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Vail Resorts Plans $211M in Capital Investments for 2023

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SAM Magazine—Broomfield, Colo., March 10, 2023—Vail Resorts is planning $206 million to $211 million in capital investments for 2023. Projects include lift installations, a new technology rollout, integration activities, and the first phase in a multi-year project at Andermatt-Sedrun.Vailhn

The Keystone, Colo., Bergman Bowl expansion is slated to be completed this year after a cease work order related to environmental impacts from construction delayed installation of the new six-passenger Bergman Bowl Express last summer. The expansion will add 555 acres of lift-served terrain to the resort.

At Breckenridge, Colo., Vail Resorts plans to upgrade the Peak 8 base area to enhance the beginner and children's experience and increase uphill capacity. The investment plan includes a new four-person high-speed chairlift to replace the existing two-person fixed-grip lift as well as new teaching terrain and a carpet lift. 

At Stevens Pass, Wash., the Kehr's Chair double lift will be replaced with a new four-person lift to improve out-of-base capacity and the guest experience. 

At Attitash, N.H., the Summit Triple will be replaced with a new high-speed quad. 

These lift projects are subject to regulatory approvals and are currently planned to be completed in time for the 2023-24 North American winter season. Additionally, Vail Resorts plans to expand parking by more than 500 spaces across Heavenly, Calif., Mount Sunapee, N.H., and Liberty and Roundtop, Pa. A breakdown of those spaces was not provided.

At Whistler Blackcomb, B.C., subject to final permitting, Vail Resorts plans to replace the four-person high-speed Fitzsimmons lift with a new eight-person high-speed chairlift in 2023 and the Jersey Cream high-speed quad will be replaced by a new six-person high-speed lift in 2024. The Jersey Cream lift was initially slated for an upgrade this year, but Doppelmayr Canada informed Vail Resorts it cannot install both lifts this summer due to labor and resource constraints. 

VR is planning to accelerate certain investments in its gear rental business in 2023 with the intention of offsetting the deferred costs related to the Jersey Cream lift installation.

Bluetooth Low Energy technology is another big-ticket item for the 2023-24 season. As previously reported, the technology will allow guests to store their pass product or lift ticket directly on their phone and scan at lifts hands-free at VR’s U.S. resorts.

The Mobile Pass technology will be accompanied by the rollout of the new My Epic app, which will replace the existing EpicMix guest experience app. The company is also investing in network-wide scalable technology to enhances its analytics, e-commerce, and guest engagement tools.

In addition, Vail Resorts is planning to invest approximately $10 million at Switzerland’s Andermatt-Sedrun. In 2023, the company plans to upgrade and expand Sedrun's snowmaking and enhance the on-mountain dining experience with renovations to the Milez and Natschen restaurants and replacement of the Valtgeva restaurant. 

These investments are expected to be completed ahead of the 2023-24 European ski season and remain subject to regulatory approvals.