BROOMFIELD, COLO.—As individuals and communities contend with the severe impacts of COVID-19, Vail Resorts’ CEO, Rob Katz, and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, announced a donation of more than $2.5 million to provide immediate support for both Vail Resorts employees and the mountain towns where the company operates.
Katz will donate $1.5 million in immediate emergency relief grants that will benefit more than a dozen local organizations providing critical services in Eagle, Summit and Gunnison counties in Colo.; Park City, Utah; Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Whistler, B.C.; Vermont; Stevens Pass, Wash.; and Jackson Hole, Wyo. (home of Grand Teton Lodge Co.).
An additional $1 million is being donated by Katz to create a new fund within Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise Employee Foundation, which helps the company’s employees respond to unpredictable setbacks, including medical events. This fund will help meet the increased need for assistance due to the impacts of COVID-19, ensuring that the Foundation has the resources to address this challenge.
Priorities: Employees, Communities
“I cannot recall another moment in my lifetime that has caused so much disruption to our lives—to our work, to our health and to our communities,” said Katz. “Throughout this incredibly challenging time, two of our absolute priorities have been, and will continue to be, the health and wellbeing of our employees and mountain communities. What makes our resorts so special is where they’re located and the passionate people who live there. As we navigate this situation, it’s essential we continue to support our employees and the vitality of our communities, providing partnership when it’s needed most.”
“We thank our entire community for stepping up to the plate to give back,” said Susie Davis, Director of Community Impact, Eagle Valley Community Foundation. “The Community Market is experiencing increasing demand for food. Rob Katz and Elana Amsterdam have shown up once again by being leaders. Their concern for those impacted locally during this uncertain time, and the authentic care they have for this community, is demonstrated through this support. With this contribution, we are able to continue to provide healthy food in a safe manner to our local families.”
“COVID-19 has greatly impacted our small mountain town,” said Lori Pyne, Interim Executive Director, Whistler Community Services Society. “Whistler Community Services Society greatly appreciates this grant from Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust. Our funding model is social enterprise, which typically funds 75 percent of our social services, and we have been forced to close these stores in compliance with the federal government and our medical experts. Contributions like this helps ensure that we can keep up with demand for our essential services of the Foodbank and our Outreach Services, which we expect to soar in the coming months.”
The donation will be distributed through the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust, which was established to support mountain communities, with an initial focus on eliminating the stigma of mental illness and increasing access to mental and behavioral healthcare. Since 2016, the Trust has donated over $10 million total, including nearly $6.5 million in mental and behavioral health grants, to communities where Vail Resorts operates.