Vail Buys Park City… Is This A Good Or Bad Thing?

Park City Utah with Marriot Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

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First and foremost the 2014-15 season is saved!!!! It looked like it was going to be a knock-down, drag out fight between Powder Corp. and Vail Resorts. Fortunately, they came to a decision so that the locals as well as tourists are still able to ski/ride Park City this winter. But, what does this mean for the locals that Vail buys Park City? Is this a good or bad thing?

The Good

Based on Vail’s prior purchases it could mean better perks, fatter pockets, and more sick lines for locals.

  • Additional Employee Benefits: Based on past conversations with the local employees at Kirkwood it seems that being part of Vail Inc allows them to have health insurance, 401K, and additional benefits that they never had access to. For some employees, this might be a good thing
  • New terrain: With Vail purchasing Park City Resort there is a guarantee new lifts will access terrain that was considered out of bounds earlier to connect Canyons and Park City. In addition, season pass holders of Canyons or Park City most likely would have never skied/rode the other mountain. Now they will be able to switch it up
  • New Tourists / Market Segment: Vail Resorts has a lot of season pass holders that would’ve never gone to Park City and for the past 3 seasons Tahoe has plain stunk for snow so 7.5 million people in the Bay Area who normally would travel up to Tahoe may take a trip to Park City instead of staying home… especially during the infamous “June-uary” where it normally doesn’t snow for 4-6 weeks in Tahoe

The Bad

Being part of a conglomeration means less individuality, more crowds, and less of a voice in the community.

  • No longer a unique experience: Park City was originally the “crown jewel” of Powder Corp. Known for its stellar parks, groomed runs, and its storied past. Instead, it will be one additional “notch” of the many ski resorts owned by Vail. Like being absorbed by the Borg in Star Trek… they will remove what personality that was unique to Park City Mountain Resort and apply the “Vail” style and branding. Could this mean the end of what we can consider Park City?
  • Headquarters isn’t local anymore: With Vail being based in Colorado a lot of the management jobs will most likely be consolidated and moved to Colorado. Any decisions that are made aren’t for the best for the community, but the bottom line for Vail Resorts Inc which is a publicly traded company and focused on profit.
  • New Lodging, means more people on the mountain: Every major resort Vail has bought has meant increasing the lodging that is available in and around the resort. Most likely, this means further crowded trails, higher cost of food, and less unique deals.

Like any change, there are good aspects to it as well as bad. The question remains, will this help Park City locals or make it worse? What do you think? For a deeper dive into what it means to be owned by Vail take a close look at our article: The Two-Sided Coin of Vail Purchasing Your Local Ski Area.

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