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January 7, 2013
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VR CEO rings in a new trading day

VAIL, Colorado - The CEO of Vail Resorts Inc. set the world's most influential financial institution in motion, then did what everyone watching from the floor wanted to do - he went skiing.

Rob Katz rang the bell Monday morning to open trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Katz, surrounded by Vail's executive committee and a couple dozen Vail ski instructors, rang it remotely from the base of Vail Mountain.

As the bell sounded the sun was rising over the Gore Range, ushering in another Vail ski day.

According to the NYSE, the live broadcast of the opening bell is seen by 300 million people worldwide.

"It was another special way to celebrate our company's and Vail Mountain's 50th anniversary this season as well as to promote a snowy Vail to a global audience of skiers and snowboarders," said Kelly Ladyga, Vail Resorts' director of corporate communications.

Monday was the third time someone from Vail Resorts rang the New York Stock Exchange's opening bell.

The first was Feb. 4, 1997, the day the company's stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The second was on Dec. 5, 2008, from the finish area of the men's World Cup downhill race course in Beaver Creek.

Monday's opening bell from Vail Mountain was one of the many ways Vail is celebrating the ski company's 50th anniversary.

As Katz rang the opening bell Monday, Vail's new gondola was in the background and a snowcat made its way across the scene, grooming snow for the day's skiing.

Vail has more than 5,000 skiable acres of terrain open.

The New York Stock Exchange's opening bell has been rung every trading day at 9:30 a.m. eastern time since 1985 to signify the start of the day's session.

Big ringers

Katz joins high profile ringers like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Great Britain Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah and Cardinal Dolan.

Robert Pattinson, the newly single "Twilight" star rang the bell as part of getting over a bad breakup.

The cast of movie "The Expendables" rang the opening bell, as did Dora the Explorer, Sports Illustrated swimsuit models and the cast of "The Jersey Shore."

Snowboard sensation Shaun White rang the opening bell with one hand while holding his Olympic gold medals in the other.

The rock band Kiss took time out from their "rock 'n' roll all night party every day" lives to ring the opening bell. Imperial storm troopers from Star Wars rang it.

Hugh Hefner was flanked by a pair of drop-dead gorgeous blondes when he rang the NYSE's chimes. A blonde of a different sort, Spongebob Squarepants, opened trading by ringing the bell.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 7, 2013 06:35PM Published Jan 7, 2013 06:32PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.