From the Stonewall Riots that kick-started the LGBTQIA+ movement in 1969 to the inauguration of Pride one year later, the progress made over the past 50+ years has brought invaluable visibility, inclusion, and recognition to a community that touches so many of our lives – and our mountains.
When we adopted our Be Inclusive core value, we set out on a journey to ensure our company is a welcoming, safe, and respectful space for all. At Vail Resorts, we believe every member of the LGBTQ+ community is entitled to respect and dignity, and to live their lives free and safe from discrimination and harm. We will continue to lend our voice to efforts that educate, inform, and grow our appreciation for the experiences of our LGBTQ+ teammates and allies. We do this by supporting impactful legislation, like the Respect for Marriage Act, and organizing events and activities annually that recognize the significance of LGBTQIA+ communities.
Together, we must all do our part to enable everyone in the LGBTQ+ community to live and work safely and free of hate.
At Vail Resorts, that has looked like:
- The establishment of Vail Resorts’ Rainbow Room, an employee-founded and led affinity group focused on providing a supportive community for LGBTQIA+ employees at Vail Resorts. This group provides a space for LGBTQIA+ employees to connect, build community and support specific needs, challenges, and successes to empower team members to bring their whole authentic selves to work.
- The sponsorship of employee-driven initiatives, such as Denver PrideFest in support of The Center on Colfax, and Mountain Pride, an organization addressing the unique challenges facing the LGBTQIA+ community in remote, rural mountain communities.
- The support of resort-led events and programming including Gay Ski Weeks, Whistler Pride and Ski Festival, and more.
What does advocating for culture, inclusion, and policies across our company look like locally?
In June 2023, employees worked together to change the signs at Vail Mountain's Pride Express to sport a new Vail Mountain Pride logo year-round. The idea came from a member of the patrol team, who turned to Raquel “Rocky” Spencer Schifani, and mentioned that they should add a rainbow to the sign to celebrate and honor the LBGTQIA+ community. Rocky and fellow patroller Ian King took that to heart.
“Saying that no matter who you are, what walk of life you come from, what you believe in, what your opinions are and being able to live your true self and be unapologetically you is huge, and this is step one,” said Rocky.
At Vail Resorts, we believe everyone deserves to be heard and accepted without discrimination, and with equal protection. With tens of thousands of teammates across the country, it is important to us that each one feels supported and fulfilled, as well as safe and protected. Everyone who works with us should be included and welcomed as their true, authentic selves, from the slopes to our meeting rooms.