By David Schissler
(January 2013) Vail Resorts recently purchased two urban, family owned ski areas for a reported combined cost of $20 million. Afton Alps, outside of Minneapolis and Mount Brighton, outside of Detroit have become Vail Resorts’ eighth and ninth mountains. This year, pass holders will receive a 25% discount on lift tickets at all of Vail’s resorts. Both Mountains will be added to Vail’s Epic Pass with the seven resorts in Colorado and California.

Afton Alps, with 300 acres of skiable terrain, is the largest ski area near a major city in the Midwest. Together with Mount Brighton and its 130 acres the two areas account for nearly half a million visitors annually. Upgrades to facilities at the two mountains are already being planned for the 2013-2014. Vail plans to develop racing programs, terrain parks, coaching and conduct major overhauls at both mountains .
“We genuinely think that these smaller urban ski areas have the opportunity to be best in class for a lot of things. For many people…they think these areas are small. But you can create incredible terrain parks, incredible racing programs and incredible teaching and coaching programs there,” said Vail Resorts chief Rob Katz. “We are hopeful to add additional resorts near other urban centers.”

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