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Vail Resorts buys Afton Alps, plans 'upgrades'

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One of North America’s most famous skiing destinations is buying Afton Alps – and planning some changes.

According to a news release, Vail Resorts, Inc., plans to pay $20 million for two properties that it calls "premier urban ski areas" – Afton Alps and a ski resort in Michigan.

"Vail Resorts plans to upgrade and enhance the experience at each resort and create opportunities to connect guests from each of these ski areas to its seven world-class resorts in Colorado and Lake Tahoe through season pass and other lift ticket products," the press release says.

It adds, "Nearing its 50th anniversary, Afton Alps is the largest ski area near a major city in the Midwest with 48 trails on nearly 300 acres, 18 lifts, four base areas, night skiing and riding, tubing and an 18-hole golf course. Afton Alps is located 33 miles from more than two million people and more than 161,000 skiers and snowboarders in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area."

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