Vail Resorts contributes $100,000 to flood relief efforts

By Real Vail
Real AspenSeptember 13, 2013
Even as federal and state disaster-relief funds have started to flow to help communities cope with devastating flooding on Colorado’s Front Range this week, Vail Resorts on Friday stepped up to offer some private-sector money.

The ski company announced a $100,000 contribution toward flood relief efforts and an additional $1 for every Epic Pass season ski pass sold this season, which company officials estimate will more than double the $100,000 contribution.

“Colorado is not just where our company’s headquarters and four of our world-class mountain resorts are located, it’s our home,” said Vail Resorts chairman and CEO Rob Katz, a Boulder resident. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our friends, neighbors and employees in the Boulder and broader Colorado communities during this difficult time.”

Company officials said they’ll work with local authorities to identify appropriate organizations that need the funds and will post the final breakdown of its donations on www.EpicPass.com.

“We believe it will be critical for everyone to come together in the coming weeks and months to help the community rebuild and heal, and we hope others join us in our efforts to help those in need,” Katz said in a press release Friday.

Roads and infrastructure have been badly damaged by flooding this week.
Colorado Department of Transportation photo

On Saturday, Vail Resorts holds its annual, company-wide volunteer Echo Day, with employees working on community projects in 10 different areas around the country. More than 350 employees and their families from the corporate office in Broomfield will now donate their volunteer hours to help with restoration efforts in Boulder County.

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday signed an Executive Order to declare a disaster emergency due to the flooding affecting 14 counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, El Paso, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Pueblo, Washington and Weld.

The order authorizes $6 million for the Disaster Emergency Fund from the General Fund to pay for flood response and recovery. The governor gave verbal approval for this disaster declaration on Thursday and the Executive Order was signed on Friday.

Heavy rain began falling on the Front Range from the Wyoming border to Colorado Springs beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 11, and continuing through Friday, with more rain in the forecast throughout the weekend.

“While authorities cannot conduct damage assessments until the rainfall subsides and the flooding recedes, known consequences are three fatalities, three injuries, damage to a natural gas distribution pipeline, power outages, at least two structures destroyed, water damage to approximately 40 buildings on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus, isolation of the towns of Estes Park, Jamestown, Lyons and Nederland, damage to U.S. Highway 34, closure of numerous roads and damage to the Town of Lyons wastewater treatment system,” Hickenlooper’s order states.

Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet on Friday issued a release Friday welcoming news that the U.S. Department of Transportation has agreed to send the state $5 million in emergency funds. The $5 million will be used to make immediate emergency repairs to help reopen roads and highways.

“These emergency highway funds will provide immediate relief for first responders and others who rely on Colorado's road and highways damaged by the ongoing floods. I am glad the U.S. Department of Transportation responded so swiftly to Colorado's needs,” said Udall, who lives Eldorado Springs. “I will keep fighting to ensure that Colorado communities have every federal resource they need to protect lives, safeguard communities, and rebuild during and after these tragic floods.”


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