The U.S. Forest Service has published a final record of decision regarding the Vail Resorts’ first-of-its-kind comprehensive summer activities proposal – Epic Discovery, a Summer Mountain Adventure – at Vail Mountain.
The primary activities and enhancements included in the final record of decision are:
The Epic Discovery proposal was submitted in July 2012 and has undergone a comprehensive environmental review. Vail Resorts expects to begin construction of trails, activities and the interpretive program in summer 2015.
“We’re thrilled that this final record of decision will allow us to move forward with the first phase of our construction plans next summer and have Epic Discovery – including new activities, experiences and educational opportunities – fully operational in the summer of 2016,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with the U.S. Forest Service leading to this positive change that will benefit our economy and our mountains.”
The Epic Discovery initiative will encourage “learning through play” by combining extensive environmental educational elements with a variety of fun experiential activities for both kids and adults. Guests will be able to challenge themselves physically with new activities, explore and better understand their natural surroundings and ultimately create lifelong memories.
Vail Mountain’s Epic Discovery proposal followed passage of the Ski Area Recreational Opportunities Act in 2011, a bill authored by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado.
“Vail Mountain’s new activities show how my landmark, bipartisan Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act is helping move Colorado forward. These new activities will create jobs, drive tourism and keep Colorado’s economy on the right track,” U.S. Senator Mark Udall said. “I will keep working with Colorado’s ski areas and the U.S. Forest Service to ensure my bipartisan ski area jobs law is used to strengthen local economies, support jobs and protect our natural resources.”
Through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy – the leading conservation non-profit organization – Epic Discovery will complement the eco-discovery experiences across the mountain with scientific content. Subsequently, Vail Resorts will utilize its new “1% For The Forest” program as a means to contribute one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy for forest restoration projects on national forest lands.
Both the new Epic Discovery activities and interpretive programming will be compatible with existing on-mountain infrastructure of lifts and trails, unobtrusively blending into the natural environment.
Epic Discovery at Vail Mountain is the first installment of summer mountain adventure plans that Vail Resorts has for several of its world-class resorts, including Breckenridge and Heavenly.
To learn more about Epic Discovery at Vail Mountain, visit www.epicdiscovery.com. For more information about Vail Mountain visit www.vail.com, stop by the Mountain Information Center, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).