VAIL, Colo. - Nov. 16, 2012 - Vail Mountain, the largest ski resortin the United States, opened today for its 50th anniversary ski and snowboard season with a dedication ceremony for the brand new, state-of-the-art gondola, One (#1), complete with heated seats and Wi-Fi. The ceremony took place at 8:30 a.m. this morning and included comments from Vail Resorts' chief executive officer, Rob Katz, and Vail Mountain's senior vice president and chief operating officer, Chris Jarnot, as well as a Rick Spear, President of Leitner-Poma of America.
One of the many highlights of today's ceremony included christening One by smashing a bottle of champagne on the center of the lower terminal. The custom, borrowed from the ancient tradition used to christen new ships, is a way to ask for the protection of sailors, or in Vail's case, the safe - and comfortable - passage of skiers and snowboarders. Sheika Gramshammer, a local legend who has resided in Vail with her husband Pepi since the beginning, did the honors.
A ribbon cutting by Pete Seibert, Jr. and Carl Eaton followed and signaled the very first rides on One (#1).
The Leitner-Poma of America gondola replaced the Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) and is the first and fastest of its kind in North America, increasing uphill capacity by 40 percent. The 10-passenger gondola cabins provide skiers and snowboarders a cozy 7.5 minute ride from the base of Vail Village to Mid-Vail with heated, cushioned seats and Wi-Fi access. The new gondola is designated number #1 to commemorate Vail's original gondola in the same location. One-hundred ten of the gondola's 111 cabins were designed with a silver finish and full-length tinted windows while cabin #50 has been painted gold as an ongoing reminder that the lift is an integral part of Vail's 50th anniversary celebration.
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About Vail Mountain
Quickly approaching its 50th anniversary on Dec. 15, 2012 and coveted as the largest ski resort in the United States with more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain and seven legendary Back Bowls spanning seven miles, Vail is an extraordinary winter vacation destination. Under blue skies more than 300 days each year and with more groomed terrain than anywhere on the planet, families reconnect and celebrate here from year to year and generation to generation. The vacation experience is world class, from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School to the events, activities and festivals, the shops and spas, abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations. Coupled with the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail's founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail can still credibly lay claim to being a resort like nothing on earth. www.Vail.com.
phone: (970) 754-3001
phone: (970) 754-4528
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.comand consumer website is www.snow.com