- First of two winter programs in Vail this year to include families and provide additional on- and off-mountain activities.
Through Vail Resorts, the Vail community and generous donors, the three-day complimentary program will focused on reestablishing abilities in men and women who have been severely wounded while serving our country in Afghanistan and Iraq while reuniting them with their spouses, children and other family members in a fun and welcoming environment.
“The Vail Veterans Program gave us the opportunity to recapture a part of our lives that we thought we’d never get back,” said Ryan Voltin, a Vail Veterans Program participant. Voltin was injured in May 2007 and suffered third-degree burns on his face, arms and hands and lost his left leg below the knee in a friendly fire incident while training in Jordan. “The energy and the enthusiasm that we felt on that mountain had been missing from our lives for nearly two years. But we found it in Vail and now we can bring it home to our children and show them that nothing can be taken from them that they aren’t willing to give up.”
Veteran participants in this week’s program will be provided with three consecutive days of complimentary private adaptive ski or snowboard lessons through the Vail Snowsports School. Families will also be able to partake in three days of ski and snowboard lessons and the entire group will be able to enjoy tubing and ski biking at Vail’s Adventure Ridge on Saturday night.
Adaptive ski and snowboard instructors complete several days of intense adaptive-specific training, including countless hours of auditing lessons and practice with the equipment. Because each adaptive lesson is so unique, the instructor must be highly-experienced in order to choose the appropriate equipment as well as style of communication, technique and teaching to meet the emotional and physical needs of the student, all while providing a fun and safe learning environment. Many of the instructors also have military backgrounds and spend much of their time participating in events, organizations and programs elsewhere that support disabled individuals, allowing for an easy connection with the veterans.
“The commitment of Vail Resorts and the community to the Vail Veterans Program is instrumental in changing the lives of these injured hero’s and revitalizing relationships with their loved ones,” said Cheryl Jensen, Vail Veterans Program founder and executive director. “We’ve been able to share the program with more than 250 wounded warriors in the past years and have created life-long bonds between the veterans, instructors, donors and other volunteers. The program has been a tremendous opportunity for the community far and wide to extend its gratitude for those who’ve selflessly served our country.”
The Vail Veterans Program is made possible by generous individual donors as well as organizations such as Vail Resorts, the U.S. Paralympic Military Program, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa and Continental Airlines.
The next Vail Veterans Program is scheduled for March 3-7, 2010.
For more information about the Vail Veterans Program, visit www.vailveteransprogram.com. For information about Vail Mountain, visit www.vail.com or contact the Mountain Information Center at (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).
MEDIA NOTE: For downloadable photos from the Vail Veterans Program, visit www.vailveteransprogram.com. More info and photos of Vail Mountain are also available at http://news.vail.vailresorts.com. For broadcast-quality video footage and photos, visit: http://public.me.com/vail.resorts. Please credit the photographer listed and Vail Resorts.
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, Heavenly Mountain Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction 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 the consumer website is www.snow.com.
Vail Resorts ECHO – Commitment that Resonates
Vail Resorts ECHO, the Company’s social responsibility and environmental stewardship program, enables us to preserve and care for our communities and the spectacular natural environment that surrounds our resorts. It’s a philosophical approach to how we operate our business, being continually aware of how our decisions and actions resonate with our five stakeholders: our employees, shareholders, guests, communities and the environment. Vail Resorts ECHO encompasses three core efforts --charitable giving, volunteerism and environmental stewardship. It is our hope that Vail Resorts ECHO continues to reverberate positively in the places where we live, work and play for generations to come.
About the Vail Veterans Program
Since 2004, the Vail Veterans Program, a Vail, Colo.-based 501(c)(3) volunteer organization, has been providing rehabilitative support to recently wounded United States military personnel who have been severely injured while serving our country abroad. The Vail Veterans Program offers skiing, snowboarding and outdoor summer recreation activities wounded veterans at no cost to the participant and his or her guest. The program focuses on abilities, not disabilities and allows veterans to rediscover confidence within themselves. The Vail Veterans Program website is www.vailveteransprogram.com.