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Vail Mountain's 'Epic Discovery' is a game changer for ski resorts

Posted: 6:57 AM, Jun 28, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-28 08:57:25-04

11,500 feet up Vail Mountain sits a game changer for ski resorts.

"Oh, this is fantastic, they've really built it out a lot since the last time we were here," said Chris Bracken of Denver.

This week, Vail Resort officially unveils "Epic Discovery," an adventure park with zip lines, adventure ropes courses and the all popular "Forest Flyer" mountain coaster. 

"At Vail, we're entering a very exciting new era for us.  It's going to allow us to become a year-round destination resort," said Sally Gunter, Vail Mountain's senior communications manager.

It only took an act of Congress.  In 2011, the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act gave the Forest Service more power to approve projects like Epic Discovery at ski resorts.  Heavenly, near Lake Tahoe in California, is unveiling a similar course this summer, Breckenridge is scheduled to follow in 2017.  The price tag for all three projects topped $25 million dollars.

Ryan Miller, 9, came with his seven siblings from Florida to test out the mountain's newest toys.

"It was amazing," he said of the mountain coaster.

Mom approved, too.

"There's something for everybody.  It's definitely a great family outing," Stacey Miller said.

The Ultimate Adventure Pass is $89 and includes unlimited all-day access to the Golden Eagle Zipline, Gore Range Adventure Course, Holy Cross Adventure Course, Eagle's Nest Tubing, Forest Flyer, Mountain Goat Climbing Tower, Bungee Trampoline, Little Eagle Zipline, Pine Cone Adventure Course, Marmot Mini Tubing and the Gondola ride up.

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