Vail Resorts to Invest $30 Million in Resort

Vail Resorts, Inc. announced plans to spend $30 million on major capital improvement projects at its newest mountain resort property, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort near Lake Tahoe, Calif., that will greatly enhance the guest experience both on the mountain and in the Village at Northstar for the 2011-2012 winter season.

Plans include the installation of a new high-speed chairlift that will service expanded gladed terrain and additional ski trails, increasing the skiable terrain by 10 percent, construction of a new 500-seat on-mountain restaurant, and new national retail outlets and a signature restaurant in the Village at Northstar to bring additional energy and nightlife to the popular mountain village.

“Northstar-at-Tahoe has been a great addition to our portfolio of world-class resorts and its performance since we acquired it in October 2010 underscores the rationale for our purchase. The initial consumer response to the combination of Northstar-at-Tahoe with Heavenly resort drove strong increases in season pass sales for both resorts, and that has translated into higher visitation, as Northstar-at-Tahoe is currently on track to achieve a record season in terms of visitation and revenue. We believe we are in the early stages of realizing tremendous potential at that resort and are moving aggressively to further elevate the profile of Northstar-at-Tahoe through the addition of a number of new signature amenities for the 2011-2012 ski season,” said Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts.

Katz added, “We have elected to take an aggressive approach with our first-time investments at Northstar-at-Tahoe. The resort already offers a comprehensive experience not otherwise found on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, and we intend to further widen the gap with more family friendly terrain, more grooming and snowmaking, a best-in-class on-mountain dining experience, and a village experience that is far superior to any other destinations in the region. This will be the first of many steps that will come in future years, as Northstar-at-Tahoe redefines the Lake Tahoe skiing and riding experience.”

With a vertical rise of 1,440’, the new detachable express quad chairlift will be installed this summer on “The Backside” of the mountain, providing access to expanded gladed terrain and new ski trails. The new lift will significantly expand the resort’s lift capacity on The Backside, a very popular area of the mountain known for its long, uninterrupted advanced trails and gladed tree skiing. Two new intermediate trails will be served by the lift, and new snowmaking will be installed on both Drifter, an existing ski trail that also provides access to The Backside, and one of the new trails.

In addition to the lift, a new on-mountain restaurant will be constructed this summer, offering 500 indoor seats as well as 200 outdoor deck seats. Construction of the proposed capital improvement projects will commence this spring and summer, with completion expected prior to the start of the 2011-2012 winter season.

One of the finest year-round mountain resorts in North America, Northstar Resort is host to a base area village featuring more than 35 unique shops and restaurants, a conference center, 9,000-square-foot skating rink, on-site lodging, special events and more. Northstar Resort offers 93 ski trails spread across 3,000 acres, award-winning terrain parks and snow sports including alpine and Telemark skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing. Summer activities include mountain biking, golfing, scenic lift rides for sightseeing and hiking, horseback riding, fly-fishing and more.

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