Vail Takeover Continues

National resort purchases local staple.

After 78 years of Wilmot being a family-owned business, the mountain is now in the hands of an industry powerhouse.

Vail Resorts officially announced Jan. 19 they purchased local ski resort Wilmot Mountain from its original owner, Walter Sopa. Vail previously bought two other Midwest mountains, which include Minnesota’s Afton Alps and Michigan’s Mt. Brighton.

Vail appointed Taylor Ogilvie, Mt. Brighton General Manager, as Wilmot’s new General Manager and lead for the transition. Since June of 2013, Ogilvie served as General Manager at Mt. Brighton in Michigan, where he was in charge of all resort transactions as well as oversaw the company’s $10 million investment to improve the resort. Originally from the Chicagoland area, Ogilvie grew up skiing at Wilmot, and now after years of serving as a Vail employee, his career has given him the opportunity to return to his hometown.

Following Vail’s purchase of Wilmot, an employee town hall meeting was held to properly introduce Ogilvie and others who are helping with transition, as well as to answer any questions employees had.

Employees were concerned that Vail Resorts would come in and tear down Wilmot’s history and build right over it, but Vail representation reiterated their enormous respect for Wilmot’s history and skiing heritage and plan on building around it rather than demolishing it.

Ogilvie seemed to put the faithful Wilmot employees at ease when describing the new changes that they seemed to be waiting on for ages. The room was filled with relieved smiles and mass applause when Ogilvie spoke of changes in scheduling, payments, snow improvements and even the uniform.

One big enhancement that brought the younger workers to their feet was the terrain park. Ogilvie announced that they will be making the terrain park epic. Vail’s goal is to “blow people away.”

According to a press release from Vail Resorts, along with the redesigned and updated terrain parks, other expected enhancements include: best-in-class coaching and instruction for all levels of riders, expanded dining and entertainment options at the lodge area, additional development of dedicated racing programs, unified technology and social media programs, as well as investment to improve snowmaking, parking and access to provide a more persistent experience throughout the season.

Wilmot is also being introduced to Vail’s Epic pass, allowing customers to visit any Vail Resort in the country using their one pass.

Vail made it clear that there was history behind Wilmot Mountain and they do not want to lose it, they want to keep the same culture as well as make the necessary improvements to make Wilmot an experience of a lifetime.