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September 15, 2011

New Ski School building, Trails, And Second Generation EpicMix Highlight Heavenly's 2011-12 Resort Improvements

South Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev. – September 137XXXXXXXXXX, 2011 – Heavenly Mountain Resort announced its resort improvements for the 2011-12 ski and snowboard season, pushing all its chips to the middle of the table and going “all in” for fun for the entire family or group. Heavenly made enhancements to virtually every aspect of the guest experience, priming the resort to rival last year’s record-breaking season.

 

“A few Lake Tahoe resorts are starting to make significant improvements, but Heavenly has been in this game a long time, continually investing in the mountain experience, solidifying our position as Lake Tahoe’s premier ski and snowboard destination,” said Pete Sonntag, vice-president and general manager of Heavenly. “We’ve made some fantastic changes to the way the mountain will ski this winter, and we’ve lifted our ski and ride school facilities to the level of our world-class instruction.”

Going all the way back to its first ski school director, Stein Erickson, Heavenly has long operated one of the country’s finest ski and ride schools. This year’s installment is no different, boasting three members of the Professional Ski Instructors of America’s National Demonstration Team and six members of the Western Demonstration Team – literally the best ski and snowboard instructors in the country. This year, Heavenly will add a new, 2,022-square-foot kids’ ski and ride school facility at the top of the Heavenly Gondola. Styled after the stunning Tamarack Lodge, this beauty will hold about 100 students per sitting and will serve fresh, wholesome food on site that kids will really enjoy.

Also new this year, Heavenly will open a kid’s adventure zone called Black Bear Hollow at the top of the Gondola.  Black Bear Hollow is a meandering, low-angle skiing and riding trail with groomed whoop-de-dos, wood carvings of local animals and wildlife fact signage. The adjacent entry-level progression park features small rails, gentle jumps and boxes designed to help youngsters explore.

For the larger kids, Heavenly has added three new trails in the Galaxy "trail pod" on the Nevada side of the mountain, bringing the massive resort’s total run count to 97. These solid intermediate trails provide 20 more groom-able acres for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy on one of the less-traveled portions of the mountain. Two of the new trails will connect the top of Stagecoach Express Chairlift with the bottom of Galaxy Chairlift, allowing the resort to open more terrain on the lower portion of the mountain on days where wind may impact the upper mountain.

Not to be outdone, the trails on Heavenly’s California side will get a serious upgrade. Heavenly is widening five of its core California trails, improving the quality of skiing and snowboarding, reducing slope density and allowing the resort to manicure more terrain because the runs will be wider, straighter and thus, easier to groom.

When you talk about the finest snow surfaces at Lake Tahoe, that conversation begins and ends with Heavenly. Heavenly has purchased two more Prinoth Beast grooming machines, bringing the world's largest fleet of the most technologically-advanced snow cats to four. The Beast is equipped with the most state-of-the-art technology to date, allowing it to groom 30 percent more acreage per hour than traditional grooming machines.

Already home to the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system, Heavenly is on a continuous capital program to improve overall snowmaking efficiency, this year adding more snowmaking resources in the form of energy-efficient stick guns to lower Olympic Downhill, and to the High Roller Terrain Park. High Roller has doubled in size, giving Heavenly’s Terrain Park Crew, partnering with Snow Park Technologies, even more room to arrange some of the Lake Tahoe’s most innovative jibs, jumps and terrain features.

When skiers and snowboarders have had about all the High Roller their legs can handle, the re-imagined Snow Beach will be the ideal sanctuary for relaxing and soaking up Heavenly’s famous California sunshine. For 2011-12 Snow Beach, Heavenly’s uber-popular open-air hang out on the California side, will have the feel of a European beer garden, highlighted by an outdoor barbecue, a sea of Adirondack chairs and the relocated Umbrella Bar. Accompanied by a beer and a bratwurst, it will continue to be one of the coolest places on the mountain.

And what could be cooler than exploring the mountain, capturing your ski or snowboard vacation with the perfect photo and sharing it with friends and family? The next generation of Vail Resorts’ popular ski and snowboard application, EpicMix™, will revolutionize how guests take and share photos at all six of the Company’s mountain resorts. Upon request, the Company’s professional photographers will take portrait and action photos and automatically deliver the images to the guest’s EpicMix account by quickly scanning a guest’s RF-enabled lift ticket or season pass. Vail Resorts will provide these professional photos free to guests, in a “low-res” format for sharing on Facebook and Twitter, while high-resolution images can be purchased for $19.99, allowing guests to print unlimited copies at the vendor of their choice or on their own.

The Free Fall – Book this Fall and Get Two Nights Free

Fall is the time to book a ski vacation to Heavenly – availability is high and prices are low. Pay for five nights lodging at Heavenly and receive the sixth and seventh night at no additional cost! Then pay for a four-day ski lift ticket and get the fifth day free, saving you even more. This is the best value for the 2011-12 ski season at Heavenly, but guests must book by October 15, 2011. Visit http://bit.ly/qtbfOd or call 1-800-HEAVENLY (432.8365) for more information.

Ski or Ride Like a Local

Heavenly's 2011-2012 winter season is scheduled to run from November 18, 2011 to April 15, 2012, weather and conditions permitting. Season passes are now on sale, starting at just $379 for the Tahoe Value Pass, which provides seven-day-per-week access to Heavenly Mountain Resort and six-day-per-week access to Northstar Resort. Some restrictions apply. Other pass options are available, including the Epic Pass, priced at just $649. The Epic Pass offers unrestricted access all season long to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, and both Heavenly and Northstar Resort at Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada. For more information, visit www.epicpass.com.

  

About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, and the Heavenly Ski Resort and Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort property and hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and in the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.

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