2015-2016 Winter News & Story Ideas

For more story ideas, facts and figures, and the latest news on Vail, visit http://news.vail.vailresorts.com. Images and b-roll for editorial use only can be found at https://vailresorts.box.com/VailResortsMediaAssets. Please credit the photographer listed and Vail Resorts in a visible location near the image.
On the heels of countless investments, Vail Mountain, one of the largest ski resorts on the planet, has been a world-class travel destination for more than 50 years. While new features abound, both large and small, Vail continues to excel with what it has inherently been known for since 1962: more than 5,200 acres of unparalleled terrain, the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail’s founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations.
NEW: Six-Passenger Avanti Express Lift (#2)
Vail Mountain plans to continue its wave of tremendous investments with the replacement of the Avanti Express Lift (#2) with a six-passenger lift to debut this winter. The Avanti Express Lift (#2) is a primary lift on the front side of Vail Mountain, serving intermediate and advanced terrain and dispersing skiers and snowboarders from Lionshead to mid-mountain. Upgrading the lift will reduce wait times and improve reliability. The current lift – a Doppelmayr detachable quad – was installed in 1989 and has a maximum uphill capacity of approximately 2,800 people per hour. Vail is replacing the lift with a detachable six-passenger lift similar to the Mountain Top Express Lift (#4). With a loading conveyor and gates to improve efficiency and increase capacity by up to 30 percent, the new lift will also and improve skier and snowboarder circulation.

Looking Ahead
On Dec. 7, 2015, Vail Resorts announced that one of the capital improvements for FY16 will be a replacement of Sun Up Lift (#17) in The Back Bowls of Vail Mountain. Pending approvals from the USFS and opening for the 2016-2017, the new #17 would be the ninth chair replacement in the last 10 years at Vail and will make all major lifts at Vail high-speed.
Waffle Way
Waffle Way is the only on-mountain ski-in, ski-out restaurant featuring a waffle sized snack drizzled with a variety of decadent sauces & toppings to help boost your energy until lunch. Also featuring bold, signature gourmet waffle plates made in-house from scratch. Sit down for one of our signature made-from-scratch full-size waffles and enjoy a bottoms-up beer on the deck. Open 9:30am to 2:30pm Tuesday-Saturday, Waffle Way is located on Vail Mountain at the base of Black Forest Race course, adjacent to the bottom of the new Avanti Express (#2).
Experience Vail like a Local
Visit Vail Mountain and the Town of Vail during an off-peak period and you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself…and you’ll save a bundle so you can visit more often! Savvy travelers can make the most out of their trip to Vail this winter by visiting during early season and other off-peak periods when benefits include better deals on lodging and lift tickets, smaller crowds, fantastic events and more of the mountain to yourself. Early season and off-peak time periods offer guests a more relaxed atmosphere, and the opportunity to experience Vail like a local. Traditional off-peak periods fall between opening day and Christmas; after New Year’s Day and before the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday; between the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday and the Presidents Day holiday; after the Presidents Day holiday and into early-March and in mid-April until closing day.

Women of Winter Will Find Endless Options at Vail
Whether you’re a woman looking to spend a relaxing vacation getting pampered in the Rocky Mountains, exploring new areas of the mountain and pushing personal boundaries, or ripping perfect turns down the far reaches of the resort’s legendary Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, Vail is the perfect place to indulge and define your own style of adventure this winter. In addition to the incredible terrain and abundance of luxurious accommodations, culinary experiences, shops, spas and events that Vail is known for, this winter find exciting new offerings designed for women by women, including the return of the popular Women’s Ultimate 4 experience at the Vail Ski & Snowboard School; a new Women & Wine FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) program that includes a half-day afternoon lesson ending with a glass of wine at après; SKADI Fest, a new event January 20-22 featuring demos, clinics and VIP experiences for women-only; Outdoor Divas, a new women’s-specific snowsport shop in Lionshead; plus equipment demos, clinics and more throughout the winter. These offerings are focused on getting more women on the mountain at Vail.
Inspired by the Norse goddess of winter, Vail Mountain will host SKADI Fest, an inaugural women’s ski event. From January 20-22, 2016, female skiers will be treated to customized on-mountain guided experiences with female instructors, evening VIP events, and female-specific ski equipment demos. United by a passion for skiing and the outdoors, SKADI (pronounced ‘Scotty’) Fest is an event designed by women for women and is offered for any level of skier. From film premiers to a culinary presentations and wine tasting education, SKADI Fest is about the full experience, both on- and off-mountain. Participants will also receive a 20 percent discount on any treatments at RockResorts Spas at The Lodge at Vail and The Arrabelle at Vail Square. For the full event schedule or to register, visit http://www.vail.com/events/skadi.aspx
NEW: Women’s Ultimate 4
This premium group ski lesson offers a prime learning environment for up to four women and is led by a female instructor from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School. In these lessons women can learn, or brush up, on their ski skills in a small group setting, from the foundation-building basics of a first-timer class, to navigating the easiest greens, to sharing tactics and camaraderie on the resort’s beginner and intermediate trails. This lesson is offered from 12:45 to 3:15 p.m., which helps to provide convenience for mothers who might have children in ski school. The Women’s Ultimate 4 lesson is offered during peak periods throughout the winter. 2015-2016 dates coming soon! Vail.com

Investments That Outlive the 2015 World Championships  
Long before Vail won the bid and hosted the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships last February, there has been a tremendous commitment to excellence and investment in the guest experience both on and off the mountain, which continues this winter with the upgrade of the Avanti Express Lift (#2). From seven lift upgrades in just eight years; a new on-mountain fine dining restaurant; advancements in technology through EpicMix; improvements to snowmaking capabilities; countless base area developments; and of course the un-matched terrain including the legendary Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, Vail’s leadership and investment in the guest experience is obvious from every angle. Unlike other major sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games, the major infrastructure utilized to host the 2015 FIS Alpine World Championships was already well in place prior to welcoming the world for the prestigious event, and now is prepared to be enjoyed by millions for years to come.
The Lodge at Vail Receives a Major Facelift
Speaking of investments, Vail’s landmark hotel, The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort has transformed its look and feel with significant renovations, which debuted in December 2014. The property’s unrivaled Vail Village location, just steps from Gondola One, as well as its alpine chalet charm and impeccable service, have made it a favorite among visitors for years. Last summer 56 hotel rooms were completely renovated, and the hotel’s corridors, main stairways and lobby also received upgrades while maintaining the authentic character and cozy ambiance for which the hotel is known. In addition to the most recent renovations, the Lodge at Vail also underwent renovations to the International Wing hotel rooms and ballroom, and added a new RockResorts Spa and fitness center in 2008; introduced Elway’s in 2011, a popular Colorado steakhouse named for former Denver Bronco quarterback and NFL Hall of Fame Inductee John Elway; and renovated the pool area and onsite restaurant, Cucina, in 2013. The transformation brings the iconic hotel to the forefront of Vail’s evolution, providing guests with modern comfort and chic décor. LodgeatVail.com
Looking ahead to Epic Discovery
Summer in the mountains is taking on a whole new feel with Epic Discovery, and Vail Resorts is once again leading the ski industry by being the first to submit and develop a comprehensive new summer activities plan in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and Nature Conservancy. Vail Resorts’ Epic Discovery program encourages “learn through play,” promoting environmental education and forest stewardship through a variety of outdoor activities and interpretive programming. The Company is also working closely with the Nature Conservancy to bring scientific content to the eco-discovery experiences and will be contributing one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue toward forest restoration projects. Vail Mountain will be one of the first destinations in the Vail Resorts family to launch Epic Discovery in 2016, and the primary components of the resort’s upcoming plans include:
  • Learn-through-Play Elements: Integrated with trails and activities around the mountain, these interpretive experiential elements will provide guests with hands-on information and activities about forest health, wildlife and the mountain geography of the White River National Forest.
  • Game Creek Zip Line Tour: The ultimate outdoor experience, this guided tour will immerse guests in the forest habitat with an array of zip lines and aerial bridges. Guests will learn about the mountain ecosystem while working their way through the course’s challenges.
  • Forest Flyer™: An alpine coaster that runs on raised rails, the Forest Flyer™ winds its way down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest.
  • Expanded Trail System: Comprehensive interpretive and directional signage will be integrated to encourage more hiking and trail exploration across Vail Mountain.
Epic Discovery is designed to connect both kids and adults with our national forests in an active, fun and engaging way, offering guests a unique opportunity to try new outdoor activities, challenge themselves physically, discover an appreciation for nature and create lasting family memories. Vail’s existing Adventure Ridge has already undergone enhancements with the addition of two challenge courses, a Zip Flyer, a kids’ challenge course and kids’ zip line, and new for 2015, summer tubing. Construction on the Forest Flyer and Game Creek Zip Line Tour was completed this fall, and these new and existing activities will all be incorporated into Epic Discovery when it debuts in summer 2016.  http://www.epicdiscovery.com/
Ski the World with One Epic Pass – Perisher in Australia is now Epic!
Enjoy unlimited, unrestricted skiing and snowboarding at 11 U.S. resorts offering more than 32,000 acres of terrain for the 2015-2016 winter ski season. Experience iconic U.S. resorts like Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Park City all season long, and new this year, enjoy unlimited access to Australia’s largest ski resort and newest member of the Vail Resorts family, Perisher. Priced at just $769 for adults and $399 for children, the Epic Pass allows skiers and snowboarders to experience some of the most iconic resorts in the world, domestically and now internationally as well. EpicPass.com
The 34th Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships Return to Vail Mountain Feb. 29 – March 5
The Burton US Open, which first took place in 1982, is the longest-running snowboarding competition in the world and draws the best riders to compete for a coveted US Open title. Catch Olympic-level slopestyle and halfpipe snowboarding competitions in Golden Peak by day, and enjoy free live concerts from headliner acts and more by night. Stay tuned for more info at Vail.com/Burton or Burton.com/USO.
Easy Access from Eagle Airport (EGE)
Located just 35 miles west of Vail, Eagle Airport (EGE) is a convenient alternative to driving from Denver or beyond, especially with growing non-stop service to major markets and quick connections to and from Denver International Airport. For the 2014-2015 winter season, Vail is easily accessible via Air Canada, American, Delta, or United airlines’ non-stop flights from 11 major markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, New York/Kennedy, and Toronto. The majority of winter service begins mid-December 2015 and continues through early-April 2016. For more information on winter schedules and service into EGE, visit FlyVail.com.  
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