Vail Mountain 2023/24 Winter Tip Sheet
Under blue skies more than 300 days each year, Vail is the world’s premier mountain resort. The year-round alpine destination delivers a superior, seamless experience for every guest, from the vast terrain and natural grandeur of the surrounding Gore and Sawatch Ranges to world-class events, shops and spas, and the abundant culinary options and luxurious accommodations that line the pedestrian-friendly streets of Vail and Lionshead Villages. Vail Mountain, Colorado’s largest resort, offers more than 5,300 acres of developed ski and snowboard terrain, including seven limitless Back Bowls in winter. Coupled with the enduring spirit of innovation inherent in Vail’s founders, and a timeless pursuit of excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail is like nothing on earth.
VAIL MOUNTAIN: COLORADO’S LARGEST SKI RESORT
Vail Mountain is anything but ordinary, built on the pioneering spirit embodied by its founders. There’s a feeling skiers and snowboarders only get by visiting the fabled resort and its Seven Legendary Back Bowls. That feeling comes from a scale that can be challenging to put into perspective. For example, Vail Mountain boasts 5,317 acres of prepared terrain for skiing and riding, covering the area of more than 4,000 American football fields.
Vail Mountain by the Numbers
|Base Elevation - 8,120 ft. / 2,476 m||Front Side Terrain: 1,627acres / 658ha||53% Expert/Advanced|
|Peak Elevation: 11,570 ft. /3,527 m||Seven Legendary Back Bowls: 3,017 acres/1,221 ha||29% Intermediate|
|Vertical Rise: 3,450 ft. /1,052 m||Vail’s Blue Sky Basin: 645 acres/ 261 ha||18% Beginner|
|Total Prepared Skiable Terrain: 5,317 acres/2,152 ha||195 Conventional Trails|
Snowmaking requires a combination of compressed air, compressed water, fan and stick guns, and weather! Vail Mountain has over 2,020 snowmaking hydrants and 674 snow guns (not including ground sleds). Here are some Vail Mountain snowmaking stats:
84 Miles of Snowmaking Pipe: More than 6x the length of New York’s Manhattan
620+ Acres of Snowmaking: More than 2x the size of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The system’s Pump Capacity can fill an Olympic-size swimming pool every 26 minutes
The system’s Compressed Air Capacity can fill the Goodyear blimp in 12 minutes
Since the snowmaking expansion in 2019, Vail Mountain has made enough snow to fill the Dallas Cowboys Stadium from the turf to the roof
Vail Mountain’s grooming team executes an incredible feat each season. Moving snow and perfecting the snow surface across Vail Mountain’s vast terrain is a massive undertaking. Here are some Vail Mountain grooming stats:
During any given season, Vail Mountain grooming drives enough mileage to circle the earth almost seven times
Each night, Vail Mountain grooms the equivalent of 1,288 American football fields
Each night, Vail Mountain grooms more terrain than the total acreage of our 30 smallest sister resorts
Annually, Vail Mountain grooms a total amount of terrain roughly the size of Oahu, HI
Vail Mountain has a monster lift fleet, dedicated to high-speed chairlifts. This huge fleet of chairlifts, carpets and gondolas moves guests effortlessly across Vail Mountain’s vast terrain. Here are some Vail Mountain lift stats:
Total number of lifts: 31
Total Lift Fleet Vertical Rise: 32,357 feet - 22x the height of the Empire State Building
Total Lift Fleet Length: 134,464 feet - 25.5 miles, Vail to Beaver Creek Resort and back!
Total Lift Fleet Horsepower: 16,604 – the equivalent of 52 2024 Ford Mustangs
Total Lift Fleet Towers: 465
SEVEN LEGENDARY BACK BOWLS & BLUE SKY BASIN
More than 4 miles between Ptarmigan Ridge in Sun Down Bowl to Silk Road in Outer Mongolia
More than 5 miles from the bottom of Game Creek Bowl to Silk Road in Outer Mongolia
Shangri La in China Bowl is Vail Mountain’s biggest run by acreage – almost the same size at Game Creek Bowl!
Nearly 7 miles from Vail’s Villages to the farthest point in Blue Sky Basin
New & Returning for 2023-24
Ice Bars + Snow Bungalows
How the first Ice Bar came to be is full of lore and legend, but when a pioneering Vail entrepreneur piled up snow to kick off this one-of-a-kind experience, après was never the same. The Ice Bar returns to Eagle’s Nest where guests can enjoy an energetic and elevated Ice Bar experience. Don’t miss out on signature cocktails, music and food in this vintage Vail setting.
Looking to carve out your own special place on the mountain? Enjoy one of Vail Mountain's four Snow Bungalows, located at the Igloo Village at the Eagle’s Nest Ice Bar. Offering a cozy experience right in the middle of the action, the Snow Bungalows are your personal retreat on Vail Mountain.
Elevated Food & Beverage
The NEW Two Elk Biergarten & Stein Club
This season, Two Elk will launch the Two Elk Biergarten and Stein Club. Located in the separated, rear portion of Vail Mountain’s largest dining facility, the Biergarten will serve beers on tap, bratwurst, pretzels and more, in a Bavarian-inspired setting. On a first-come, first-served, while-supplies-last basis, guests can join the Two Elk Biergarten Stein Club! Stein Club members will have their own dedicated and commemorative stein at the Two Elk Biergarten, which will earn them discounts all season long!
Signature Menu Items Return
Vail Mountain culinary creators continue to dish up classic Vail favorites alongside new signature items all across the mountain. Here are some signature dishes guests can expect:
Mid Vail: Home Smoked Turkey & Vermont White Cheddar Panini, Home Smoked German Sausage with Peppers and Onions, Home Smoked Turkey & Sausage Gumbo
Two Elk: Chicken Pozole Soup and Colorado Pork Green Chile, both made from scratch
Wildwood: Smoked meats above 10,000’ (guests in-the-know request the chef’s secret sauce)
NEW! Express Lift Mug Club
The Express Lift, located at Gondola One, is the most convenient après location in Vail Village! The Express Lift is running a limited edition, first-come, first-served Express Lift Mug Club for guests to join. Members will receive amazing discounts.
Complimentary Tours Return
Take advantage of a complimentary Mountain Tour from one of Vail's knowledgeable Mountain Hosts as your guide. Learn about the the best terrain to ski for your ability, how to better navigate the mountain and learn its rich history. Tours include Frontside Tours, Blue Sky Basin Tours, Women’s Winter Tours and Legacy Tours.
Ski & Snowboard School Upgrades
Vail Mountain’s Ski and Snowboard School is building upon the successful 2021 addition of the Avanti Performance Center with the NEW Camp Hale at Vail: an interactive children’s learning area that connects to Vail Mountain’s legacy.
Inside Camp Hale at Vail, ski school students will learn through the lens of 10th Mountain Division Soldiers who skied here before Vail Mountain’s founding. The program’s Ski and Snowboard School Students, called Camp Hale Cadets, will learn about Vail Mountain’s partnership with the US Forest Service, how Vail Mountain employees create a safe mountain environment, alpine weather and conditions, types of machinery used on Vail Mountain, and how to safely conduct themselves in the alpine environment – including skiing and riding in the trees!
This learning space is designed to heighten the student’s mountain awareness, allowing them to more safely enjoy skiing and riding through an exploratory experience. This immersive indoor lesson experience will be tied to outdoor learning experiences within our signature Children’s Adventure Zones.
Popular Vail Mail Returns!
Stop inside the Legacy Hut for FREE postcards featuring photography of Vail Mountain’s Seven Legendary Back Bowls and send off commemorative well wishes from 11,250 feet. Postcards and postage are courtesy of Vail Mountain and can be mailed from the highest mailbox in Vail.
The most epic photo stop in Vail – the gateway to the Legendary Back Bowls – made some friends. Leave Vail Mountain with more perfectly framed photos when you visit the corbel archway at Eagle’s Nest, uniquely framing up Mount of the Holy Cross, Vail Mountain’s closest 14,000-foot peak.
Vail Mountain installed two NEW photo stops for the 2023-24 season. Visit the Photem Poles in Blue Sky Basin and at the top of Orient Express (21) in China Bowl.
Not to be missed is a custom designed mural at Wildwood that pays homage to Vail’s original Opening Day signage.
Guests can also take a self-guided Legacy Stop tour for more iconic views and historic spots on Vail Mountain. Visit the Legacy Hut at the top of Mountaintop Express for details.
Fulfilling a Promise: The Next 60 Years
Since it opened in December of 1962, Vail Mountain has led the industry - from its dedication to high-speed lifts to its pioneering safety programming to its world-class ski and snowboard school. Carrying on that tradition, resort leaders are committed to propelling the industry into the next 60 years with a focus on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity; bringing sustainability efforts to life; creating access opportunities for youth; and a strong commitment to adaptive skiing and snowboarding. The next 60 years will build upon Vail Mountain’s position as the world’s premier mountain destination by leading the industry in a welcoming spirit that creates opportunity for everyone to feel the excitement of the Legendary Back Bowls and beyond.
Industry Leading Sustainability Programming
In 2017, Vail Resorts announced Commitment to Zero – a bold goal to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Vail Mountain is making incredible contributions to the company’s three pillars: zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill, and zero net operating impact on forests and habitat. From the industry’s only gondola-based waste removal system, to the mountain’s custom-designed recycling center, to its automated ambient air heating and cooling system, and its resource efficient snowmaking system - the resort has earned its best-in-class certification as the first mountain resort in the world to achieve certification as a Mountain IDEAL sustainable destination.
Vail Mountain and Vail Resorts are committed to growing the sport we love. We’re committed to removing barriers to entry and creating a more inclusive sport through the Epic for Everyone Youth Access Program. Last season, at Vail Mountain and across our family of resorts, we hosted more than 8,000 youth who otherwise might not have had access to skiing and snowboarding. Here at Vail Mountain, and at other resorts, we work closely with SOS Outreach and other organizations to make youth access a reality. The company also partners closely with the National Brotherhood of Skiers and Boys & Girls Clubs. While programs vary by partner, a typical Epic for Everyone Youth Access Program provides five free on-snow sessions including ski and ride school, meals, and equipment rentals, plus two additional free lift tickets to continue practicing with a guardian. These services are combined with mentorship, including an introduction to career opportunities at our resort. Additionally, Vail Mountain and our family of Colorado Resorts offers the Colorado School Kids Epic Pass, which offers free skiing and riding across our five Colorado resorts for any eligible K-5th grader enrolled in Colorado schools.
Vail Mountain Ski and Snowboard school offers lessons to individuals with a wide variety of disabilities for skiing, snow biking and snowboarding, focusing on cognitive, visual and physical impairment. The school is renowned for being one of the few adaptive programs where the instructors are largely full-time professionals in the field of adaptive snowsports instruction. Additionally, Vail Mountain Ski and Snowboard School offers assistance to children who may be challenged to participate in group class lessons due to cognitive disabilities. The resort’s adaptive assistants work hard to integrate these children into class lessons and season programs with individualized care. The resort also offers specialized rental equipment for guests who are looking to enjoy Vail Mountain, but may not have the ability to justify the cost of owning this equipment. Vail Mountain also supports a variety of nonprofit partners through the adaptive snowsports program, including Vail Veterans, Foresight Skiing Guides, Small Champions, and Access Unbound.
For more story ideas, facts and figures, and the latest news on Vail, visit http://news.vail.vailresorts.com.