Coronavirus roundup: Vail CEO announces cost cutting, Rockies plan ‘Stay At Home Opener’

Breck run

A run on Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 9. (BizDen file photo)

Vail Resorts on Wednesday said it is furloughing and cutting pay for employees, and plans to defer the installation of new chair lifts and terrain expansions.

In a message to employees, which also was posted on the company’s website, CEO Rob Katz said the coronavirus crisis “has hit the travel industry particularly hard.”

rob katz

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz

“With the very real possibility that the global stay-at-home orders could be extended, and travel reduced regardless, our business in May through October is at risk,” he wrote. “We will work hard to reopen as soon as practical, but much of this is now outside of our control.”

Katz went on to detail the following steps the company is taking:

  • + Nearly all U.S. year-round hourly employees as of April 4 are being furloughed for at least the next one to two months. The company will pay all health care premiums for affected employees that are currently enrolled.
  • + All U.S. salaried employees will have their pay cut for six months. The cuts range from 5 to 10 percent for most employees. Senior executives’ pay will be cut 25 percent.
  • + Katz is giving up his salary for the next six months.
  • + Cash compensation for members of the company’s board of directors is being eliminated for six months.
  • + The company is suspending its 401(k) match for six months.
  • + Vail is reducing capital expenditures by $80 million to $85 million, with the intention to defer all new chair lifts, terrain expansions and other mountain improvements, while protecting the vast majority of maintenance capital spending.
  • + The company is eliminating its June and September dividends to shareholders, which would have added up to more than $140 million. 

“I am very hopeful that both the economy and travel will return to normal by the time our North American winter season opens eight months from now,” Katz wrote.

The full letter can be found on Vail’s website.

Vail stock closed at $141.33 per share Wednesday afternoon, prior to the issuance of Katz’ letter. Share price peaked at around $253 in January.

Baseball: The home opener for the Colorado Rockies was slated to be Friday. The Colorado Rockies Foundation said Wednesday that, in its place, a broadcast will be shown comprised of the best and most memorable innings from previous Rockies home openers. 

The event will begin at 2 p.m. on AT&T SportsNet and also will be shown on Rockies.com.

Fans will have the opportunity to make donations at Rockies.com/FeedTheRockies, and the Rockies Foundation will match all donations up to $300,000. Proceeds will go to Care & Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, Community Food Share, Food Bank for Larimer County, Food Bank of the Rockies and Weld Food Bank.

More layoff notices: The following employers recently notified the state of recent or planned layoffs or furloughs.

The Broadmoor hotel and resort in Colorado Springs: 1,411 workers

Denver Marriott Tech Center: 196 workers

JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek: 112 employees

Embassy Suites Denver-Downtown/Convention Center Hotel: 118 workers

Breck run

A run on Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 9. (BizDen file photo)

Plus, a number of hotels inform the state of layoffs.

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