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New lifts at Stevens Pass the highlight of Vail Resorts’ 2019 – 2020 investment programme

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Mountain Technology,

Vail Resorts, Inc. has announced it is to invest approximately US$175 – US$180 million across its network of 18 resorts in time for the 2019 – 2020 winter ski and snowboard season.

"Vail Resorts has been the leader in resort investment year after year and this year is no exception," said Rob Katz, Chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts. "We are continuing to raise the bar for skiers and riders with meaningful, impactful improvements that will help to provide consistent, reliable and seamless experiences all season long."

The most eye-catching investment is the replacement and upgrading of the Daisy and Brooks lifts at Stevens Pass in Washington state, which Vail says will reduce lift line wait times for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders at the resort and increase total lift capacity by over 9%. The Daisy lift, which is currently a triple, will become a fixed-grip quad, while the Brooks double lift will be turned into a detachable quad. 

Elsewhere, in Colorado, Vail Mountain, Keystone Resort and Beaver Creek are all set to benefit from enhanced snowmaking systems, subject to US Forest Service approval. All projects are intended to bring forward the resorts’ opening days and effect more reliable coverage during the early-season.

"The ability to expand snowmaking infrastructure in areas of Vail Mountain with higher elevations, colder temperatures and connectivity to areas that typically hold good natural snow would be transformational for the early-season experience for skiers and snowboarders, even in years where conditions are less favourable than we've seen across Colorado this season," said Pat Campbell, President of Vail Resorts' mountain division.

"At Keystone, we plan to invest in top-of-the-line snowmaking technology upgrades, helping position Keystone to be the first for the earliest opening in Colorado and further add to the tremendous value already offered to season pass holders.”

The company is also upgrading ticketing infrastructure across all its 17 North American resorts by installing new handheld, mobile technology. This will allow guests who pre-purchased lift tickets to bypass the ticket window.

Katz said: "Reducing guest wait times is a top priority across Vail Resorts. Direct-to-lift technology enhancements for advance purchase lift tickets is one of the more significant transformational investments we can make to improve the guest experience."

In Australia, the replacement of the Leichhardt T-Bar with a fixed-grip quad lift at Perisher for the 2019 season is currently underway along with snowmaking investments to provide early-season connections and maximise terrain for guests.

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