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Vail launches Epic Discovery Kids to offer free summer activities access to 2,000 kids

June 15, 2016, 9:06 am

This summer, Vail Mountain plans to expose more children to the wonders of the National Forest by creating Epic Discovery Kids, a program offering free access to Vail’s new Epic Discovery summer activities to 2,000 kids from Eagle County schools and non-profits and Colorado Front Range non-profits.

epicpromiselogoEpic Discovery Kids is a new program that created through the partnership of EpicPromise, Vail Resort’s charitable giving program, and Epic Discovery, Vail’s new on-mountain summer experience. Epic Discovery Kids will utilize Epic Discovery to provide a unique, connected, on-mountain summer experience that will immerse local and regional children in activities which provide big-time thrills, allow them to challenge themselves physically, guide them to explore and better understand their natural surroundings, and ultimately create lifelong memories.

“Epic Discovery Kids will provide an avenue for kids to experience Vail Mountain in a whole new way and will hopefully help create the next generation of stewards by expose kids from diverse backgrounds to the mountains,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “Vail Mountain is well-known as the ultimate winter playground, and Epic Discovery will build on that stellar reputation to create the ultimate year-round playground. The summer months promise new adventure and the opportunity for families to learn through play together in the National Forest.”

Two Epic Discovery Kids programs will launch this summer: one aimed at kids from local and regional markets through non-profit programs and one that targets local elementary schools in the community.

  • Non-Profits: Vail Resorts will partner with local and regional non-profit organizations who offer summer programing to bring a total of 2,000 kids for a hands-on environmental learning experience with the USFS and team building using the ropes courses, tubing hill and coaster.
    • Non-profits will sign up in advance and come from the local community as well as Colorado’s Front Range.
  • Local Schools: Partnering with the Eagle County School District, Vail will provide an on-mountain experience to every fourth grader in the local community through Epic Discovery Kids.
    • Extensive nature tour with curriculum developed by the USFS and Walking Mountains Science Center, as well as input from science teachers.
    • Access to activities like tubing, the mountain coaster and/or the ropes course.

“SOS Outreach couldn’t be more excited to partner with EpicPromise through the Epic Discovery Kids program,” said Seth Ehrlich, Executive Director at SOS Outreach. “For years, EpicPromise has made it possible for thousands of underserved youth to participate in skiing and snowboarding programs during the winter months. With the launch of Epic Discovery, SOS will expand programming to provide exposure to new summer adventure sports, encourage responsible outdoor participation and create a seamless year-round program for the next generation of outdoors enthusiasts and leaders.”

Vail’s existing Adventure Ridge has already undergone enhancements with the addition of two rope challenge courses, summer tubing, a four-line Zip Flyer, as well as a kids’ challenge course and kids’ zip line.

“One goal of this partnership is to engage more local students with experiences on the National Forest, which is right in their own backyard. We are interested in growing the next generation of stewards for national forests,” said Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “Cultivating students’ connection to national forests is made possible by partnering with Vail Resorts through Epic Discovery Kids to provide access and opportunity for local kids up on the mountain.”

In late June, Vail Mountain will debut the following Epic Discovery experiences:

  • Game Creek Aerial Adventure: The ultimate outdoor experience, this guided tour will immerse guests in the forest habitat with an array of zip lines and aerial bridges as high as 300 feet above the valley floor. Guests will learn about the mountain environment from interpretive guides while working their way through the course.
  • Forest Flyer™: This gravity-based alpine coaster allows guests on individual sleds to descend on a raised track through the forest while giving riders full control of their speed.
  • Expanded Trail System: A wildlife exploration trail, featuring mountain flora and fauna story stakes and a series of installations that each resembles a different animal ability, such as vision, stride, agility and strength. Vail has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, the USFS and Walking Mountains Science Center to bring interpretive elements to the Epic Discovery experiences and will be contributing one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy for forest restoration projects.

Full details on all the Epic Discovery activities at Vail Mountain can be found online at

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