-April,” said Greg Johnson, Vice President of Mountain Operations for Vail. “As always, we are grateful for our continued partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and applaud their diligence and thoughtfulness in their evaluation of this proposal.
 
“For early-season operations, our strategy will be to begin by making snow in the Mid-Vail area in order to open the Mountain Top Express Lift (#4), followed by the Avanti Express Lift (#2) and Born Free Express (#8) for access out of and back to both Lionshead and Vail Village,” said Johnson. “This means a significant portion of the front side beginner and intermediate terrain will be open earlier, enhancing both the guest experience and the early-season resort economy in both villages.”
 
Some of additional key areas of focus include: Over Easy in the Mid-Vail area; Avanti in the area of the Avanti Express Lift (#2); Eagles Nest Ridge, as well as upper Lost Boy, upper Born Free and Timberline Face; plus lower Flap Jack, Riva Ridge and lower Highline. These areas will be addressed in future phases.
 
The resort’s system currently has the capacity to make snow on 452 acres. This approval allows for an increase of 262 acres over the course of a multi-year roll-out.
 
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About Vail Mountain
Under blue skies more than 300 days each year, Vail is an extraordinary mountain resort destination. The vacation experience is exceptional, from the awe-inspiring terrain and natural beauty of the surrounding Gore and Sawatch Ranges to world-class events, activities and festivals, shops and spas, and the abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations that line the pedestrian-friendly streets of Vail Village and Lionshead. Vail is where outdoor pursuits meet village sophistication. Offering more than 5,200 acres of developed ski and snowboard terrain including seven legendary Back Bowls in winter, and flourishing with new summer activities with the debut of Epic Discovery in 2016, the options for year-round adventure are endless. Coupled with the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail’s founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail is a mountain resort like nothing on earth. 
 
Media Contacts
Sally Gunter, (970) 754-3001, sgunter@vailresorts.com
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 15 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe and Okemo in Vermont; Mt. Sunapee in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com





 
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