As part of its 2022 preliminary budgeting process, Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) said this week it plans to invest a record $320 million in capital improvements next year.
Systemwide, these improvements, called the Epic Lift Upgrade, will include 19 new chairlifts, including 12 high-speed lifts, a new eight-person high-speed gondola and six new fixed-grip lifts, according to a Vail news release.
“At some of our mountains, this means new high-speed lifts that will double how fast we can move people out of the base areas, and at others, the projects are all about making it easier for people to explore different sections of the mountain,” Vail CEO Rob Katz said in the release.
At Vail’s Colorado resorts, improvements are expected to include:
- Keystone Resort, Bergman Bowl: Enhancements to Bergman Bowl will include a new high-speed six-person chairlift, increasing lift-served terrain by 555 acres. Additional enhancements include 16 new trails, a ski patrol facility and snowmaking infrastructure. This project unlocks access for novice and intermediate guests and provides expanded entry to expert terrain in Independence and Erickson Bowls.
- Keystone Resort, Outpost Restaurant: An approximately 6,000 square feet expansion of the existing Outpost restaurant will add 300 more indoor seats and 75 more outdoor seats for guests.
- Vail Mountain, Sun Down Lift in the Legendary Back Bowls: The installation of a new high-speed four-person chair in the Sun Down Bowl from the base of Chair 5 (High Noon Express) to the Wildwood restaurant will materially reduce wait times on peak days at Chair 5 and create the opportunity for skiers and riders to much more conveniently access the trails in Sun Down Bowl.
- Vail Mountain, Game Creek Bowl: Skiers and riders will see improved reliability and capacity in this popular bowl with the replacement of the current four-person chair with a new high-speed six-person lift, increasing capacity by nearly 50%.
- Breckenridge Ski Resort, Rip’s Ride Lift: The beginner/ski and ride school experience will be enhanced at the highly utilized Peak 8 base area by replacing the current fixed-grip double with a high-speed four-person chair, increasing uphill capacity by nearly 70% and improving out-of-base circulation.