Vail Resorts came out with two major initiatives yesterday, each with the company’s employee base in mind: the EpicPromise Foundation, to support employees’ educational development and general well-being; and an employee housing program.
The EpicPromise Foundation is a public charity designed to support Vail Resorts’ employees in times of need and offer educational scholarships to both employees and their families. To fund the Foundation, Vail Resorts intends to contribute $500,000 per year. In addition, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz will make a one-time $1.5 million contribution to the Foundation. All employees and guests of Vail Resorts will be given an opportunity to contribute as well.
Katz said the EpicPromise Foundation is a way of “supporting our employees in times of need and to ensure that they and their families can pursue their educational dreams.”
A board of directors made up entirely of non-executive employees from across the company will oversee the Foundation. An estimated $750,000 in grants will be awarded each fiscal year.
To address employee housing, Vail has committed $30 million to new employee housing projects in communities where it operates mountain resorts. The Company intends to use these funds in partnership with the local resort communities, cities and counties, and with other businesses, to help develop affordable housing units that can be made available to seasonal and year-round employees.
“The availability of affordable housing is critical for the sustainability and vitality of our resort communities and we firmly believe Vail Resorts should be an integral partner in expanding employee housing capacity,” said Katz.
Vail is willing to use its own land, capital, or commitments to provide long-term lease guarantees to assist in bringing new housing projects to fruition. The company expects that many of these projects will take a number of years to develop, but understands the importance of starting to plan these efforts today. Vail Resorts already owns and manages more than 3,200 beds in resort communities.