People Don’t Like Vail Resorts

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Thomas Coder, Staff Writer/Co-Editor

The Vail Resorts Corporation is one of the biggest ski operators in the United States. They own resorts in the Rockies and in the northeast region of the country, making their presence very known and pervasive. They advertise that their interest in owning these mountains is to make skiing an accessible sport for all, and it is believed that through their ownership of these resorts, they can do that. Certainly, they have allowed for more accessibility through a single product they offer: the Vail Epic Pass. This single pass allows unlimited access for an entire season from mountains ranging from Vail, Colorado, to Stowe, Vermont. What is the cause of distaste with Vail, then? It is pricing. Ticket prices are actually reasonable, and very comparable to other corporate owned ski resorts and even similar to family owned ski resorts in the immediate area. Where Vail truly makes themselves different is their pricing for just about every other amenity there is for a mountain to offer. From cafeteria food to ski rentals, the prices are very high, and this makes skiing a more and more expensive sport than necessary. Senior Christian Sorrentino was recently at Vail, Colorado, and he reported a single Dasani water bottle in the cafeteria being priced at 6$. 

Another reason people dislike Vail is because they take away the homie and family owned vibe of smaller ski mountains. Kirkwood, for example, used to offer free ski days for locals in the area and would extend their season, even if it meant operating the mountain on only a few trails. Once Vail acquired it, however, it just became another mountain on Vail’s huge list of mountains, and lost any true sincerity. Their season became just as long as all the other Vail owned mountain seasons, and there certainly were no more free ski days. Vail is viewed as a corporate behemoth that is after every single mountain they can get their hands on. This leads to one of the less direct, but somewhat impending fears of Vail. With the way they have been expanding their company, many fear that Vail will monopolize the industry, but not by owning EVERY mountain, that would be impossible and illegal. It would be by owning the mountains with the most capacity within a local area, the mountains where people really have no choice but to go because other local mountains will be too small to handle such large amounts of people. This fear is making people have cautions about Vail Resorts.