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Vail Resorts has formed the EpicPromise Foundation, a public charity designed to support the employees of the company in times of need and offer educational scholarships to both employees and their families. To fund the Foundation, Vail Resorts intends to contribute $500,000 per year and Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz will make a one-time $1.5 million contribution to the Foundation. In addition, all employees and guests of Vail Resorts will be given an opportunity to contribute.
An estimated $750,000 in annual grants will be provided to employees with emergency assistance in times of need and help fund their educations. Vail Resorts’ contribution to the Foundation will be in addition to the company’s existing charitable giving efforts.
The company already contributes $7.4 million per year in charitable donations to 250 local nonprofits, organizes 20,000 hours of company-sponsored employee volunteer time, and executes environmental initiatives each year through scholarships for GED, undergraduate educational institutions, and vocational as well as pre-collegiate development programs.
Vail Resorts also announced a $30 million commitment to develop new employee housing projects in the communities where it operates mountain resorts. The company will use these funds to partner with local resort communities, cities and counties, and other businesses, to help develop affordable housing projects for seasonal and year-round employees. While Vail already owns and manages more than 3,200 beds, the success and growth of the resort communities has created a need for a higher level of engagement around employee housing. The company is willing to use its own land, capital, or commitments to long-term lease guarantees to assist in attaining new employee housing projects, which they acknowledge will take a number of years to develop.
“The mission of Vail Resorts is to provide an experience of a lifetime to our guests and we make that happen by providing an experience of a lifetime to our employees. Having affordable and available housing options is a critical component of delivering on that mission,” said Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts. “With the incredible success of our resort communities, the strength of the travel economy and the growing prevalence of rent-by-owner options, fewer housing units in mountain resort communities are being made available to local employees across all resort businesses. The availability of affordable housing is critical for the sustainability and vitality of our resort communities, and we firmly believe Vail Resorts should be an integral partner in expanding employee housing capacity,” Katz added.