Podcast: Rob Katz dives into decision to close Vail Resorts, gives insight into aftermath and future

Pictured May 1, the slopes at Keystone Resort are to remain closed, as mandated by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.
Liz Copan /

Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, narrates a podcast called “Epic by Nature” and recently released a three-part episode series detailing the COVID-19 crisis as it relates to the company’s ski resorts. The first segment explains the lead-up to the decision to close the resorts, starting when Katz first heard about coronavirus in China, which he said felt “very far away” at the time.

He talks about what went on behind the scenes when the company found out about the first case in Colorado, which was at Vail-owned Keystone Resort, up through the decision to close. Katz’ second episode details the impact on the employees as they were asked to leave employee housing with the confusing message of “leave if you can, stay if you can’t.”

Katz discusses the uncertainty of the future of the company in the third and final episode of the series, including decisions around season passes. He said the most recent season pass announcements have been received positively. Katz also talks about the stages of grief as they apply to the shutdown of the ski areas and how companies like Vail Resorts can operate safely in the future. 

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