Vail Resorts, Inc. has announced a pledge of $31 million from chairman and CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, to their family foundation and donor-advised charitable fund.
Earlier this month, Katz exercised share appreciation rights (SARs) on 113,000 shares of Vail Resorts stock that were approaching their expiration date, donating 67,800 shares and selling the remaining 45,200 shares and giving 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale to the couple's foundation and DAF. In 2017, Katz and Amsterdam established a donor-advised fund with the $58 million they received from a similar SAR exercise. That fund is focused on addressing mental and behavioral health and alcohol and drug abuse issues in the mountain resort communities in which Vail Resorts operates and began making grants earlier this year.
Grants announced by Katz and Amsterdam from the proceeds of the most recent SAR exercise include $150,000 to the Other Side Academy in Denver for construction of a school where students will learn vocational, pro-social, and life skills enabling them to succeed "on the other side" of addiction and criminal behavior; $150,000 to the Environmental Defense Fund in support of its efforts to promote innovation and advocate for a clean, efficient, and modern energy system; and $150,000 to the Fund for a Safer Future, which invests in working to reduce the toll of gun violence.