Friday, November 30, 2018

Nicole Schmidhofer Wins First Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise

The first Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season for the ladies went down today at Lake Louise and saw Nicole Schmidhofer claiming the win, followed by Michelle Gisin (+0.15) and Kira Weidle (+0.50).
The 2017 super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria had a gold medal and four Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium results since starting her career on the circuit over 11 years ago when she notched her career-first victory on the tour in Friday's opening downhill at Lake Louise (CAN). Both the discipline and the venue proved a surprise for Schmidhofer who expected that a first win would come in super-G, and likely on a slope more suited to her style. Despite a previous best finish in the Lake Louise downhill of eighth, she posted the fastest time on race day after leading the final training run the day before.
Michelle Gisin of Switzerland followed in close second just 0.15 seconds from the win. The former slalom specialist expanded her racing repertoire two years ago to include more speed events, and she was rewarded with success in Lake Louise for the second time after finishing in third place last season. Gisin held the fastest time on the course from bib 1 all the way until Schmidhofer unseated her with bib 15, and she now sits in an impressive fourth place on the downhill WCSL following her podium finish.
Kira Weidle of Germany, a newcomer to the podium, rounded out the top three finishers of the day. She posted noteworthy results in the training runs including leading on the second day and slotting the third-fastest time on the third day. Her previous best result heading into the day was an eighth-place finish in the Lake Louise downhill last season.

Beat Feuz Wins Beaver Creek Downhill

The infamous Birds of Prey downhill saw Switzerland's Beat Feuz take the win by a very small margin over his fellow countryman Mauro Caviezel (+0.07) and Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal (+0.08).
After the program of both speed races has been inverted, anticipating the overnight snowfall going into Saturday, the best downhillers of the World tackled the Beaver Creek race course.
The downhill globe winner of the 2017-2018 season was able to lay down the fastest time, carrying the speed from the steep sections all the way down to the finish line.
Mauro Caviezel again surprises the crowd with the second fastest run of the day. Less than one week after scoring his second podium in career in Lake Louise, the Swiss racer doubles up and adds another podium to his collection.
In the third position, Aksel Lund Svindal claims his 78 podium in career, the 14 in Beaver Creek. The downhill Olympic champion had a hand surgery less than two weeks ago, but nothing that prevents him to be among the fastest down the Birds of Prey.
Unfortunately, three athletes crashed during today's downhill. While Peter Fill and Marko Vukicevic were able to ski to the finish area by themselves, Thomas Dressen from Germany had to be transported to the Vail Hospital for further examinations.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Peak Resorts Closes On Acquisition of Snow Time Ski Areas

Peak Resorts has completed its $76 million acquisition of Snow Time, Inc., which includes three Pennsylvania ski areas—Liberty Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, and Roundtop Mountain Resort. The deal expands Peak Resorts’ portfolio to 17 ski areas across the Northeast and Midwest.
Prior to closing, Peak Resorts offered Snow Time passholders the opportunity to upgrade to a Peak Pass—the company’s season pass product that includes access to Peak properties in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire—and 27 percent of Snow Time season passholders did so. As of Oct. 31, Snow Time pass sales were up approximately 20 percent in units and about 19 percent in revenue compared to the prior year.
"The addition of the Snow Time properties to our growing portfolio of Northeast and Midwest operations further expands our reach into the affluent and densely populated Baltimore and Washington D.C. markets and provides our customers in the Northeast with three new complementary and conveniently located mountains where they can ski and ride as well as enjoy a four-season resort experience (...) By adding these new mountain destinations to our Peak Pass portfolio, we can drive additional value for our most loyal customers. In addition, all three mountains greatly expand our night skiing capabilities, further extending the fun for all visitors and providing a highly sought-after differentiating factor. Importantly, season pass holders at Liberty, Roundtop and Whitetail who have already made the decision to purchase or renew their season passes for the 2018/2019 ski season will have the ability to upgrade to the Peak Pass and enjoy all 10 of our Northeast resorts. We expect to provide these customers with more details, including pricing options, in the coming weeks", said Peak Resorts president and CEO Tim Boyd.
Liberty Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort and Roundtop Mountain Resort are within driving distance of the Baltimore-Washington D.C. market, which comprises nearly 10 million people, and welcomed more than 600,000 visitors during the 2017/2018 ski season. Snow Time’s resorts offer a combined 65 trails, more than 325 skiable acres, and an average of approximately 700 vertical feet of terrain. Snow Time also operates two 18-hole golf courses, a 115-room hotel and 22,000 square foot conference center at Liberty Mountain Resort, and more than 20 food and beverage locations across its three resorts.

Headquartered in Missouri, Peak Resorts is a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded ski resorts in the U.S. The company operates 14 ski resorts primarily located in the Northeast and Midwest, 13 of which are company owned.
The majority of the resorts are located within 100 miles of major metropolitan markets, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and St. Louis, enabling day and overnight drive accessibility. The resorts under the company's umbrella offer a breadth of activities, services and amenities, including skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, tubing, dining, lodging, equipment rentals and sales, ski and snowboard instruction and mountain biking and other summer activities.

Peak Resorts Owned Mountain Resorts:
Boston Mills/Brandywine, Ohio. All three Northeast Ohio ski resorts – Alpine Valley, Boston Mills and Brandywine – are operated collectively.
Mad River Mountain, Ohio. Resort is operated under long-term agreement by Peak Resorts, Inc. Resort is owned by EPR Properties.
Attitash, New Hampshire
Crotched Mt. Ski Area, New Hampshire
Wildcat Mountain, New Hampshire
Jack Frost, Pennsylvania
Big Boulder Ski Area, Pennsylvania
Mount Snow, Vermont
Hunter Mountain, New York
Paoli Peaks, Indiana
Hidden Valley, Missouri

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Kjetil Jansrud Wins World Cup Super-G in Lake Louise

Kjetil Jansrud was in fine form again this Sunday and crossed the finish line 0.14 seconds ahead of Vincent Kriechmayr and 0.21 of Mauro Caviezel.
For the 7th year in a row, an attacking Viking was at the top of the super-g ranking in Lake Louise. Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, all editions since 2010 were won by a Norwegian athlete, and it was no different in 2018. The Cup winner from 2016 and 2017 laid down an aggressive run and finished with a tight +0.14 advantage over his runner-up.
Vincent Kriechmayr, who really broke through last season with two World Cup wins in super-g (Beaver Creek and Are) and one in downhill (Are), had a small mistake in the upper part but was able to push hard in the steeper sections to finally grab the second place behind Jansrud. It’s his first podium in Lake Louise, the eighth in his career.
The surprise of the day came from Switzerland’s Mauro Caviezel. He was laying down solid performances in the speed disciplines lately, finishing last season in 12th position in the downhill standings and 15th in super-g. After the first podium in Aspen in 2017, Caviezel managed to earn another third place and proves he’s on a great shape for the upcoming 2018/19 season.

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Slalom in Killington

Mikaela Shiffrin continues in the path of victory in slalom with a demonstrative victory in Killington (Vermont, USA). After leading the first run of the second slalom of the season, Shiffrin finishes ahead of Petra Vlhova (+ 0.57) and Frida Hansdotter (+ 1.08). She claims her 34th World Cup slalom victory in front of a home crowd.
Mikaela Shiffrin battled challenging visibility and course conditions to win her second slalom race of the season, this time in front of her home crowd of 15,000 roaring fans at Killington (USA). She skied the fastest first run down the Superstar trail and was able to hold on in the second for the win despite a hard charge by Slovakia's Petra Vlhova, who ultimately finished second, and Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, who finished third.
Fog and light mist on the lower portion of the course in the first run made for difficult visibility and contributed to 16 athletes failing to make it to the finish line.
Shiffrin was visibly moved by her success following the second run and thanked the crowd with an emotional remark: "You guys, I could hear you from the start. That was the most unbelievable thing I've ever experienced, so thank you".
Due to the difficult conditions, a number of athletes from outside the top 30 battled into the second run for impressive finishes including Norway's Kristin Lysdahl who ended up 16th with bib 50, Switzerland's Elena Stoffel in 20th with bib 55, and New Zealand's Piera Hudson in 26th with bib 59, among others.
Shiffrin has two slalom wins and a giant slalom podium as she moves on to Lake Louise to kick off the ladies' speed season. She holds a 40-point lead over Vlhova in the slalom standings and a 114-point lead over the Slovakian in the Overall standings as well.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Max Franz Wins First Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise

The first Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season went down under a bright sunshine today at Lake Louise and saw Max Franz claiming the win, followed by the Italian duo Christof Innerhofer and Dominik Paris.
With bib number 1, Max Franz was the first one to tackle the course at Lake Louise. The Austrian racer said he made some mistakes, but all in all it was a good run and he could settle in the leader seat. What he didn’t know at this point, was that he’d be able to hold on to this position all the way to the end of the race. Already last year he grabbed a third place in Lake Louise, but climbing on the highest step, for the second time in his career after Val Gardena 2016, was unexpected. Max Franz is now wearing the red bib for the first time in his career and will have to defend it next week in Beaver Creek.
"My skiiing is solid at the moment. I had problems with my knee in the past weeks and I wasn't sure if it would work for the race. But after the first training I realised that I could push. Now I feel great and I have good sensations on the snow", said Franz.
Behind Franz, two Italians share the podium. In second place, Christof Innerhofer confirmed his great shape after winning the first training run on this course.
"They call me the Training World Champion, so I am very happy that I was able to lay down my best performance in the race as well. I’m more relaxed that in the past, and focus less on the result and more on the good skiing. It seems to work for me", said .Christof Innerhofer.
Innerhofer’s last podium in downhill goes back to Lenzerheide in 2014, so it’s a relief to him to find the Top 3 again in his favorite discipline. He’ll definitely be one to watch tomorrow, as he was second of the last World Cup super-g held in Åre last March.
Dominik Paris is the other Italian that earned a podium spot today. Despite winning the downhill in Bormio, the season 2017/18 was difficult for him. So earning a podium in Lake Louise, where he could celebrate a win back in 2013, is the best possible way to start the season for him.
"I didn’t have a good feeling last season and then I lost the confidence. Starting with a podium is very important for me", Dominik Paris.

Federica Brignone Wins Giant Slalom in Killington (Vermont)

Federica Brignone skied a smashing second run to claim her first victory of the season at the Killington (USA) giant slalom race in front of 18,500 spectators. The Italian improved upon her second-place finish in Sölden at the season opener and overtook Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel for the win. The Attacking Viking held the lead following the first run and was able to pick up her first podium of the season with a second-place finish. Stephanie Brunner of Austria, who is on the comeback from a torn ACL sustained at the end of last season, showed her return is more than on pace by securing her career-first podium result in third.
Notable differences between the first and second run course sets challenged athletes to adapt and excitement ensued as the top eight from first run battled for podium positions. But the top three from the first run remained the same in the second with only the placement shifting between Brignone and Mowinckel. Brunner's teammate Katarina Liensberger skied the second run with the fastest time to improve from 28th place to ninth by the end of the day. Sölden winner Tessa Worley of France, meanwhile, had to settle for fifth place after a costly mishap on the second run.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2018-2019 Moves To North America

The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in North America this weekend.
Killington will host two technical races. The World Cup event in Vermont will feature Ladies giant slalom and slalom ski events on the Superstar course. the races will take place on 24th - 25th November 2018.
The world's fastest Men come to Canada's Lake Louise for the first speed events. Downhill and Super-G races are scheduled to take place on the same days.

Killington (USA)
November 24th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 25th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 24th Downhill / Men
November 25th Super G / Men

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 30th Downhill / Ladies
December 1st Downhill / Ladies
December 2nd Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
November 30th Super G / Men
December 1st Downhill / Men
December 2nd Giant Slalom / Men

Monday, November 19, 2018

2018 World Ski Awards

The world's finest ski tourism brands have been unveiled at a red carpet gala ceremony in Kitzbühel, Austria. The leading figureheads, decision-makers and innovators of the ski industry gathered at the five-star A-ROSA Kitzbühel for the World Ski Awards 2018 to find out who amongst them had been crowned the finest in their fields.
Winners at the gala ceremony included Europe's highest resort, Val Thorens, voted ‘World's Best Ski Resort’ thanks to its vast network of snowsure slopes. The perfect balance of contemporary design and Swiss tradition led to W Verbier collecting ‘World's Best Ski Hotel’, whilst Chalet Les Anges in Zermatt was named ‘World's Best Ski Chalet’.
In the newcomer categories, understated luxury and home-from-home comforts helped Fahrenheit Seven Courchevel scoop ‘World's Best New Ski Hotel’, whilst the unrivaled ski-in ski-out convenience of Chalet des Cascades (Les Arcs) led to it winning ‘World's Best New Ski Chalet’.
In a special category to acknowledge his pioneering work revolutionizing the Argentine ski resort of Chapelco, Juan Cruz Adrogué was awarded the trophy for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism’.
Taking place at A-ROSA Kitzbühel for the sixth consecutive year, World Ski Awards 2018 brought together representatives from ski nations across Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australasia. The prize-giving ceremony marked the climax of a three-day itinerary that included exclusive networking events, gourmet dinners, site-seeing tours, and alpine activities.
World Ski Awards is globally recognized as the leading programme in the global ski sector. Votes are cast by industry professionals and the public in a range of categories, including best resorts, hotels, chalets, and tour operators.
Sion Rapson, Managing Director, World Ski Awards, said: “Kitzbühel, the home of legends, has proven a world-class host on what has been a magnificent evening of triumph for the winter sports hospitality industry. We have had the privilege of recognizing the leading organizations from across the world and my congratulations to each of them.”
Winners also included Aurelio Lech, Austria (‘World's Best Ski Boutique Hotel’); Ski Dubai (‘World's Best Indoor Ski Resort’); Switzerland's LAAX (‘World's Best Freestyle Resort’); Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel (‘World's Best Ski Resort Company’); Bella Coola Heli Sports, Canada (‘World's Best Heli-Ski Operator’); Rocksresort, Switzerland (‘World's Best Green Ski Hotel’); Schneebeben (‘World's Best Ski Transfer Operator’); Leo Trippi (‘World's Best Ski Travel Agent’) and Sunweb (‘World's Best Ski Tour Operator’).

A full list of the World Ski Awards winners can be seen here.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Marcel Hirscher Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi

Marcel Hirscher won the World Cup men's slalom opener +0.09 ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen and +1.41 of André Myhrer.
Last year, Marcel Hirscher was just coming back from an ankle injury when he started in the World Cup Levi but he impressed everyone with a 17th place. This year, he was able to earn his 59th World Cup win, the 28th in slalom. The Austrian superstar Marcel Hirscher, who became a father for the first time this summer, is still eager to push the level even further. He also extended his reindeer herd with "Mr. Snow", a nice company for his two other reindeers Ferdinand and Leo.
Henrik Kristoffersen claimed his 10th slalom podium in a row. After finishing all last years' races on the podium in slalom, the Norwegian tech whiz pushed hard in both runs, to finish +0.07 ahead in the first run, and +0,09 in the end.
Olympic Champion André Myhrer was able to grab the last spot left on the podium. The World Championships in Are are the big goal of the Swede but every good race before builds up the momentum he wishes to claim the World Champion title in front of his home crowd. With this podium, Myhrer becomes the oldest podium contender in the men's slalom World Cup.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi

Mikaela Shiffrin continued her unbeaten streak in slalom with a demonstrative victory on Levi (Finland). The course held up despite warm weather conditions in Levi on Saturday, and Shiffrin dominated both slalom runs to finish ahead of Petra Vlhova and Bernadette Schild, who were respectively 0.58 and 0.79 seconds off the winning pace. It was Shiffrin's 43rd career World Cup victory.
Mikaela Shiffrin won her third reindeer and slalom race at Levi (FIN) to bring her total World Cup slalom victories tally of 33 well within striking distance of all-time leader Marlies Schild (35).
"I was even surprised at how good the course felt with the warm conditions. The snow held up really well, and I was able to really push. I had a little bit of a scary moment on the top of the pitch, but I kept fighting and made it to the finish. That was fun", said Shiffrin following her win. "It’s the first race of the season, so there’s some nerves, there’s some excitement. Nobody knows how fast they are. So it’s always a really nice challenge, and it’s a nice slope".
The 2017 victor Petra Vlhova of Slovakia gave chase in the second run to improve her position from third to second place. But she was still just over half a second shy of Shiffrin in the end. Bernadette Schild of Austria skied the fastest second run to leap a surprising nine positions from 12th place after the first run onto the podium in third place.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What Is Going On Here? Is Facebook Dead for Marketers?

"Facebook’s algorithms require you to pay for an audience you already own and that’s utter bullshit (...) Make the exodus. Start supporting small social media networks. Start promoting peoples’ websites again. Start subscribing to their blogs. We need to shift the consolidation of power that the major Social Media Networks have back to us again", Kira Leigh in Art+marketing

"Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts. And it’s getting worse", Kurt Gessler in Medium

"The Facebook anguish continues", Lucia Moses in DIGIDAY

On Friday I watched the last episode of South Park. Watching the adventures of Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick gives me the opportunity and ideas to introduce subjects to discuss in my classes in a different way. And I think the 4th episode in the 21st season of South Park is perfect to meditate about what is going on with Facebook.

"You see, what I've done, Adam, is built a completely self-sustaining chaos machine (...) doing nothing more than that Facebook was designed to do. I make money on Facebook for my fake content in order to pay Facebook to promote my fake stories". Butters Stotch as Professor Chaos in Franchise Prequel (Facebook is the ultimate weapon for Professor Chaos, he has found the perfect tool to spread lies and misinformation about Coon and friends).

If we look back, we see that Facebook was born as a social networking service. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students; however, later they expanded it to other Universities. Since 2006, Facebook is open to anyone who fulfills the minimum age requirement and has a valid email address.
Traffic to Facebook increased steadily after 2009. Right now they claim they have 2 billion monthly active users (June 2017).
Facebook has affected the social life of the contemporary world forever. Facebook allows people using the internet to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives, and other acquaintances. It has reunited lost family members and friends. Facebook allows users to trade ideas, stay informed with local or global developments, and unite people with common interests and/or beliefs.
When I joined Facebook it was still a social networking site.
But a few years ago everything changed.
First, Facebook’s preference for video over text posts was a fact. And now is more or less a wall of news.
"There’s a large segment of the population that gets most of its news from Facebook,(...) If there’s been an overall decline in high-quality news that’s circulating on the platform, that is generally concerning from a philosophical standpoint", said Matt Karolian, director of audience engagement at The Boston Globe.

Despite you follow Facebook optimal content mix rule, 50% links, 25% video and 25% photos, you are seeing a huge fall in your post consumption or daily average reach. And there is only one way to compensate that: paying to promote your posts. Facebook algorithms have one objective: to get more money of potential advertisers because Mark Zuckerberg's platform is under the growing pressure of shareholders who want revenue.
The point is, under the current conditions, many marketers think now, and I agree, is time to move away from Facebook.

"In my mind, we’re kind of at the mercy of the algorithm", Aysha Khan said. "But there’s a lot of stories that are getting underwhelming responses that readers can’t even see. It is this constant thing, trying to figure out how to incorporate it into your workflow. At one point they were pushing images, and then they were pushing video, and live video. I don’t think it’ll ever stop"
"To some, the issue points to the need for publishers to diversify their audience sources through search, direct traffic, and newsletters, while others registered resignation",  Lucia Moses in DIGIDAY

This article was originally published on Ski Paradise on October 15, 2017

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre.

From the 5th to the 17th of February 2019, the entire ski world will be looking to Åre (Sweden). For the third time, Åre will host the 45th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, the world's second largest winter sports event after the Olympics.
The best athletes (around 600) of 70 nations will compete for medals and the title of World Champion in the six disciplines Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Slalom, Alpine Combined (Downhill + Slalom) and in the Team Event. The Award Ceremonies will take place at the Medals Plaza.
Åre 2019 is estimating 120,000 visitors during the Alpine World Ski Championships.

Race Program:

The 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre are scheduled from February 5-17.

Monday, February 4th 18:30 pm Opening Ceremony
Tuesday, February 5th 12:30 pm Super G / Ladies
Wednesday, February 6th 12:30 pm Super G / Men
Friday, February 8th Alpine Combined (11:00 am Downhill - 16:15 pm Slalom) / Ladies
Saturday, February 9th 12:30 pm Downhill / Men
Sunday, February 10th 12:30 pm Downhill / Ladies
Monday, February 11th Alpine Combined (11:00 am Downhill - 14:30 pm Slalom) / Men
Tuesday, February 12th 16:00 pm Team Event / Mixed
Thursday, February 14th Giant Slalom (14:15 First Run - 17:45 Second Run) / Ladies
Friday, February 15th Giant Slalom (14:15 First Run - 17:45 Second Run) / Men
Saturday, February 16th Slalom (11:00 First Run - 14:30 Second Run) / Ladies
Sunday, February 17th Slalom (11:00 First Run - 14:30 Second Run) / Men
Sunday, February 17th  Closing Ceremony

The village of Åre and its surroundings have a long alpine tradition and the tourist industry has been an important source of income for the village since the mid-1800s.
Interest in winters in Åre increased in the 1900s and construction of the funicular, Bergbanan, in 1910 was Åre’s start as a winter resort. The Second World War temporarily stopped development, but during the 1950s and 60s Åre, just like much of the rest of Europe, started to recover. Åre’s true golden years began at the end of the 1970s and, thanks to Ingemar Stenmark and the "Åre Project", which facilitated huge investment in Åre, interest boomed in the ski resort.
Nowadays, Åre, a small and rural town located in the Jämtland region, in the midst of the Swedish mountains, and with 1400 inhabitants, welcome around 800 000 visitors yearly.
Around 11,000 of Jämtland’s 126,000 inhabitants live in Åre Municipality. The county is about the same size as Switzerland (which has eight million inhabitants).
Åreskutan, with a summit that is snow-covered from November to May, towers above the village and the neighboring mountains. It rises 1420 meters above sea level and, on a clear day, it can be seen from the county seat of Östersund, 100 km away. "Skutan" is distinctive thanks to its alp-like character and its height; while other mountains and resorts are usually surrounded by mountains of the same height, Åreskutan is the tallest one around.

Åre first hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1954. It was the 13th championships ever and world champions in Downhill, Giant Slalom, Slalom, and Alpine Combined were crowned between 1 and 7 March.
In 2007, once again, Åre hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships. The 2007 Championships made a permanent impression on Åre’s ski system and the village, as a new Ladies’ Downhill was built, commercial space doubled and a 130-meter-long tunnel replaced the bridge that once led the world championship slopes across the E14. The 39th Alpine World Ski Championships was a success for both the host and the Swedish team.
Åre also has great experience of organizing Alpine World Cup races. Åre Slalomklubb and Världscupbolaget have organized more than 100 World Cup races over the years, with great success. Thanks to the now legendary Åre son Bibbo Nordenskiöld’s initiative, an Alpine World Cup was first held in Åre in 1969.
The third World Cup was held in Åre on 21 March 1977. It was showtime for Sweden and Ingemar Stenmark; 29,000 people visited Åre to watch him win.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Workforce Housing Project in Vail

Currently, one of the main problems faced by ski resorts is the accommodation of workers. It is increasingly difficult for these to find accommodation in good conditions of habitability at affordable rates. And we all know how important our staff is when it comes to meeting the expectations of our customers. And, to a large extent, the quality of our staff will be determined by the quality of the accommodation, a key element between working conditions and fundamental to keep our workers in the medium and long-term and avoid excessive turnover of them.
Aware of the problem, Vail Resorts announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell a 23-acre parcel north of Interstate 70 located at the East Vail exit to Vail-based Triumph Development.
Just over five acres of the parcel was rezoned in September 2017 to allow for dedicated deed-restricted, workforce housing. The remaining 18 acres were simultaneously rezoned to Natural Area Preservation District, the Town’s most restrictive zone district, to maintain this acreage in its natural state. The parcel was previously zoned as Two Family Residential, one of the Town of Vail’s duplex zone districts.
Subject to an approval process by the Town of Vail which will include community input, the development will include a combination of seasonal workforce and year-round housing. The site has direct access to the Town’s East Vail bus stop, running frequently to and from the Vail Transportation Center.
"We have been actively engaged in many discussions to address workforce housing in Vail and across the resort communities we operate in", said Doug Lovell, vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. "We’re thrilled to see real progress with the East Vail parcel and are excited to help Triumph Development see the project through to fruition".
Principal and chief operating officer of Triumph Development, Michael O’Connor, said: "As a locally-based company with experience in similar projects including the Chamonix Vail townhomes in West Vail, we understand the critical need for housing in the Town of Vail. We very much look forward to once again collaborating with the Town and community to deliver a meaningful housing project that primarily serves locals. Vail Resorts has created a truly unique opportunity by rezoning this parcel and allowing Triumph to acquire the site and develop this much-needed workforce housing project. Vail Resorts has also committed to a long-term master lease for a portion of the new units that allows the ski company to secure housing units at affordable rates for its first- and second-year employees for many years to come".
Vail Resorts proactively retained qualified consultants to analyze geological concerns such as rockfall mitigation and carried out wildlife studies throughout this past winter. The studies have provided important information that will shape Triumph’s development plans, which will include an environmental impact report and a wildlife mitigation plan.
"It is our belief that this is an ‘and’ opportunity", O’Connor said. "We can create much-needed housing and enhance forage availability on bighorn sheep winter range. This is why Vail Resorts already committed to putting 18 acres into Natural Area Preservation. The data collected will not only be used to inform the community where and how wildlife are using the area, but also to design a project that avoids, minimizes and compensates for negative wildlife effects".
The East Vail project is Vail Resorts’ latest project in its effort to spur more workforce housing development in its resort communities. In 2015, Vail Resorts made a $30 million commitment in the form of contributing dollars, land and/or long-term master lease agreements to prompt private-public partnerships for new workforce housing. Since that time, Vail Resorts has been actively engaged in many discussions with private and public entities to bring more affordable housing to our resort communities, including in Colorado, Park City, Lake Tahoe and Whistler-Blackcomb:

  • The Wintergreen Workforce Housing Community near Keystone, which is expected to provide just over 380 beds and representing a commitment by the Company to the long-term lease of units. The developer broke ground in August of 2018.
  • Epic Mountain Express received approval in 2017 to convert a portion of a commercial property that the Company owns in Silverthorne to workforce housing. Construction of 10 new beds was completed in July of 2018.
  • In Whistler, Vail Resorts recently announced a plan to build a 200-bed development on Glacier Lane, an existing Whistler-Blackcomb staff housing complex. 
Despite challenges such as a lack of land, complex governmental approvals, neighborhood opposition, and costly infrastructure requirements, Vail Resorts continues to seek out projects and partnerships to find new and creative solutions to the workforce housing crisis facing so many mountain communities.

Vail Resorts 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.