Tag Archives: Vail

Vail Resorts buys Wilmot ski resort in Wisconsin

Vail Resorts says it has acquired the Wilmot Mountain ski area in Wisconsin, between Milwaukee and Chicago.

The Broomfield, Colorado-based company said it plans to improve terrain parks, instruction, dining, snowmaking, parking and other aspects of the resort.

The price of the sale wasn’t disclosed.

Wilmot is 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee and 65 miles north of Chicago. Vail Resorts says Wilmot currently has 25 trails, four terrain parks, a tubing hill, a ski and snowboard school and a ski racing program.

Wilmot will be included in the company’s Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass for the 2016-2017 season.

Vail Resorts owns two other urban resorts, Afton Alps near Minneapolis-St. Paul and Mount Brighton near Detroit.

Vail has eight mountain resorts in California, Colorado, Nevada and Utah.

New law opens the door for pot tourism in Colorado

Hit the slopes — and then a bong?

Marijuana legalization votes this week in Colorado and Washington state don’t just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug law for residents. The measures also open the door for marijuana tourism.

Both marijuana measures make marijuana possession in small amounts OK for all adults over 21 — not just state residents but visitors, too. Tourists may not be able to pack their bowls along with their bags, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they wouldn’t violate the marijuana measures.

Of course, that’s assuming the recreational marijuana measures take effect at all. That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal supremacy over drug law.

So the future of marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington is hazy. But that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation, especially in Colorado, where tourism is the No. 2 industry thanks to the Rocky Mountains and a vibrant ski industry.

The day after Colorado approved recreational marijuana by a wide margin, the headline in the Aspen Times asked, “Aspendam?” referring to Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.

Colorado’s tourism director, Al White, tried to downplay the prospect of a new marijuana tourism boom.

“It won’t be as big a deal as either side hopes or fears,” White said.

Maybe not. But many are asking about marijuana tourism.

Ski resorts are “certainly watching it closely,” said Jennifer Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association that represents 21 Colorado resorts.

Any plans for an adults-only après lounge where skiers could get more than an Irish coffee to numb their aches?

“There’s a lot that remains to be seen,” Rudolph said with a chuckle. “I guess you could say we’re waiting for the smoke to clear.”

The Colorado counties where big ski resorts are located seem to have made up their minds. The marijuana measure passed by overwhelming margins, with more support than in less visited areas.

The home county of Aspen approved the marijuana measure more than 3-to-1. More than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. The home county of Telluride ski resort gave marijuana legalization its most lopsided victory, nearly 8 in 10 favoring the measure.

“Some folks might come to Colorado to enjoy some marijuana as will be their right. So what?” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the Colorado marijuana campaign.

Vail revives Gay Ski Week

Gay Ski Week is back in Vail, Colo., this winter.

The mountain resort skipped the week-long promotion last year because of the economic downtown. But resort tourism officials say they hope to attract 500 to 1,000 attendees during this year’s event, planned for Jan. 27-31.

Aspen, Telluride and Whistler ski resorts have held Gay Ski Weeks for years. Aspen’s Gay Ski Week, planned the week before Vail’s, drew about 2,000 people last year.

Vail also plans a Gay Week in the summer.

— AP