Town of Vail Overview


Vail Vital Statistics

Since its incorporation in 1966, Vail has earned the distinction as one of the leading mountain resort communities in North America. With more open space than any other community of its kind, free transit and other environmentally-sensitive services, plus an abundance of recreational, cultural and educational opportunities, Vail has become not only a great place to visit, but an even better place to live.

  • Elevation: 8,150 feet
  • Size:  4.6 square miles, 8.5 miles in length
  • Location: 100 miles west of Denver on Interstate 70 in Eagle County and easily accessible via the Eagle County Regional Airport, 35 miles to the west. Vail is surrounded by 350,000 acres of White River National Forest land.
  • Climate: Vail receives more than 335 inches of snow annually and almost 300 days of sunshine each year. During the summer, daytime temperatures average 75 degrees and 45 degrees for the nighttime low. Winter daytime temperatures average 45 degrees, with lows dipping below 30 degrees.



Vail is named for Charlie Vail, a state highway engineer who directed construction of the first highway to enter the area in the late 1930s. Vail is best known as the premier ski resort in North America. Once a sheep-raising and lettuce-growing region at the eastern edge of the Gore Range mountains, the resort was born in 1962, fulfilling the vision of a pair of ski enthusiasts who met at nearby Camp Hale, a training facility for wartime ski troopers used during World War II. Now, nearly 50 years later, Vail attracts more than one million skiers each season. Visitors are drawn to Vail’s charming European-style pedestrian village, which provides a variety of shopping and dining opportunities and a vibrant nightlife. Although winter continues to draw most of the area’s visitors, an abundance of summer activities, such as golf, mountain biking, fishing, rafting and cultural arts performances, has produced a growing market for summer tourism.



On the heels of its success as a resort, Vail has evolved into an appealing recreation-friendly alpine community now comprised of nearly 5,000 full-time residents and an estimated 5,000 part-time residents. Together, Vail is considered to be a leader in its resort-community qualities and best practices. Examples include:

  • Largest free transit system in the nation.
  • First modern roundabout interchange in the nation.
  • More open space (30 percent of its lands) than any other resort community in the U.S.
  • Home to Gore Creek, one of only 11 Gold Medal fishing streams in the state.
  • 4 percent ski lift tax is the first of its kind in the country and represents the highest contribution level by a ski resort to its municipal partner in the state and perhaps the nation. The funds assist in the operation of Vail’s free transit system.
  • First to host two World Alpine Ski Championships in the U.S. (1989, 1999).
  • First venue for New York Philharmonic summer residency outside the state of New York.
  • Recognized as a resort leader in redevelopment initiatives of $1.5 billion in public-private investments from 2004 to 2008, representing more than 50 percent of property in the core areas of Vail Village and Lionshead. 



Vail Resorts, Inc. is the operator of Vail Mountain, which contains over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain and 33 lifts on land leased by the U.S. Forest Service. Vail Resorts, Inc., also operates ski areas at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly. Vail provides a variety of activities and lodging packages that keep our guests coming back year after year.    

Contact Info

Suzanne Silverthorn
Director of Communications