$150 Million Before the First Toilet Flushes

The Atlantic's Derek Thompson takes an inside look at Whistler, Vail, and the economics of the mega-resort.
Publish date:
Andrew Couperthwait came to Vail and all he got was this lousy face shot.

Andrew Couperthwait came to Vail and all he got was this lousy face shot.

We all know skiing is a powerfully addictive pastime. It's intoxicating, with an allure that often overcomes common sense. What else would make you drive headlong into howling blizzards, spend thousands on plastic shoes, or think it's good idea to start your own ski company? Especially considering the fact that entire pursuit of all things ski is based on a fundamentally unpredictable factor like snowfall. Or is it? Seems that large resorts have found a way to make piles of money whether or not it snows. The Atlantic's Derek Thompson, despite thinking that Tahoe is a "California peak also owned by Vail Resorts," explains how they do it—and the resortgoer's role in the process.

Read the article at TheAtlantic.com.


Andrew Couperthwait came to Vail and all he got was this lousy face shot.


Vail Resort features winter and summer activities for everyone. Find more on Vail lodging, dining in Vail Village, skiing Vail Resort and more.

Epic Mix Thumb

Vail Resorts Announces EpicMix

On Monday, Vail Resorts announced a location-based mobile and web app, called Epic Mix. The company's Interactive Director, Mike Slone, sat down with us to discuss check-ins, pins, and where digital experience collides with a typical ski day.

Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.

Inside Line: Blackcomb, BC

With the 2010 Winter Olympics around the corner, all eyes are on Whistler Blackcomb. The masses will descend on Whistler Mountain, where the official events will take place. Which means Blackcomb will be the place to ski. Locals know that Blackcomb outperforms its better-known neighbor when it comes to off-piste terrain and jibbing. Plus, Blackcomb’s lift lines are shorter, its park and pipe bigger, and its backcountry steeper. And with the new Peak-to-Peak gondola—a record-setting 2.73-mile-long feat of engineering—now connecting the two mountains, you can easily zip over to the big W. But with Blackcomb’s terrain, why bother?