HASTINGS, Minn. - For the first time in 49 years, Afton Alps is under new ownership. The Twin Cities ski and snowboard area has been sold to Vail Resorts Inc. and enhancements are already being planned.

"This was an opportunity that we had to look at," said co-owner Amy Reents. "We're proud that Vail thinks highly of us and wants to include us in their family."

Improvements to food and beverage, guest services, and ski and race programming are already in the works. The sale also means a season pass at Afton Alps will also include access to Vail's other ski resorts in Colorado and California.

"They also plan to enhance the snowmaking," says Reents. "Being able to make as much snow as possible in a short time frame is important to us."

The new ownership plans to keep Afton's "family feel" and no layoffs are expected.

More than 250,000 snow-loving enthusiasts visit Afton's slopes each year and Vail plans to build on that success.

"Vail realized that skiers don't just go out west to ski," says Reents. "They learn to ski somewhere and Vail wants to invest here."

Reent's father Paul Augustine was one of three farmers that helped to get Afton Alps off the ground in 1963.

For more information on Vail's Epic Pass system that will soon include Afton Alps click here.

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