Gardner’s Ski Area Fee Retention Act Receives Committee Hearing

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) Ski Area Fee Retention Act received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today. Testifying in front of the committee was Brendan McGuire, Vice President of Public Affairs at Vail Resorts Management Company, who was introduced to the committee by Senator Gardner. 

NOTE: Click here to view Senator Gardner’s remarks.

“I’m very pleased to have before the Committee a fellow Coloradan, Brendan McGuire, who is Vice President of Public Affairs at Vail Resorts and testifying on behalf of the National Ski Areas Association this morning,” said Senator Gardner. “Vail Resorts is of course headquartered in Colorado where its namesake, Vail Mountain, was started in 1962 by veterans of the famed 10th Mountain Division in World War II. Since then, Vail Resorts has grown into a huge Colorado success story, spanning 37 ski areas across three countries and the United States.”

Gardner’s legislation, S. 1723, would create a Ski Area Fee Retention Account under the National Forest System, in which a portion of the roughly $37 million in annual fees generated by the ski areas would be retained by the National Forests they are generated in. In his official testimony submitted for the record, McGuire said that Gardner’s legislation would give ski areas an important tool to invest in development projects.

“Public land ski areas are typically the largest employer for the communities in which they operate. Ski areas pay for all on-site improvements, including roads, parking lots, and chair lifts, along with the processes required to review and approve such projects. The ability of ski areas to move forward as a business is inextricably linked to our most important partner, the U.S. Forest Service, having the capacity to review proposals and render a decision. Fee retention, as outlined in S. 1723, is an important tool for boosting the agency’s capacity to review ski area proposals. This legislation would allow ski areas to invest more and sooner in much needed infrastructure at public land resorts,” said Brendan McGuire, Vice President of Public Affairs, Vail Resorts.

The full committee hearing can be viewed here.


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.