The Vail Ski Resort is located in Eagle County, Colorado, next to the town of Vail. One of the largest mountain ski resorts in the U.S., with 5,289 acres, Vail Mountain features seven bowls, and three sections: The Front-Side, Blue Sky Basin and the Back Bowls. Opened in 1962, Vail Ski Resort is the fourth largest resort in North America, behind Park City, Big Sky Resort and Whistler Blackcomb. Most of the mountain is wide open terrain and features trails of all types, from cruising runs off most of Front Side and Blue Sky Basin lifts, to the wide open Back Bowls, glades, chutes and moguls in the Northwoods area. Vail Village is modeled after a Bavarian Village with pedestrian streets and rugged mountain backdrops.
Vail was the second resort in the U.S. to open five high-speed detachable quad lifts, which opened in 1985. In 1989, Vail again was in the limelight when it hosted the Alpine Skiing World Championships. The Championships were held in Vail again in 1999 and 2015, to even bigger fanfare. In 2006, the Giant Steps double chairlift, the last double chairlift remaining from the opening in 1962, was removed. In August 2006, Vail began offsetting all of its power usage by purchasing wind power.
Vail has received numerous accolades, such as being declared the No. 1 ski resort in the U.S. by such publications as SKI Magazine. In summer 2007, after seven years without a new chairlift, Vail undertook one of the biggest lift improvements at a Colorado ski area when it installed two high speed quad chairlifts to replace the Highline (double) and Sourdough (triple). This eliminated the traverse from the Sourdough lift to Two Elk Lodge.