Tourism is one of the strongest economic drivers for the state of Colorado and thrives as a multibillion-dollar industry that supports some 150,000 jobs and contributes close to a billion dollars in local and state tax revenues. According to Longwoods International’s latest report on Colorado tourism, the state has retained a significant lead over others as a ski destination, capturing more than 20 percent of all overnight ski trips nationwide. So, how do commercial developers in seasonal resort destinations continue to drive the best value for their businesses, the communities in which they are developing and the guests who are supporting these developments?
Mountain resort operators are focused on doing what they do best – managing and enhancing ski area infrastructure and service. As mountain resort operations continue to become more business-savvy, on-mountain investments increase – from new and more efficient chairlifts to support robust skier visitation to investments in summer activities that will generate new jobs and help support a much healthier year-round economy. Mountain resort operators are thoughtfully improving the experience for guests and involving stakeholders like the U.S. Forest Service and surrounding communities throughout the process. All of these things ultimately improve the greater destination and real estate development opportunities at the mountain resort base areas.
The base areas must maintain parity with the continually elevated on-mountain experience. Many mountain towns have undergone significant transformations in the last decade; and yet, there’s room for more changes. It is imperative that developers and ski resort operators join forces to improve the entire experience for guests while also committing to doing so in the long-term best interest of the resort communities.
At Vail Resorts, we’re oriented around creating value on the mountain and in the base areas of the mountains we operate. Our company is the leading global mountain resort operator and the leading manager of hotels in iconic resort locations, particularly in mountain destinations. We’ve successfully developed and completed several mixed-use projects at the base areas of our mountain resorts, including The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort in 2008; The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail in 2010; and One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort in Breckenridge also in 2010. These and other projects have benefitted visitors and local communities by revitalizing underutilized areas and creating revenue streams and options for visitors through lodging, dining and retail.