According to a recently published article in the snow sports industry publication Ski Area Management, Vail Resorts plans to invest approximately $210 million to $215 million across its portfolio of resorts ahead of the 2020-21 season. The plan includes new chairlifts, terrain expansions, facility expansions and improvements, and technology upgrades.
“We’re excited to share what’s next in our continuous efforts to enhance the guest experience with a focus on maximizing our guests’ time on the mountain,” said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz.
Resort investments for the 2020-21 season:
- Beaver Creek: McCoy Park terrain expansion project served by two new chairlifts, including a high-speed quad. It will provide a beginner and intermediate bowl experience and family-friendly learning terrain.
- Breckenridge: High-speed quad to Peak 7 aimed at increasing uphill capacity and improving circulation for the intermediate terrain on Peaks 6 and 7.
- Keystone: The Peru quad chair will be replaced with a six-person, high-speed chairlift to increase capacity and improve circulation at the Mountain House base area, pending certain government approvals.
- Whistler Blackcomb: Increased seating capacity at the Rendezvous Lodge Restaurant on Blackcomb Mountain. The expansion will add 250 seats at a critical on-mountain restaurant, located at the top of the new Blackcomb Gondola installed last year.
- Okemo: Pending certain government approvals, the relatively new Quantum high-speed quad will be relocated and replace the Green Ridge triple. A new high-speed six-passenger lift will replace the Quantum lift. Together, these moves will increase uphill capacity and improve circulation across the resort. Other improvements: dining and ski school facilities expansion and renovation, and greater accessibility at the primary point of arrival.
- Peak Resorts: According to the press release, the 17 former Peak Resorts properties in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest “will be integrated to allow for direct-to-lift access.” This is presumably for Epic Pass holders via RFID installation. Epic passes are direct-to-lift now at all but the Midwest ski areas, and, of course, guests with lift tickets can go direct-to-lift now at all 17 ski areas.
- EpicMix: The EpicMix mobile application will be completely revamped. It will offer new functionality and an improved user experience, including new interactive trail maps and account features, while retaining key features like vertical feet tracking, photo sharing, and transparent lift line wait times.
In its quarterly financial report VR further explained its expenditures thusly: “Our capital plan for calendar 2020 will be approximately $155 million to $160 million, excluding one-time items associated with integrations, the one-time Triple Peaks and Stevens Pass transformation plan, one-time Peak Resorts capital improvements, real estate related capital and $4 million of reimbursable investments associated with insurance recoveries that we had originally expected to occur in calendar 2019. Including these one-time items, our total capital plan will be approximately $210 million to $215 million. We will be providing further detail on our calendar year 2020 capital plan in March 2020.”