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SAM Magazine--July 19, 2012-- Vail Resorts, Inc. has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service for a comprehensive summer activities plan at Vail Mountain.

Vail’s summer activity effort, named Epic Discovery, a Summer Mountain Adventure, will encourage “learn through play” by featuring environmental educational elements interspersed between numerous new activities located in already developed areas of the mountain. Vail Resorts will work with The Nature Conservancy to bring scientific content to the eco-discovery experiences and will be contributing 1 percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue toward forest restoration projects. This initiative marks the first proposal of its kind in the country following passage last fall of the Ski Area Recreational Opportunities Enhancement Act.

In addition to the activities, U.S. Forest Service Rangers will be on site to provide eco-educational experiences for kids and families, helping them to learn more about their natural surroundings. Following are highlights of what Vail would like to offer:

Game Creek and Front Side Zip Line Tours: Three-hour guided tours with ziplines and aerial bridges.

Adventure Ridge Challenge Tour: A multi-stage tour combining ziplines, ropes swings, bridge components and other features.

Micro-Interpretive Centers for Education: Integrated with trails and activities around the mountain, these interpretive experiential centers will provide guests with hands-on information and activities about forest health, wildlife and the mountain geography of the White River National Forest.

More Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails: Comprehensive interpretive and directional signage will be integrated to encourage more hiking and mountain biking across Vail Mountain and descending into the villages below.

Family Forest Adventure Park: A playground of rope challenges and bridges to introduce young children to the wonders of the forest.

Forest Flyer™: An alpine slide that runs on raised rails, the Forest Flyers™ wind their way down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest.

Game Creek Deck and Lookout Tower: A panoramic viewing balcony.

Segway Trails and Tours: A guided tour with cross-terrain, self-propelled Segways.

Vail Mountain has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service that includes the above activities and vision for Epic Discovery. Following acceptance of the proposal, the agency will begin its comprehensive environmental review. Epic Discovery at Vail Mountain is the first installment of summer mountain adventure plans that Vail Resorts has for each of its seven resorts. Plans for Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood will be announced and submitted at later dates.

To learn more about the project, visit