Vail doubles gifts to community nonprofits |

Vail doubles gifts to community nonprofits

Nan Chalat Noaker, The Park Record

Park City Mountain Resort’s Legacy Lodge was buzzing with anticipation on Friday, Nov. 21. It was the eve of Vail Resorts’ debut season as PCMR’s new owner, but before launching the first chair, there was some other important business on the agenda. Vail had invited representatives from many of Park City’s diverse nonprofit organizations to help celebrate its second annual round of EpicPromise grants.

According to Bill Rock, PCMR’s newly appointed chief operating officer, Vail Resorts contributes $7 million annually across all of its resort communities through its EpicPromise program. "We also pay for our staff to donate 20,000 hours on special projects in their communities," he said, adding that last year, Vail’s first season managing Canyons Resort, employees had racked up 1,000 volunteer hours doing trail construction with the Mountain Trails Foundation

"What EpicPromise means is taking action in everything we do. It is not enough to say what we are going to do. It is to take action to provide a more promising future in our communities and on our mountains," Rock said.

With PCMR’s snow-covered trails awaiting the season’s first skiers in the background, Rock announced that, this year Vail Resorts had chosen 30 local nonprofits to receive a total of $1.3 million in funds and in-kind services, more than twice the amount awarded last year.

Canyons General Manager Mike Goar joined Rock in making the announcement, saying,

"This is absolutely an evening of celebration for all of you, our partners in the community, citizens and nonprofits."

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According to Goar, the awards are primarily targeted at programs focused on youth and environmental sustainability.

While the specific funding breakdown was not released, the recipients include the Egyptian Theatre’s Youtheatre program, Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center’s Know Before You Go classes, the Kimball Art Center’s high school artist development program, the Park City Education Foundation’s preschool initiative, a Peace House domestic violence prevention program, the People’s Health Clinic’s vision program and the Summit Land Conservancy’s Weber River Initiative.

There were also grants to provide scholarships that will allow low-income children opportunities to participate in several sports and recreation organizations including the Young Riders cycling program and the Youth Sports Alliance which helps to match aspiring young athletes with coaches in a variety of disciplines.

In addition to the individual grants Rock kicked off an EpicPromise Holiday Giving Campaign. The campaign, which runs from Nov. 28-Jan. 6, gives guests an opportunity to donate to a selected nonprofit. Vail Resorts will match those donations at a rate of 50 cents for every dollar.

This year, local resort employees selected Park City’s Canines for a Cause as the Holiday Giving recipient. Canines for a Cause rescues dogs from animal shelters and places them with prison inmates for training as service animals. The dogs are then turned over to combat veterans suffering from PTSD.

Rock and Goar also introduced two new community awards that will go to employees at Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort later this year.

The first, dubbed the EpicPromise Mountain Award, will go to an employee that "demonstrates innovation and inspires employees to make our operations sustainable." According to Nicky DeFord, Vail’s senior manager of charitable contributions, the winner will be chosen based on nominations from other employees.

The second, EpicPromise Community Award, will go to an employee "that exemplifies the spirit of the community in giving back to local non-profits based on nominations from employees and representatives from local non-profits."

And, there is one more EpicPromise — guests can earmark $1 of their season pass, online tickets or room night costs as a donation to the Mountain Trails Foundation which helps to maintain over 350 miles of hiking, biking and cross country skiing trails in and around Park City.

2014 EpicPromise Grant Recipients

  • Alf Engen Ski Museum
  • Canines for a Cause
  • The Egyptian Theatre
  • El Nino ski program
  • Friends of Utah Avalanche Forecast Center
  • Habitat for Humanity of Summit & Wasatch Counties
  • Image Reborn
  • Kimball Art Center
  • Leadership Park City
  • Mountain Trails Foundation
  • National Ability Center
  • PandoLabs
  • Park City Community Foundation
  • Park City Education Foundation
  • Park City Film Council
  • Park City Food Pantry
  • Park City Institute
  • Park Silly Sunday Market
  • Peace House
  • People’s Health Clinic
  • Recycle Utah
  • Summit Land Conservancy
  • Summit Ski Team
  • Swaner EcoCenter and Preserve
  • Synderville Basin Recreation
  • Weilenmann School
  • Winter Sports School
  • Young Riders
  • 4-H Club
  • Youth Sport Alliance