Vail CEO donates $10M to ski programs for youths in major cities across the US |

Vail CEO donates $10M to ski programs for youths in major cities across the US

Crowds of skiers wait in line to get a few runs in on opening day at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Friday, Nov. 8.
Liz Copan /

FRISCO — Vail Resorts announced this week that Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, will donate $10 million to help develop and expand ski programs in major cities in the northeast, mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest.

Over the next five years, Katz will donate the money to nonprofits participating in Vail Resorts’ youth access efforts that serve major metropolitan areas, including New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland and Seattle.

In a news release announcing the donation, Vail Resorts spokeswoman Marjory Elwell said the company will provide free lift tickets, ski school, equipment rentals and other services. Katz’ donation also will contribute to youth mentorship, fund transportation and support other needs necessary to provide mountain access and engaging experiences.

Elwell said Vail Resorts’ goal of the initiative — which is expected to launch next winter — is to enhance access to winter sports for underserved youths and inspire the next generation of skiers and riders.

Dubbed “The Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust,” the initiative will work to identify nonprofit partners that work with underserved urban youths and are passionate about the benefits of getting kids outside, Elwell said.

Prior to the announcement, Vail Resorts contributed $5.6 million of in-kind charitable contributions to youth programs, which serve nearly 4,500 kids across Colorado, Utah, Lake Tahoe, Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The new program effectively will double Vail Resorts’ footprint, with an expected 10,000 underserved kids and teens helped annually by expanding efforts to serve the following cities: Akron-Canton, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Columbus, Kansas City, Louisville, Milwaukee, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

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