In September 2018 Vail Resorts purchased its fifth Colorado ski area – Crested Butte Mountain Resort. While Crested Butte has been dubbed the “last great ski town”, it’s also the American birthplace of extreme skiing. Vail Resorts has always been known for their focus on skier experience. Now they must find a way to work extreme skiing into their network of resorts. We all appreciate the fact they are taking two ski seasons to analyze what they have here and what makes Crested Butte so special.

“We are trying to learn how things work here. Crested Butte doesn’t fit in with our other resorts. It stands out. And that’s a very good thing, and we want to keep it that way” says Chris Jarnot, executive vice president of Vail Resorts’ mountain division. While the news of the sale to Vail produced mixed feelings from the town who’s motto was once “We are not Vail”, there is a new wave of optimism moving forward. With their purchase, Vail promised much needed investments in our tired ski area. $35 million over the next two years in fact. First task at hand, fix the aging lifts. In their first six months of ownership, Vail has spent some big money on upgrades to the old lifts.

“It’s cool to have a company here that is in the resort business, with all these analytics and data from owning the largest ski areas in North America.” says Murray Wais, co-founder of Matchstick Productions and 25 year resident. “They have learned a lot from owning how many resorts now? Fifteen? Those are lessons no other operator has. They can bring that here, and that means really good things for us.”

Read more on Vail Resorts’ strategy for Crested Butte – Crested Butte May Be The Gem in Vail Resorts’ Portfolio, But its Lifts Must Be Fixed Before It Can Shine.

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