TORONTO — Thanks to new seasonal direct service and a number of exciting initiatives, Vail Resorts is gearing up for a season of epic proportions.
Operating eight ski resorts in Colorado, Utah, Lake Tahoe as well as two urban ones in the Midwest, Vail Resorts recently hosted a media marketplace at Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto to share news of its latest offerings. Most notable was the announcement that Air Canada will start new, nonstop service between Toronto and Vail/Eagle Airport for the coming winter season beginning Dec. 14 through April 5, 2014.
The new service will be the second nonstop western ski gateway for Toronto behind Denver, making it easier than ever for those travelling from Toronto and Eastern Canada to ski and snowboard in Vail and Beaver Creek, two premier mountain resort destinations in the U.S. The new flight also allows for skiing and riding on the same day of travel; Eagle Airport is conveniently located 45 kilometres from Beaver Creek and 56 kilometres from Vail, with door-to-door transfers to accommodations with Colorado Mountain Express.
“Canada is one of our most important international markets, so we’re thrilled that our Canadian guests can now enjoy a seamless travel experience to Vail and Beaver Creek, thanks to our valued Air Canada partnership,” said Bob Stinchcomb, vice president of business development of Vail Resorts. “We have seen consistent growth in visitation to Vail and Beaver Creek from the Canadian market over the last several years and this new nonstop service between the Vail/Eagle and Toronto Pearson Airports will create an even more compelling reason for Canadians to experience our world-class mountain resorts, with same day skiing, unparalleled Vail Resorts service and incredible value.”
Adding to this value is the ‘Epic Pass’, regarded to be the best lift product in the industry. Valued at US$729, the pass holds even greater appeal now that Vail Resorts has announced new partnerships with two of the most famous ski regions in the world – Les 3 Vallées, France and Arlberg, Austria (in addition to existing partner Verbier, Switzerland).
Now, pass holders can enjoy unlimited, unrestricted access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora in Colorado, Canyons in Utah, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe in addition to five free days at both Les 3 Vallées and Verbier, and five free consecutive days at Arlberg. Epic Pass holders can ski and ride across an incredible 26 mountains and four countries on just one pass, which pays for itself in just over five days.
To spread the word about this epic offer, Vail Resorts has launched the ‘Epic Race’, which invites all globetrotting pass holders to visit all 26 resorts as quickly as possible. The first 10 people to complete the race will receive an Epic Pass for life. More details to come on Nov. 1 at epicpass.com.
Winter sports enthusiasts can expect to find an array of new developments across the resort chain. According to May Lilley, International Communications Manager at Vail Resorts, the company will spend anywhere from $130-$140 million in resort capital expenditures in the 2013 calendar year. These include a new high-speed, six-person lift in Vail, a new on-mountain restaurant at Beaver Creek, and a significant 23% terrain expansion in Breckenridge. Titled ‘Peak 6’, the 540-acre expansion will include 400 acres of lift-served terrain, 143 acres of hike-to terrain and high-alpine intermediate bowl skiing (a rare find in North America), representing one of the most notable ski area expansions in the past decade. Opening day for Peak 6 will be announced early this winter as construction comes to a close.
“All this, combined with the Epic Pass and the new direct service with Air Canada represent incredible value for Canadians,” said Lilley. “This is the biggest year of announcements we’ve ever had.”
For more information on Vail Resorts visit vailresorts.com. To view photos from the event visit the Photos section.