Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz to donate $11.7M, launches grants to support racial justice reform, COVID-19 efforts |

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz to donate $11.7M, launches grants to support racial justice reform, COVID-19 efforts

Donations will go toward COVID-19 efforts, racial justice and youth initiatives

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz.

Vail Resorts announced Monday that CEO Rob Katz has exercised stock appreciation rights that were set to expire in 2021, and will be making a charitable donation of 100% of the proceeds.  

Based on the market price of $194.74 per share on the date of exercise, the donation is equal to approximately $11.7 million. After withholding taxes, Katz received 59,988 shares of Vail Resorts stock from the exercise, all of which will be donated either in the form of a donation of shares or a donation of cash proceeds that were received from the sale of shares. The donation by Katz, and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, will be made to the family’s charitable trust and foundation.  

Additionally, Katz and Amsterdam announced a number of immediate grants to support COVID-19 efforts, racial justice reform and programs for urban youth.

“This is an incredibly challenging time for our country, and while a primary mission of our charitable giving will remain supporting mental and behavioral health and COVID-19 relief efforts in mountain communities, Elana and I feel passionate about supporting efforts that ensure basic human rights, empowerment and health for everyone,” Katz said in a statement. “We are proud to lend our voice and resources to these critical initiatives, movements and organizations that are creating positive change for our society every day.”

The donations include:

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Tulane University School of Medicine, $1 million

The grant will significantly expand and improve COVID-19 testing in the region, including for vulnerable populations that are most at risk. 

Equal Justice Initiative, $500,000.

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. 

Know Your Rights Camp, $500,000

The mission of Know Your Rights Camp is to advance the liberation and well-being of black and brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.

Youth organizations, $1.5 million

As a part of a youth access initiative announced in December 2019, in partnership with Vail Resorts, these grants from Katz and Amsterdam will support nonprofit organizations that work to strengthen communities and support youth of color in urban centers across North America. While initially earmarked to support efforts to expand youth access to winter sports, the couple Monday announced that given the current challenges presented by COVID-19, this year’s grants would instead fund the top priorities determined by each organization for the kids they serve. Specific grants to nonprofits will be announced this summer.

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