Mountain News: What will be the gap between Vail Resort CEO and workers? 

click to flip through (2) PHOTO COURTESY OF VAIL RESORTS - CEO Pay The Denver Post wants to know how much Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz stands to make.
  • Photo courtesy of Vail resorts
  • CEO Pay The Denver Post wants to know how much Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz stands to make.

BROOMFIELD, Colo.—Vail Resorts, a publicly traded company, is legally bound to disclose the compensation of Rob Katz, the chief executive. How will it stack up with other CEOs in Colorado?

The Denver Post recently examined the pay given chief executives as required by a 2010 federal law. The CEOs in Colorado it studied earned 94 times the median annual pay of their employees. Vail Resorts is based in Colorado, but as of April 16, when the Post examined the records, the company had not reported the compensation of Katz.

The legislation was passed in response to the economic recession. Excessive risks were taken by executives as they cut corners to boost stock values and grow their own compensation, said the AFL-CIO labour union. There were also concerns that corporate culture in the country had moved away from an ethic of shared effort and shared reward to a hierarchical winner-takes-all approach, said the union's Brandon Rees, deputy director of corporations and capital markets.

Some companies said this analysis is unfair. Service-oriented businesses such as Chipotle, the chain restaurateur, require employees with less training. They also rely more heavily on part-time seasonal and foreign labour. All three dampen income. Median pay of Chipotle's 70,000 employees was $13,582. Its chief executive last year got $11 million. Median pay for oil and gas companies' employees, with higher training needs, was above $100,000 in Colorado.

One theme picked up by an analyst was that smaller companies have lower ratios between median and CEO compensation. Though a giant in the mountain resort world, Vail Resorts is smallish among publicly owned companies.

Stopping vehicular terrorism

PARK CITY, Utah—Municipal officials plan to erect steel posts called bollards along Park City's Main Street in an effort to prevent vehicles from plowing into pedestrians.

The bollards are part of the city government's stepped-up security efforts in recognition of potential threats posed by Park City's status as an internationally known tourism destination. The one-metre posts will prevent vehicles from being used as weapons, such as has occurred in many attacks around the world in just the last year.

Ten people died and 14 were injured in a car-ramming attack in Toronto last week. In early April two people died in a ramming attack at Muenster, Germany, and eight died last Halloween in a similar attack in New York City. Before that, 14 died in Barcelona, Spain; while one person died last August in an attack in Charlottesville, Va.

The posts will also prevent unintentional wayward vehicles from hurting people, reported The Park Record.

The retractable bollards that Park City officials seek to install will be capable of being moved once concerts, farmers' markets, and other events have concluded.

Aspen is also installing permanent bollards in front of its police station. A number of ski towns have quietly stepped up security of public spaces and public buildings in recent years.

Tourism booming in Banff

BANFF, Alberta—Coming off what is described as a blockbuster year in 2017, tourism promoters in the Banff-Lake Louise area think they know how to draw even more visitors.

Last year's success was driven in part by free admission to Canada's national parks on the 150th anniversary of the system, but also a robust global economy, reported the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

More visitors from the United States, Australia, and Europe continued to arrive, but direct flights from Mexico and China also delivered more.

Tourism promoters think they can induce even more visitors from the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, but also China and other parts of Canada, including British Columbia.

Part of this plan includes targeting France. "The French are now saying they love Quebec, but they've been there and seen that. Now they're looking for other bilingual experiences, and national parks that present that opportunity because of the federal government's commitment to presenting experiences in French and in English," said David Roberts, chair of the Banff & Lake Louise Tourism.

The organization also hopes to produce growth in adventure tourism, wellness travellers, and tourism driven by food. To attract the foodies, the group wants to establish a unique and authentic food identity or "taste of place" for Banff and Lake Louise.

Road-kill grizzly anyone?

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