BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts announced this week that CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, have decided that the initial focus for their new charitable fund will be on mental health issues in the company's local communities. Katz and Amsterdam created the new charitable fund in October with funding of approximately $58 million.
Katz and Amsterdam worked with community leaders and Vail Resorts employees to identify that mental health and drug and alcohol abuse were some of the most important issues that need to be addressed in these local towns, cities and counties.
Nationwide, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 14 to 25, and mountain resort communities are not immune to this disturbing trend. In surveys conducted in the resort communities by various organizations, many residents indicated they don't know where to turn for help if they have a mental health issue, and if they did know where to turn for help, frequent barriers such as cost, perceived stigma and language prevented them from seeking treatment.