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Saturday,  April 13, 2024 3:19 AM 

Ski and Après-Ski Season is back at Vail Resorts

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  •   10-20-2014  11:46 am

Ski and Après-Ski Season is back at Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts hit the slopes – sliding into Toronto Thursday evening to share new developments and events for their upcoming winter season.

In an ongoing effort to exceed guest expectations, Vail Resorts has committed $85 million U.S. in resort improvements this winter, bringing its resort and guest experience investment to close to $500 million U.S. over the past five years. Enhancements will include snowmaking upgrades, multiple express chairlifts and restaurants, and a major ‘facelift’ at the Lodge at Vail, A RockResort, comprised of renovations to 56 hotel rooms, and upgrades to the hotel’s main lobby, stairways and corridors. 

Also a hot topic, the eagerly anticipated 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (AWSC) will see 700 athletes from 70 nations flocking to the region and participating, with coverage to be broadcast to over 850 million viewers in more than 75 countries. Held in Vail and Beaver Creek from February 2 – 15, 2015, this international event will be offering fans free ski event tickets, intimate access to racing action, and complimentary shuttle service. Plans are also in place for concerts, culinary events, art exhibits, ticketed events, and ‘Vail’-gating parties. It should be noted that less than five per cent of available ski terrain will be impacted, meaning ski enthusiast travelers need not be concerned about their ability to access favourite runs during the Championships. 

Rosalie Waxman, international communications specialist, Vail Resorts, spoke about agent specific promotions. 

- Vail: Up to 35 per cent off at The Lodge at Vail; up to 60 per cent off at The Arrabelle; up to 40 per cent off The Ritz Carlton Residences. Book by November 21, 2014. Restrictions may apply. - Breckenridge: Up to 25 per cent off lodging in Breckenridge at The Doubletree by Hilton, Breckenridge, Mountain Thunder Lodge, One Ski Hill Place. Book by Nov. 7, 2014. Restrictions may apply. Similar specials are also available in Canyons, Utah and Northstar, Lake Tahoe.

"What’s really great about it is it gives tour operators the ability to sell those vacations because we offer very competitive rates for those clients who choose to go through them," Waxman said.

In terms of agent training, Laura Kirby, international market manager, Vail Resorts, has plans in the works, including running ski educational seminars and webinars for operators – stay tuned. As well, she is hoping to invite agents to visit and experience engaged, first-hand training, and meanwhile, there are three main FAM trips coming up, including one to Colorado’s ‘Grand FAM’ in December (4-11), and two others to both Lake Tahoe and Utah in the spring. 

Travel agents can book all components of a Vail vacation via wholesale partners, including Epic Passes, rentals, ski school, and roundtrip transfers from the airport for Colorado, Utah, and Lake Tahoe resorts (all commissionable products).

Other notable highlights Vail Resorts revealed for the forthcoming ski season:

- Just in time for the World Championships, non-stop Air Canada flights servicing Toronto to Vail/Eagle will resume for a second season beginning January 31st. With mid-morning departures from Toronto and at a flight time of about four hours, guests can depart Toronto after breakfast and still get in plenty of ski runs before dinner. 

- With savings of up to 30 per cent as compared to same day tickets, the Epic Pass continues to be the most popular lift product going. The pass includes unlimited, unrestricted access to more than 32,000 acres of skiing and riding on 22 iconic world mountains in four countries, including U.S. offerings at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Globally, the Epic Pass can extend to include access to mountain resorts in France, Switzerland and Japan. Guests who book the Epic Pass by opening day will be sure to receive the best deals of the season. 

- It was announced last month that Vail Resorts has acquired Park City Mountain Resort in Utah, with plans in place to connect Park City to Canyons Ski Resort in 2015-2016 and create the largest ski resort in the U.S. Only 30 minutes from the airport, Park City will also be joining the Epic Pass program.

- Toast on the Slopes: Also new this season, Northstar is inviting guests to raise their glasses, toast friends and family, and sip sparkling wine on the mountain each day at 2 p.m. 

- For party seekers, Unbuckle at Tamarack – Lake Tahoe’s highest elevation afternoon party – was rated by Forbes as the number one après ski party in North America, with drink and food specials, music and dancing, plus live DJ’s on weekends. 

- In December 2013, Heavenly partnered with Sammy Hagar’s son – Aaron Hagar – to retrofit a CAT grooming machine and turn it into a moveable DJ station, complete with lights, speaks, an LCD screen and state-of-the-art podium. 

- Also at Heavenly, Tahoe’s newest property, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, is slated to open during the 2014-2015 winter season, and will feature 539 rooms, multiple restaurants and bars, live entertainment and casino. For more refined relaxation, newly opened The Landing Resort & Spa is Lake Tahoe’s only five-star boutique lakeside resort. 

For more information, visit or For FAM trip interest, email Laura Kirby at For information regarding the 2015 FIS AWSC in Vail/Beaver Creek, visit