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Vail's Plans for Wilmot

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Big plans for a small area.  Just hope they don't make lifts unaffordable with all the improvements.


post #2 of 15
Wisconsin's 1000 foot peaks?
Average elevation is 750ft around here, so 250ft vert sounds about right.
Good year to sell.
post #3 of 15

230 Vertical feet.  $20 million sale price.  Wow.

post #4 of 15
Insane, it's more than they paid for Kirkwood.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

It's mainly the price of the land with a few dimples on it and they will use the Wilmot story in their marketing hype.  The sledding hill built 3 years ago cost $6 mil alone to build with all the facilities and lodge.

post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

230 Vertical feet.  $20 million sale price.  Wow.



As they say in real estate Location, location location. What Vail wants is people to hook into their marketing machine. When Vail bought Afton Alps, just outside the twin cities, many were surprised. I wasn't, I was surprised to learn, on moving from Afton to Sugarbush, that an average years skier days there were larger then the record year at Sugarbush. It makes sense when you realize that more people lived within 30 miles of Afton then live in the whole state of Vermont, and much the same situation applies to Wilmot. Throw in a hub airport and it makes perfect sense for Vail just from a marketing stand point.


They are getting contact with people who are already spending money at a ski area, they can upsell their other resorts, for the cost of airing a 2 minute Super Bowl commercial. 

post #7 of 15

This. A bunch of the Chicago (and MKE) people will buy Vail passes...spend 1 or 2 weekends at Wilmot...2-3 in Colorado. They're paying for the poeple access...not the land access. 

Edited by Smartyiak - 3/15/16 at 10:42am
post #8 of 15

Funny the reverse scenario happened for me when Vail bought Mt. Brighton.  I had sworn-off skiing that that place about 15 years ago.  I had been getting the Colorado and Epic Local passes then behold they bought Mt. Brighton and I could effectively ski "for free" at a local hill.  I go a few times a year just for the heck of it, and there is something to be said about going skiing on a weeknight under the lights after work, just because I can.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Of course the real value of Vails Midwest properties is to market their western properties and offer Epic passes that also give access to the local areas.  Chicago is somewhat of a nascent area in terms of skiing as many of the local hills have closed and those remaining are in a time warp.  I ski only during the week when it is not crowded which makes even a small hill somewhat enjoyable and social with old cronies.


Looking forward to next season but hope the lift prices aren't too stiff.  An epic pass probably does not interest me since I ski a lot elsewhere but rarely in CO or CA. or UT. Otherwise it would be a good value.



post #10 of 15
Originally Posted by Smartyiak View Post

This. A bunch of the Chicago (and MKE) people will buy Vail passes...spend 1 or 2 weekends at Wilmot...2-3 in Colorado. They're paying for the poeple access...not the land access. 



I'm sure that's their strategy.   But I don't know a single person that skis Wilmot.

The skiing here sucks and I'd just rather ski XC when it is good.  Which was less than ten days this year.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

I know it sucks but many ski Wilmot including me and have for 60 years.  We are elevation starved and ski almost anything.  Historically, Wilmot had a great ski school and one of the best developmental racing programs anywhere so many were attracted for those.  My skiing is during the week when few ski and there is a group of old die hards who ski there and it is enjoyable despite the lack of vertical.  Keeps me in shape for trips to bigger areas.  Vail will provide the needed upgrades that are decades overdue for the area. 


Also, many families ski there regularly so their kids can learn to ski and improve so they can enjoy bigger mountains in the west and NE.


In the past, it was a huge learning factory for the growing ski population and was very popular but its' time had passed.  Hopefully Vail will renew the area's appeal for locals and skiers like myself will continue to have a nearby area to ski.



post #12 of 15

That's the gist of it.  Having seen how Vail Resorts has improved Mt. Brighton these places are for kids, school/community/church groups, race development programs and leagues, snowboarders, and and a learning center.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

And also for old guys who like to ski nearby for a few hours during the week.  Wilmot has let its' ski school go down and not sure it even has a race program anymore but Vail has committed to both for next season.  They are also enhancing the park for the young riders which is a big part of most small areas in urban environments.

post #14 of 15

A May press release about Wilmot upgrades being implemented during Summer 2016 included numbers for snow guns and seats to be added in the lodge.  Two chairlifts had already been removed by then, with two more to go.  Sounds like WIlmot will look very different by the time snowmaking begins for 2016-17.  The price tag is $13 million.



The improvements currently underway to upgrade and modernize Wilmot Mountain include:


  • New Lifts.  Towers and chairs will arrive from Colorado in early-June to begin replacing existing chairlifts with three new four-person chairlifts. To date, chairlifts 2 and 3 have already been removed and chairlifts 6 and 8 are in the process of being removed. Combined with a new high-speed rope tow in the terrain park and two new surface conveyor lifts in the beginner area, the new lifts will increase capacity by up to 45 percent, allowing skiers and snowboarders more time on the slopes.
  • Base Area Transformation. The entire base lodge will be transformed, including the addition of 400 seats and upgrading the food and beverage offering to accommodate more guests. In addition, the facility will be modernized to offer seating for families, groups and adults, including a new bar and Wi-Fi throughout the facility. The Iron Kettle restaurant will be completely redesigned and will include a new lounge and bar where parents will be able to watch their children ski and snowboard and enjoy a full-service bar and food service in an energized, yet comfortable, setting. To date, all furniture and equipment in need of updates has been removed and is ready for construction to begin.
  • New Kids’ Ski and Snowboard School and Enhanced Beginner Area. A dedicated and state-of-the-art children’s ski and snowboard center will be created adjacent to the learning terrain at the base of the ski area, featuring a playful open space for kids along with their own lunch and break room. The new dedicated children’s center was formally the Wilmot Mountain maintenance building, so a replacement maintenance building is currently being constructed to allow that transition to begin. Additionally, the learning terrain will be re-graded to be more accessible for teaching beginners and two new surface conveyor lifts will be added for easy access.
  • New Terrain Park and High-Speed Rope Tow. A new expanded terrain park will offer unique and innovative features designed and created by terrain park staff at the Company’s western resorts, as well as the addition of a new high-speed rope tow to enable skiers and snowboarders to spend more time in the terrain park.
  • Expanded State-of-the Art Snowmaking. Significant improvements to the snowmaking infrastructure are currently underway to increase the snowmaking capacity and allow Wilmot to open more terrain earlier in the season and create the ability to recover terrain quickly during the season. More than four miles of new snowmaking pipe and 56 new snowmaking guns have been ordered, including 30 low-energy fan tower guns, six portable fan guns and 20 air-water guns, which will complement the refurbishment of existing snowmaking equipment. Additionally, the snowmaking pump station will be modernized to increase water flow capacity, including a 500 horse-power variable frequency pump.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Anyone know if Vail plans to modify Wilmot terrain other than the grading in the learning area?  There were rumors of minor and major changes last winter but nothing ever mentioned in any news articles or press releases.



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