Vail Hotels was one of the first to take advantage of the new legislation with its Epic Discovery summer program, presented at Vail Mountain and Breckenridge in Colorado, and Celestial in California, from 2016. Zip lines, alpine slides, acrobatic courses… as well as educational components, aim to allow visitors to immerse themselves in the mountain environment. Since then, many other stations have followed suit. In June, for example, Telluride, in southwest Colorado, presented its first canopy tour, complete with ziplines, sky bridges and abseils.
The approach worked. Some would even say too well. “Now, in most mountain destinations in the West and many more in the North East, the occupancy rate in the summer is as high or higher than during the winter months,” said Tom Foley. , senior vice president of business operations and analytics for Inntopia, a resort town. marketing and e-commerce business. (He adds that accommodation prices, however, still lag behind peak winter rates.)
Even seaside resorts that had long had infrastructure have benefited. from Vermont Killington introduced its bicycle park (which sits on a combination of public and private land) 30 years ago. But from 2016 to 2018, visits dropped from 12,000 to 30,000, resort spokeswoman Courtney DiFiore said. She attributed the growth to new beginner and intermediate trails, more programming for kids, and an all-season pass option.
This year, stations expect summer visits to increase by several notches, in response to the pandemic. “It’s unreal how much demand there is for Jackson right now,” said ski area spokesperson Anna Cole. “Jackson by nature is out and about and pretty far away, and people want to get in their cars and drive,” she said. “We are doing the job on all fronts.”