As the head of Colorado-based Vail Resorts for well over a decade, Katz has presided over a period of tremendous expansion, acquiring more than two dozen resorts and outdoor-sports destinations—from properties in California’s Lake Tahoe to those in Vermont’s Green Mountains—and boosting the share price by more than 600 percent.
What’s the news from Vail Resorts?
We recently announced plans to acquire Peak Resorts, which owns 17 ski areas in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest, including Mount Snow, in Vermont, and Hunter Mountain, in New York. We’re excited many of our season passes will include unlimited, unrestricted access to these spots when the transaction closes, expected this fall.
What does conglomeration like this mean for travelers?
We can provide unprecedented benefits. For instance, we have reinvested more than $1.2 billion to improve the guest experience across our resorts over the last decade.
How are you preparing for climate change?
The great outdoors is our business, and we have a special obligation to protect it. But tackling climate change is not about saving the ski industry. It’s about the health of the environment and ensuring a more promising future for generations to come. To reduce our environmental footprint, we made a “Commitment to Zero” sustainability pledge in 2017 that includes achieving zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill and zero net impact to forests and habitat by 2030.
What do you ski in?
I am a big fan of Helly Hansen products. It’s what our ski patrollers, mountain-ops team and ski instructors wear day in and day out.
And your go-to après drink?
Tequila on the rocks, with lime.
What’s the best experience money can buy at Vail Resorts this season?
For the ultimate treat, check out the Reserve package at Trapper’s Cabin in Beaver Creek. With ski-in, ski-out access, it lets you enjoy the mountain before it opens to the public.