While this is an article from the December 2008 issue of SKI Magazine, it still holds true today.
For nearly 50 years, Vail Resort has, quite simply, helped create, shape and define the American ski vacation. Built from the ground up in a quiet Colorado mountain valley by a visionary World War II veteran, the little ski area that could has grown into America’s largest ski resort. Now more than ever, the question remains: What’s the secret to this resort’s enduring success?
First, Vail has been able to channel skiing’s old-world roots—borrowing from the best traditions of European ski culture—and update them to become the quintessential American winter resort. The key to it all might be remarkably straightforward: the ability to change. Vail, perhaps more than any other resort on the continent, is constantly—some would argue chronically—reinventing itself. And in the process, reinventing the sport. From the first skiers floating down the Back Bowls in 1962 to the opening of the posh Arrabelle at Vail Square—a resort within a resort—last season, Vail continues to set the agenda for the winter traveler.
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