The Snow Gauge went one-on-one with Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and asked the tough questions about Perisher developments, expansion plans and just what can be done about expensive lessons.
Key points from the chat:
When discussion turns to which ski resort you’ll visit this southern hemisphere winter the arguments will invariably be of the Noah’s Ark variety.
That is, depending on where you live and your peccadilloes, it will be in a two-by-two format.
Australia vs New Zealand. Victoria vs NSW. Perisher vs Thredbo. Hotham/Falls v Mt Buller.
But for a host of reasons I’d like to throw a third animal into the mix: Portillo, Chile.
I visited the South American giant in August last year and, while far from perfect, it’s a place every skier should head to at least once in their life.
In the end Australia’s two best winter athletes just couldn’t be separated.
So it seemed only fitting that moguls skier Britt Cox and halfpipe snowboarder Scotty James shared the Australian Snowsports Athlete of the Year Award.
Ok, you are sure to know about Whistler being added to the Epic Australia Pass for 2017/18, another big winner for the Vail Resorts juggernaut.
But there’s another change that’s understandably been publicised a little less.
Last season there were 11 lockout dates; that is 11 days in which you couldn’t use the pass.
Now there are 21.
Enough to get you re-considering? Or do you think it is a justified trade off for getting Canada’s No.1 resort on the ticket (albeit for a combined 10 days with Vail)?
In light of Vail’s purchase of Perisher in 2015 and the current state of the market, this is a deal that would make a lot of sense.
And guess what? Sources have told The Snow Gauge that Aspen CEO Mike Kaplan has been spending quite some time in Thredders. Coincidence?