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Vail Could Reopen Resorts In June, But For Summer Operations Only


"As we all know, Be Safe is one of our most important core values. I wanted to share some thoughts on the meaning of Be Safe as we begin to navigate reopening our operations. First, right now everyone’s health remains top of mind for me. What’s also been top of mind for me is how we need to think about safety in this new environment. Because of the risk inherent in skiing and riding, the safety of our guests and each other has always been critical for us. That culture of “safety first” is part of the fabric of every one of our operations. It’s why we don’t shy away from holding our guests and each other accountable when we see someone skiing or riding too fast, going into closed terrain, or not wearing the appropriate safety gear. And of course, as I shared in our most recent Epic By Nature podcast, it’s our commitment to safety that led us to close our resorts on March 14. Not everyone will always agree when you put safety first – that’s what makes it so difficult. But, a willingness to do what’s hard, for the right reasons, has always been a part of who we are."

The above is the opening statement in an email that Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz sent to employees yesterday morning, May 21st, to talk about the company's plans to begin reopening during the summer. 

Throughout the email, Mr. Katz talks about keeping safety, no matter if it's during the times of COVID-19 or on the mountain during daily operations, as a top priority, Through that the company will begin to rebuild trust with visitors, guests, and fans of Vail Resorts, Inc. 

Mr. Katz also gives some insight into a reopening timeline, which has not been fully decided upon as of yet. However, he did say there is hope that resort services and supporting businesses will come online from mid to late summer. 

"It’s hard to put any firm dates around anything right now, given how new information and guidance comes out every day. But our hope is to have our lifts turning, at all of our resorts, by late June or early July and be welcoming people in all our lodging and retail stores by that time as well. This includes both North American resorts that have summer operations and Australian resorts that are about to kick off the winter season. In the coming weeks, each of our resorts will have more details to share around specific operation plans and we anticipate that activities will likely be more limited than in years past." - From The Katz Email

Though it may come as a disappointment, as stated above, North American operations will be for summertime activities only. Mr. Katz states very specifically in the email, "I also want to address late spring skiing and riding at Breckenridge, Heavenly and Whistler Blackcomb. As much as I would love to get a few last turns this season, we have made the decision not to reopen this spring."

For those places that have late-spring and early-summer skiing and snowboarding, this has been a very common, and also a near-constant, question. However, for those fans of the Vail Resorts, Inc. mountains, the question has now been answered. There will be no skiing or riding at these mountains until the beginning of the 2020/2021 season.

The email also went on to address when employees would be able to return to work in their offices. Again, there is no specific timeline in place yet, but the matter is also one of the company's priorities. 

"I also have received a number of questions about when we might return to our offices, both in Broomfield and across our resorts. We intend to be patient about this as well. Right now, we will only bring back people to their offices if it’s necessary and will continue to have those who can work from home do so. We will more fully open our offices when the benefit of everyone coming back outweighs the risks and the challenges it would present to all of you." - From The Katz Email

For those that are interested in the email in its entirety, you may visit the Vail Resorts newsroom by following the link below.

Letter from Vail Resorts CEO Regarding Reopening Approach

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz sent the following email to employees this morning regarding the company's approach to reopening its resorts and businesses in this new environment. As we all know, Be Safe is one of our most important core values.


Photo: Vail Mountain - Credit: No machine-readable author provided. Dbenbenn assumed (based on copyright claims). / CC BY-SA

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