Vail Resorts is turning out to be a pretty good citizen, in Vermont and elsewhere. This past week, the Colorado resort empire, owner of Stowe Mountain Resort and 13 other resorts across the continent, announced three major initiatives to benefit those in the military
New 2018-19 Military Epic Pass available at USD$99 for active and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Australian Defence Force, and their dependents, and at USD$499 for all other veterans and their dependents (USD$269 for children of veterans), available beginning Tuesday, March 6.
Vail Resorts will donate USD$1 for every 2018-19 season pass sale to Wounded Warrior Project®to benefit wounded veterans and their families, which would exceed USD$750,000 based on last year’s sales.
And, lastly, Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, will personally donate USD$750,000 to Operation Homefront to benefit military families.
This was all done in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Epic Pass, coming up on March 18, 2018. Vail Resorts is honoring the epic service of the Company’s founders from the 10th Mountain Division, and men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, Canadian Armed Forces and Australian Defence Force, with the introduction of a special new USD$99 Military Epic Pass, available beginning Tuesday, March 6. Additionally, for every 2018-19 Vail Resorts season pass sold, the Company will donate USD$1 to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military. Based on 2017-18 pass sales, the donation would exceed USD$750,000.
In addition to the company’s efforts, Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, will also honor the 10th Mountain Division by making a personal donation of USD$750,000 to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.
“Vail Resorts’ pioneering spirit and our core value of serving others can be traced back to our founders, including Pete Seibert, who served in the U.S. Army’s famed 10th Mountain Division during World War II, and Earl Eaton, who served as an army engineer during the war,” said Katz.
In 1957, Seibert and Eaton climbed to the top of Vail Mountain and saw what would become one of the most celebrated resorts in the world. They said the founding of Vail Mountain was driven by a strong desire to live their passion and share that passion and access to the mountains with others. In an interview with Sports Illustrated in the late ‘80s, Seibert said, “Everybody else thought we were crazy, but we thought we could do any [darned] thing we decided to do.”
Katz credits the vision, passion and perseverance of Seibert and Eaton as enduring characteristics that have continued to drive the Company over the decades. “It was exactly this spirit that underlies the success of Vail Resorts and led to the creation of the Epic Season Pass 10 years ago. We are eternally grateful to Pete and Earl and all those who served in the 10th Mountain Division and can think of no better way to celebrate our 10th Epic Pass than by honoring and supporting all of the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve their country and making access to the mountains a reality, just as Pete and Earl would have wanted.”
Ten years ago on March 18, nearly to the day that Seibert and Eaton summited Vail Mountain in 1957, the Company forever changed the landscape of the snow sports industry with the introduction of the Epic Pass, which made skiing and snowboarding more accessible than it had ever been. Prior to the Epic Pass, season passes across the industry were priced around USD$1,800, primarily with access to just one resort. Cutting the price by more than half to USD$579 with the Epic Pass for unlimited, unrestricted skiing and snowboarding at the Company’s then five resorts led many in the industry to call Vail Resorts “crazy”.
Today, Vail Resorts announces its Military Epic Pass by paying homage to men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, Canadian Armed Forces and Australian Defence Force, and their families, with special military season pass products, available beginning Tuesday, March 6, and contributions to critical veteran nonprofit organizations:
- The Military Epic Pass for all U.S., Canadian and Australian active and retired military personnel and their dependents will be priced at USD$99, an almost 90-percent discount off the regular price of the Epic Pass. It also represents a groundbreaking value not found anywhere in the industry, especially combined with unlimited and unrestricted access to the Company’s 14 owned and operated resorts for the 2018-19 ski season: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Stowe in Vermont; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Perisher in New South Wales, Australia for the 2019 ski season.
- The Military Epic Pass for all other U.S., Canadian and Australian veterans and their dependents will be priced at USD$499 for adults (USD$269 for a child pass), a more than 40-percent discount off the regular price of the Epic Pass and the first in the mountain resort industry to expand its season pass discount program to include all who served in the Armed Forces.
- The existing Liberty Pass will be expanded to include all U.S. veterans and their dependents and to eliminate any restrictions. Priced at USD$269 for adults and USD$199 for children (ages 5-12), the Liberty Pass provides unlimited access to Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with no blackout dates.
- Vail Resorts will donate USD$1 for each 2018-19 season pass sold to Wounded Warrior Project. Based on last year’s pass sales, the donation would exceed USD$750,000.
- Vail Resorts’ Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz will personally donate USD$750,000 to Operation Homefront.
“The generosity of our supporters enables Wounded Warrior Project to provide life-changing programs at no cost to the warriors we serve,” said Gary Corless, Wounded Warrior Project chief development officer. “The needs of wounded veterans are great and growing, but partners like Vail Resorts provide us with critical resources that allow us to meet those challenges head-on. We’re extremely grateful for their support.”
“Operation Homefront is extremely grateful for Mr. Katz and Ms. Amsterdam’s extraordinary commitment to helping us serve our nation’s military families in their time of need,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., Operation Homefront president and chief executive officer. “This significant donation will allow us to fulfill hundreds of requests for financial assistance, to provide caseworker support for those military families participating in our transitional and permanent housing programs, and to host Back-to-School Brigade events for military children across the country. With 92 percent of our expenditures going towards these and other valued programs, we are confident we are having the life-changing impact we seek to provide to this very special group of our fellow citizens.”
The Celebration Continues
Since introducing the game-changing Epic Pass in 2008, Vail Resorts has continued to evolve the mountain resort experience with numerous innovations, including EpicMix, a groundbreaking online app that allows guests to digitally engage with their mountain experience and share it socially; Epic Discovery, transformational new summer activities featuring environmental education on the mountain; and Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint, the Company’s industry-leading sustainability commitment to a zero net operating footprint by 2030. The celebration of the 10th anniversary of the innovation of the Epic Pass will continue with additional announcements over the next few months as Vail Resorts continues to reimagine the mountain resort experience.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) serves warriors by connecting them with one another and their communities. Programs also focus on mental and physical health and wellness, adaptive sports, financial wellness, independence, government relations, and community relations and partnerships. Warriors are empowered to live life on their terms, mentor fellow veterans and service members, and embody the WWP logo by carrying one another along a path toward recovery. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone 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 in Vermont; 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.