Broomfield, CO – Ski resort operator Vail Resorts, Inc. on Wednesday announced a $30 million commitment to develop new employee housing projects in the communities where it operates its mountain resorts. The company intends to use these funds in partnership with the local resort communities, cities and counties, and with other businesses, to help develop new affordable housing projects that can be made available to seasonal and year-round employees.
Living in a popular ski town can be horrifically expensive, and ski resort wages often force employees to find housing further and further afield. While Vail Resorts already owns and manages more than 3,200 beds, and has added about 650 beds over the past three years, the success and growth of these resort communities has created a greater need for employee housing. Company officials say that they’re willing to use the Vail Resorts’ own land, capital or commitments to long-term lease guarantees to assist in bringing new employee housing projects to fruition.
Vail Resorts intends to include this new funding commitment in its existing dialogue with its local communities. The company’s current portfolio of destination ski mountains is concentrated in the Vail Valley and Summit County, Colorado; Park City, Utah; and the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada.
While Vail Resorts acknowledges that many of these projects will take a number of years to develop, it understands the importance of energizing the planning and dialogue around these efforts today.
“The mission of Vail Resorts is to provide an experience of a lifetime to our guests and we make that happen by providing an experience of a lifetime to our employees. Having affordable and available housing options is a critical component of delivering on that mission,” said Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts. “With the incredible success of our resort communities, the strength of the travel economy and the growing prevalence of rent-by-owner options, fewer housing units in mountain resort communities are being made available to local employees across all resort businesses.
“The availability of affordable housing is critical for the sustainability and vitality of our resort communities and we firmly believe Vail Resorts should be an integral partner in expanding employee housing capacity,” Katz added. “We are hopeful this new commitment will complement our existing efforts and all of the projects that are already in the works with local government agencies.”
Any housing funding would be consistent with the company’s existing public guidance on long-term capital spending, Vail Resorts officials indicate.