Vail Resorts which has now expanded its portfolio of ski areas to 40 centres in Australia, Canada and the USA has announced nearly half-a-billion dollars of investment in upgrades for next season.
About a third of the money is being invested in the company's workforce with a big focus on career progression opportunities as well as the introduction of an across-the-company minimum pay rate of $20 an hour.
Vail Resorts, like many ski areas across North America and the wider world, is facing issues recruiting staff, in part due to limits on immigration. So, offering good basic pay rate, the company hopes, will make it more attractive and enable it to maintain the high service standards it aspires to.
The greater part of the investment, $300 million, is going to improve the "guest experience" with 21 new lifts set to be unveiled across 14 resorts from North America's east to west coasts next season.
These include some fast new chairlifts and gondolas to improve skier flow at key points at resorts including Breckenridge, Heavenly, Park City, Stowe, Vail itself and Whistler.
In terms of terrain expansion the main news is that Keystone is enhancing Bergman Bowl with 16 new trails, a new 6-person chair and expanded access to 555 acres of terrain.
The "Epic Lift Upgrade", as they're calling it, is Vail Resorts' biggest single-year investment into the ski and ride experience, a company statement announces, adding,
"The projects are designed to reduce lift line wait times and make getting on and around the mountains easier and faster."