City Hall-led tour heads to Vail Resorts country this week
September 8, 2015
Government officials, business leaders and not-for-profit executives from Park City are scheduled to visit Breckenridge, Colo., this week as part of an annual outing in the West, the second consecutive year that the trip will travel to a community where Vail Resorts has a heavy presence.
The trip, known as the City Tour, is slated to leave Park City on Wednesday and return on Sunday. The tour-goers are scheduled to arrive in Breckenridge late Wednesday afternoon and stay there Friday and most of Saturday. They will spend the rest of Saturday and part of Sunday in Grand Junction, Colo., before returning to Park City Sunday evening.
The City Tour is scheduled each year to destinations in the West. At least one mountain resort is typically part of the itinerary. The trip this year and the one in 2014 are of special note with the Vail Resorts’ connection. The Colorado firm owns Park City Mountain Resort and is preparing to turn the resort into the largest in the United States by linking the PCMR terrain and the acreage that was once operated as Canyons Resort into a single property.
At the time of last year’s trip, to Vail, Colo., the firm acquired PCMR, ending a highly contentious lawsuit centered on the former owner’s lease of much of the land underlying the PCMR terrain. This year’s trip will occur a little more than two months prior to the scheduled opening of the resort and as crews continue an ambitious improvement package that includes the gondola link.
The City Tour on Friday is scheduled to listen to Vail Resorts executives. Lunch is planned with company officials followed by a tour, meetings and dinner at Keystone Resort, which is another Vail Resorts property. Vail Resorts said Rob Katz, the chairman and CEO of the company, is expected to address the City Tour on Friday. The trip will occur shortly after a three-day summit for Vail Resorts’ leadership. The company said the appearance is an "excellent opportunity for Rob to speak to the Park City group about our focus on and ideas around leadership."
Vail Resorts also anticipates the chief operating officer of Breckenridge Ski Resort, John Buhler, will speak to the group to discuss resort improvements and the relationship with government in Breckenridge. Other Vail Resorts representatives, including from the hospitality and mountain planning divisions, are scheduled to speak to the City Tour.
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Mike Goar, once the top staffer at Canyons Resort and now the chief operating officer at Keystone, will talk to the Park City group about plans for the upcoming ski season. Bill Rock, the chief operating officer of PCMR, is also scheduled to speak to the group.
The City Tour has long been seen as an opportunity for the travelers to learn about the inner workings of some of Park City’s mountain resort competitors. The trips have made stops over the years at most of the top mountain resorts in the West.
Organizers said 74 people are scheduled to travel to Colorado as part of the City Tour. The trip is estimated to cost $750 per person. Taxpayers typically fund the trips of government officials. Twenty-four government officials from Park City and Summit County, including Mayor Jack Thomas and four of the five members of the Park City Council, were on the traveler list as the trip approached. Three of the five members of the Summit County Council were on the list.
The current class of the Leadership Park City training program also attends. Others who travel on the City Tour represent a broad range of the community, including businesspeople, tourism boosters and developers.
Some of the entries on the City Tour itinerary include:
a greeting by the mayor of Breckenridge followed by discussions about economic development in Breckenridge, including the mountain resort’s role, parking, transportation, housing and childcare.
a meeting with the leaders of the tourism office in Breckenridge.
tours of a creative arts district in Breckenridge, downtown and protected open lands
meetings with officials in Eagle County, Colo.
a rafting trip on the Colorado River
a tour of Grand Junction’s downtown.
dinner with leaders in Grand Junction