Vail Resorts CEO announces donation of $31 million to his family’s foundation

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz.

BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts has announced that company chairman and CEO Rob Katz has exercised stock appreciation rights that were expiring over the next two years and will donate 100 percent of the shares and proceeds received to his family charitable foundation and donor-advised charitable fund. Based on the market price on the date of exercise of $275.25 per share, the donation is equal to approximately $31 million.

After withholding taxes, Katz received approximately 113,000 shares of Vail Resorts stock from the appreciation exercise. Of those shares, Katz donated 67,800 shares and sold 45,200 shares, and will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from that sale.

Katz in 2017 announced a similar exercise and the donation of approximately $58 million to a new donor-advised fund that will initially focus on helping address mental and behavioral health and alcohol and drug abuse in the mountain resort communities in which Vail Resorts operates.

A few months later, Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, also announced the donation of more than $650,000 in grants to local community nonprofits that focus on these issues, as well their plan to engage philanthropic advisers to help ensure the greatest impact from the new fund. That process of research and community engagement is now underway, and Katz and Amsterdam expect to make another round of grants to nonprofits in the company’s mountain communities before the end of the year.

In addition to helping local communities address mental and behavioral health, Katz and Amsterdam also made a $750,000 donation in March to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that supports military families. The personal donation was in honor of the company’s founders, who were members of the armed forces, and in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the company’s Epic Pass program.

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As part of their continued charitable giving, Katz and Amsterdam have announced the following grants:

• The Other Side Academy (Denver): $150,000: The Other Side Academy is a nonprofit, self-sustaining social enterprise that functions as a school where students learn vocational, pro-social and life skills so they can succeed “on the other side” of addiction and criminal behavior. This grant will go toward building the group’s first facility in Denver.

• Environmental Defense Fund: $150,000: Guided by science and economics, the Environmental Defense Fund looks to tackle urgent environmental threats with practical solutions. This grant will be used to support the group’s work promoting innovation and advocacy for a clean, efficient and modern energy system that will better protect our health and climate, while boosting the economy.

• Fund for a Safer Future: $150,000: Fund for a Safer Future is a nonprofit donor collaborative that invests in targeted, practical strategies to reduce gun injuries and deaths. The group invests in organizations, research institutes and advocates to strengthen policies that reduce the toll of gun violence by supporting rational, evidence-based policies at the local, state and federal level.

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