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Intrawest sold
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Updated 3 months ago
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8 months ago

This is interesting… not sure what it means for the MaxPass i(or ridiculous pass) in the future.

https://www.pehub.com/2017/04/aspen-skiing-ksl-capital-to-buy/#

8 months ago

I can see this being a good thing if they can figure out how to get more trails cut on the western territory.  I can also see this being a good thing if they can figure out how to make the lift line not suck at the ballhooter.

In reality, I’m sure both of these issues will exist for years to come.  But one can hope.

8 months ago

AndyGene wrote:

In reality, I’m sure both of these issues will exist for years to come.  But one can hope.

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

 

8 months ago

Ski Magazine has a Facebook post/story that describes the Aspen and KLM $1.5B purchase of Intrawest assets, including Snowshoe.  It indicates that the Rocky Mt. Super Pass and the MAX pass will be honored next season.  A new investment group will be formed for the new combined holdings.  Assuming this is being done to compete with Vail’s holdings and EPIC Pass it should mean good things for Snowshoe and the other results.  It might take a bit of time to materialize since the deal probably won’t go “FINAL” until this coming fall.  Cross your fingers for the revolutionary Ridiculous Pass to continue vice an only option for a SS season pass being an expensive EPIC like pass at 3 times the cost of a Ridiculous Pass.  

MorganB

8 months ago

Wow this is big news. We are passholders at snowshoe, but our favorite destination resort is aspen so it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. I love the ridiculous pass so I really hope that sticks around. Intrawest was a big corporation and they seemed to treat each property individually or to let the management of each resort run things as they thought best. We love aspen and winter park, so some love from them would be nice!

8 months ago

Looks like Aspen Ski Co. wasn’t the only busy one today.

http://unofficialnetworks.com/2017/04/cnl-properties-sells-14-ski-areas

8 months ago

I received an email from Intrawest about the merger.  Very interesting.  It indicated that Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows would be a part of the merger due to its association to KSL.

MorganB

8 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Ski Magazine has a Facebook post/story that describes the Aspen and KLM $1.5B purchase of Intrawest assets, including Snowshoe.  It indicates that the Rocky Mt. Super Pass and the MAX pass will be honored next season.  A new investment group will be formed for the new combined holdings.  Assuming this is being done to compete with Vail’s holdings and EPIC Pass it should mean good things for Snowshoe and the other results.  It might take a bit of time to materialize since the deal probably won’t go “FINAL” until this coming fall.  Cross your fingers for the revolutionary Ridiculous Pass to continue vice an only option for a SS season pass being an expensive EPIC like pass at 3 times the cost of a Ridiculous Pass.  

MorganB

link to ski mag story:  http://www.skimag.com/ski-resort-life/latestmergerrocksskiindustry?utm_source=WedNewsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Story1&utm_campaign=041017

8 months ago

This gives some insight to ASC and KSL history leading up to the sale….

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/10/intrawest-aspen-ksl-capital/

8 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

This gives some insight to ASC and KSL history leading up to the sale….

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/10/intrawest-aspen-ksl-capital/

Maybe Frank landed his cash cow for the Boathouse to Silver Creek gondola ??????

PS - Enjoy Mammoth.  I’m sure you will text Chris and I pics so we can hate you - HAHA!! 

8 months ago

They aren’t done with their shopping spree yet. They just purchased Mammoth Resorts. It includes Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit, and Bear Mountain. They are all California ski areas. 

8 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

Bonzski wrote:

This gives some insight to ASC and KSL history leading up to the sale….

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/10/intrawest-aspen-ksl-capital/

Maybe Frank landed his cash cow for the Boathouse to Silver Creek gondola ??????

PS - Enjoy Mammoth.  I’m sure you will text Chris and I pics so we can hate you - HAHA!! 

I think that and other captial improvements are immenent.

Hater pics will follow!

8 months ago

msprings wrote:

They aren’t done with their shopping spree yet. They just purchased Mammoth Resorts. It includes Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit, and Bear Mountain. They are all California ski areas. 

Holy Smokes

http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/174988
 

8 months ago

The bubble grows.  IMHO it will burst sooner than people think.

8 months ago

I was talking to somebody about this on Monday. In this portfolio it seems like Snowshoe and Blue Mountain are probably the smallest and least profitable resorts in this group. However I would imagine that due to the Ridiculous Pass the amount of season passes that Snowshoe sells is competetive with the other resorts in this portfolio (just a guess… if somebody has numbers that would be nice) which gives them opprotunity to hook other people in. IMO if snowshoe sold a Winter Park/Stratton/Steamboat/etc 3 for all like pass only at the depot to season pass holders, that would be a better add on than the Max Pass. (Get people to pay lodging once at Snowshoe, and then hook them for another trip) 

Snowshoe is the most visited ski resort in the Southeastern US, and I suspect by a very large margin. Hopefully SkiCo will at least invest as much as Intrawest has and use what they have to thier advantage. If they look at the past history of the resort they will likely realize that elimintating the “Ridiculous” Pass is not the best option… but hopefully they can give those of us that are willing to call it our home mountain the Value Pass… while also using it as a gateway to ski the other resorts where they can make more $$$ off us while not alienating the families and groups that have made Snowshoe the destination for their annual trip.

I was really hoping Intrawest would hold on to Snowshoe a bit longer… but at 1.5B I would have sold too. (Whistler was 1.2b) Hopefully they will see Snowshoe as the largest resort in the Southeast and invest in it accordingly. Best way to get people from the East to go out west is to get them hooked on the sport near where they live.

I’ll keep a positive attitude on this one…. but I’ll take a sigh of relief if I see the Ridiculous pass email in my inbox again in Febuary 2018… and maybe with an offer for a super charged mountain collective pass. (even though the Max Pass is MUCH better for New England…) 

8 months ago

No changes in terms of season passes or multi-resort pass agreements or senior management are expected for the upcoming 2017-18 season.  But for the following season, certainly expect differences for those who buy Snowshoe season passes or the multi-resort passes the currently include one or more of the mountains involved (MCP, MAX Pass, RMSP+).

The complete list:

  • Squaw Valley, CA
  • Alpine Meadows, CA
  • Big Bear Mountain, CA
  • Snow Summit, CA
  • June Mountain, CA
  • Mammoth Mountain, CA
  • Steamboat, CO
  • Winter Park, CO
  • Aspen Mountain aka Ajax, CO
  • Snowmass, CO
  • Buttermilk, CO
  • Aspen Highlands, CO
  • Blue Mountain, ON
  • Tremblant, QC
  • Stratton, VT
  • Snowshoe, WV
4 months ago

U.S. private equity firm KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Co (HCC), the owner of Aspen Skiing Co LLC, have closed their acquisition of Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc (NYSE: SNOW), a ski resort operator and adventure company. The deal, announced in April at a value of US$1.5 billion, saw KSL and HCC acquire IntraWest from U.S. private equity firm Fortress Investment Group. IntraWest, which has principal offices in Denver, Colorado and Banff, Alberta, will be combined with other businesses under Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. KSL’s Bryan Traficanti will serve as the combined entity’s interim CEO.

PRESS RELEASE

Affiliates of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company Complete Transactions to Combine Three Major Resort Companies

Bryan Traficanti named Interim Chief Executive Officer

David Perry named President and Chief Operating Officer

July 31, 2017

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The new joint venture formed by affiliates of KSL Capital Partners, LLC (“KSL”) and Henry Crown and Company (“HCC”) today announced the completion of their previously announced acquisition of Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SNOW) (“Intrawest”) and Mammoth Resorts.

Through these transactions, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings (“SVSH”), previously owned by affiliates of KSL, Intrawest and Mammoth Resorts are now combined as one company. This new entity boasts 12 four-season mountain resorts with approximately six million skier visits, 20,000 skiable acres and significant land available for real estate development, as well as Canadian Mountain Holidays, the world’s leading heli-ski operator, plus comprehensive aviation and real estate businesses. Its mountain resorts are geographically diversified across most of North America’s major ski regions: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain in California; Steamboat Ski & Resort and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario; Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec; Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia.

The companies also announced leadership changes effective upon the close of the transaction. KSL’s Bryan Traficanti became interim Chief Executive Officer, while a comprehensive search for a new chief executive officer is completed. Executive search firm Spencer Stuart has been retained to assist with the selection of a new Chief Executive Officer. Effective as of closing, Thomas Marano, Intrawest’s Chief Executive Officer, resigned his position; Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Resort’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, is an investor in the new company and will serve on the Board, and become Senior Strategic Advisor to the new company; and Andy Wirth, President and Chief Executive Officer of SVSH, will become President and Chief Operating Officer of SVSH.

“This transaction marks a significant milestone for our company, our guests, and our communities, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as a result of combining Intrawest, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, and Mammoth Resorts,” said Mr. Traficanti. “We believe that each resort brings something different to the company, and our goal is to preserve the unique character and culture of each while also building something greater. Supported by affiliates of KSL and HCC, this new organization is well positioned not only for continued growth, but also to bring more value to our guests, more opportunities for our employees, and more investment into our local communities.”

Additionally, David Perry, previously Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Aspen Skiing Company, L.L.C., also an affiliate of HCC, was named the newly integrated company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Perry has spent more than four decades in the ski industry, including previous roles with Intrawest, Whistler/Blackcomb, and Canadian Mountain Holidays prior to being Chief Executive Officer of Colorado Ski Country USA and then Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Aspen Skiing Company. Intrawest’s Sky Foulkes, previously holding the joint position of President of Winter Park Resort and Chief Operating Officer of Intrawest, transitioned to focusing full time on Winter Park Resort as its President and Chief Operating Officer.

Additional Leadership Announcements

The company is pleased to announce the following slate of resort leaders:

Andy Wirth, President and Chief Operating Officer, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings
Mark Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mammoth Resorts (newly appointed)
Wade Reeser, General Manager, Big Bear Resort (reporting to Mark Brownlie)
Rob Perlman, President and Chief Operating Officer, Steamboat Ski & Resort
Sky Foulkes, President and Chief Operating Officer, Winter Park Resort
Patrice Malo, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mont Tremblant Resort
Dan Skelton, President and Chief Operating Officer, Blue Mountain Ski Resort
Bill Nupp, President and Chief Operating Officer, Stratton Mountain Resort
Frank DeBerry, President and Chief Operating Officer, Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Jeremy Levitt, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Mountain Holidays
Jeff Denomme, President, Alpine Aerotech
Season Passes

For the full 2017-18 winter season, the new company will continue to honor the existing pass products that are currently on sale, including the Rocky Mountain Super Pass +, the M.A.X. Pass, and the Mountain Collective. The new company expects to launch a new name and brand prior to the 2017/2018 ski season.

About the Transactions

Under the terms of the previously announced Intrawest merger agreement, Intrawest stockholders will receive $23.75 in cash for each share of Intrawest common stock, representing a total valuation of approximately $1.5 billion. As a result of the closing of this acquisition, Intrawest will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Under a separate previously announced purchase agreement, Mammoth Resorts is also being purchased by the new KSL and HCC joint venture effective today. Additionally, SVSH is being rolled into the new venture. The terms of both Mammoth Resorts and SVSH transactions have not been disclosed.

4 months ago

Still do not understand why Aspen is not listed as one of the new company’s resorts in CO.

Great news that the deal is done and that the innovative Frank DeBerry remains as CEO of Snowshoe!!!

MorganB

4 months ago

Still do not understand why Aspen is not listed as one of the new company’s resorts in CO.

Great news that the deal is done and that the innovative Frank DeBerry remains as CEO of Snowshoe!!!

MorganB

4 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Still do not understand why Aspen is not listed as one of the new company’s resorts in CO.

Great news that the deal is done and that the innovative Frank DeBerry remains as CEO of Snowshoe!!!

MorganB

It was always stated that the Aspen Ski Co. mountains would remain independent.  The Crown family is simply an investor in the new yet-to-be-named corporate entity that includes Squaw/Alpine, Mammoth, and the former Intrawest ski resorts.  Of course, with former ASC VP and COO, David Perry, as COO of the new corporation, the expectation is a good working relationship with ASC going forward.

Here’s the best summary of the closing of the Aspen/KSL/Intrawest deal I’ve found so far. Intrawest is no longer a public company. The buzz around the various Intrawest ski resorts varies quite a bit. From the Steamboat blog, would hardly know that Intrawest owned any other ski resorts.  The folks at Tremblant are paying close attention but don’t seem worried.  The folks at Mammoth are a bit more nervous given the change at the top.

http://www.sierrasun.com/news/busin…er-deal-completed-that-includes-squaw-valley/
 

4 months ago

Thanks, I now remember reading about this when sale first announced.

4 months ago

Not quite sure what’s going on at the Sierra Sun.  The link above no longer goes to the original 7/31 article.  The link here is to an article that’s similar but with a different title.

http://www.sierrasun.com/news/sale-closes-on-deal-to-combine-squaw-valley-ski-holdings-ksl-intrawest-and-mammoth-resorts-as-one-company/

4 months ago

I can’t keep up; I’m getting more confused by the day.  Back in April I went to Squaw with my daughter and grandkids.  It was the first time I’d been there in 20 years and I had forgotten how great their terrain is.  Nobody else does steep and lots of it quite like Squaw.  So I bought a 2017-18 season pass and used it 8 times this spring and summer.   It was good after apr. 1 as well as next season and at 70+ I am already in the black, vs. day rates, on the pass price and next season hasn’t even started yet.  Not confused yet, well keep reading.  I already have the Tahoe Local pass for Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar.  Last year I joined a retired men’s group in the east bay and their ski subgroup.  I signed up for their annual ski trip to Steamboat next Feb.  I looked at Steamboat passes online.  It was always a pricey place but what the hell.  To my amazement they have a pass for 70+ for $479 for 6 days at Steamboat, 3 each at crested butte, bachelor, 3 places in Japan and 1 in NZ, plus unlimited at Eldora, Winter Oark, and Copper.  Now I’m wondering if I could have gotten the latter as part of the Squaw/Alpine pass without paying anything more.  And Mammoth too.  My winter season pass at Mt. Hood is free since I’m over 71.  Why 71 I don’t know.  I can ski free any day at Bear Valley, a ‘minor’ place near Yosemite that would have the best terrain in the mid Atlantic by far, if it were located there.  It also gets 400”/year.

So many passes!

4 months ago

Denis, not sure if you’re complaining, bragging or just thinking aloud….but I sure hope to be in your boots when I’m 70+.  Way to get after it!!!

4 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

Denis, not sure if you’re complaining, bragging or just thinking aloud….but I sure hope to be in your boots when I’m 70+.  Way to get after it!!!

Mostly thinking aloud.  It’s a great time to be a skier if you’re going to go more than say 10 days per season.  Mega pass deals are proliferating at an amazing rate.  Is it a bubble, like sub prime mortgages?  I don’t know but I’m taking advantage.  I’m also a fan of ‘small’ places with slow lifts, like Bear Valley (not Big Bear), where crowds are small and powder can remain untracked for days.  I hope they survive.

4 months ago

Concolidation seems good for pass holders and people who live close to one of the resorts.  Seems to be pushing up the walk up ticket window prices quite a bit though.  Folks who were already having a hard time getting on the snow less than ten times a season may be getting squeezed out.  I’d still ski the same number of days I can get free to go and pay the higher ticket window prices.  There are probably a lot of othe people who won’t though..

4 months ago

Could it be that the industry has given up on bringing new skiers into the sport in favor of taking short term profits?  That would not be a good thing.  

A typical CEO job tenure in America is about 5 years and they serve at the pleasure of the shareholders, therefore the CEO’s #1 concern is profit in my time.  Long term growth or dealing with any problem that does not have a quick solution is often sacrificed.  Obviously that is a bigger and broader problem than just skiing, but the sport we love does not operate in a vacuum free of such concerns.

4 months ago

Denis wrote:

Could it be that the industry has given up on bringing new skiers into the sport in favor of taking short term profits?  That would not be a good thing.  

I don’t think so.  But there is definitely a split happening between the smaller ski areas that have to rely on local support from people who drive to ski, and destination resorts where people stay ski at least 4 days during a ski vacation planned well in advance.  I know of plenty of programs for beginner skiers all over the northeast and Mid-Atlantic.  Vail bought three feeder hills in the midwest.  But of course, the people posting on DCSki aren’t going to talk much about those programs.

Weekend skiers are more likely to be beginners or intermediates.  Those of us who can ski mid-week avoid the busy times, so don’t even see them.  I see plenty of beginners at Massanutten on holiday weekends because I go with friends with school age kids.  The ski school is overbooked every time.  The shortage is not new skiers/boarders, it’s instructors.  Have an impression that’s true of some ski areas in the northeast as well.

What’s really changing is that every ski area or resort that intends to be around for the long term has to figure out a way to make some money during the summer months.  In a video already created to promote the new KSL/HCC/Intrawest places, there are a lot of segments of summer fun along with winter scenes that are not skiing.  A lot of emphasis on families and terrain parks.  Combined with a segment about heli skiing with CMH.  The video is called “We are the mountains.”

4 months ago

There have always been fantastic beginner bargains at just about every huge resort and small mom and pop ski hill.  The first one’s pretty much free.  However, there is a huge donut hole excluding 5-10 day a year average skiers from the bargains

4 months ago

crgildart wrote:

There have always been fantastic beginner bargains at just about every huge resort and small mom and pop ski hill.  The first one’s pretty much free.  However, there is a huge donut hole excluding 5-10 day a year average skiers from the bargains

Agree.  The multi-resort pass deals such as the Epic Pass or the MAX Pass only make sense for those who are sure they will ski > 10 days, including at least a few days at a major resort.  The biggest bargains around the southeast and WV are scout weekends.

4 months ago

Two Intrawest execs were paid to stick around as part of the Intrawest merger agreement in April 2017.  The Intrawest CEO has moved on, but the COO ($325K) and CFO ($150K + $550 to stay at least a few months after closing) were encouraged to stay.  Sky Foulkes was also the President of Winter Park.  He stays on as the COO of WP in the new corporation, which is called Hawk Holding.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1587755/000114036117015265/form8k.htm

4 months ago

The annoucement of the closing on the Tremblant blog includes a 4-min video called “We are the Mountains.”  Take a look to see how many scenes involve families or terrain parks, or summer activities, or non-skiing/boarding winter activities in comparison to people on advanced/expert terrain.  Have to watch the video on YouTube (click on the video in the blog, then click on YouTube at the bottom right of the window).  Definitely pushing the idea that the new entity is spread out across North America.  Each resort is featured separately.

https://blogue.tremblant.ca/intrawest-acquisition-press-release/

Won’t be surprised if the video is removed from the blog entry.  Although it’s quite slick, it feels a little unfinished.  As far as I can tell, no other resort has posted the video yet.

4 months ago

marzNC wrote:

Won’t be surprised if the video is removed from the blog entry.  Although it’s quite slick, it feels a little unfinished.  As far as I can tell, no other resort has posted the video yet.

I really like the mix of biking and skiing in the video. As someone who enjoys snowshoe’s bike park at least as much as the snow this is nice to see. That being said youtube has the video marked as unlisted…. so I wonder if tremblant jumped the gun on this one.

4 months ago

rbrtlav wrote:

I really like the mix of biking and skiing in the video. As someone who enjoys snowshoe’s bike park at least as much as the snow this is nice to see. That being said youtube has the video marked as unlisted…. so I wonder if tremblant jumped the gun on this one.

I noticed that the video was uploaded a few days before the closing.  What’s definitely missing is something that mentions or shows the name of the new company, but that hasn’t been decided yet.

The content of the “We are the mountains” video certainly matches up with the statement from the beginning of the press release (bold added below):

“This new entity boasts 12 four-season mountain resorts with approximately six million skier visits, 20,000 skiable acres and significant land available for real estate development, as well as Canadian Mountain Holidays, the world’s leading heli-ski operator, plus comprehensive aviation and real estate businesses. Its mountain resorts are geographically diversified across most of North America’s major ski regions: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain in California; Steamboat Ski & Resort and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario; Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec; Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia.”

Finding ways to generating enough revenue to be profitable in at least two seasons (winter, summer) is clearly the only way for a ski resort to survive as a business in the long run.  With enough revenue during spring and fall to at least break even.

I have no doubt that the money for all the snowsport improvements at Massanutten in the last 5-6 years weren’t based on profits from snowsports alone, but on the overall profits for the entire year.  Mnut timeshare units are fully booked from June-August, not so much during the winter.  Major improvements for the golf courses came first, then the waterpark, and eventually the ski slopes.

Beech and Sugar have worked hard to add summer activities that generate revenue.  Mountain biking is a big deal at Beech now.

4 months ago

Is that Kurt Miller (Warren’s son) doing the video narration?

4 months ago

marzNC wrote:

Denis wrote:

Could it be that the industry has given up on bringing new skiers into the sport in favor of taking short term profits?  That would not be a good thing.  

 

What’s really changing is that every ski area or resort that intends to be around for the long term has to figure out a way to make some money during the summer months.  In a video already created to promote the new KSL/HCC/Intrawest places, there are a lot of segments of summer fun along with winter scenes that are not skiing.  A lot of emphasis on families and terrain parks.  Combined with a segment about heli skiing with CMH.  The video is called “We are the mountains.”

I have to agree with you. We were in Breckenridge last week and the place was packed. Prime time dinner restaurant waits were an hour. It’s easier when the ski area calls as town home as opposed to just a base area.. The town of Breckenridge holds all sorts of events year round. Last weekend it was one of the country’s 50 largest art shows. The ski area has to do it’s part though with things like zip lines, mountain biking, roller coaster like rides (I think that Breck’s is called the solar coaster), 

Copper adds it’s own golf course with a fairway at the bottom of Rosie’s Run and the Super Bee lift.

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/sports/tee-time-the-highest-tee-box-in-north-america/?utm_source=boomtrain&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=local-news-flash

 

 

4 months ago

^^ that’s interesting.  About 20 years ago Wife and I stopped in Breckenridge in August and it was d-e-a-d.  We went back to Fisco to rent a room, a much more lively area.  [Hotel Frisco, still a great place].  I guess Breck has changed.

4 months ago

Pick a few destination ski resorts and take a look at their websites during the summer season.  You’ll find lots of activities for all ages.  Then take a look a few of your favorite small areas in the southeast or mid-Atlantic.  More of them than you might think have invested in summer activities over the last 5-10 years.

I stopped by Ober Gatlinburg for a few hours recently. Quite a few families were enjoying the Alpine Slide and mountain coaster and other outdoor rides.  The tram and two chairlifts are used all summer and were pretty popular from what I could tell.

Massanutten timeshare units are always fully booked during the summer.  I have no doubt that the revenue from the summer is what helped to pay for the capital improvements for snowsports in the last 10 years.  Pretty sure the total is over $10 million by now.

I remember reading about a consulting company that’s been working with western ski areas on how to make changes that will bring in revenue during the off-season.  It seemed pretty obvious that only operating for 4-5 months is not going to work in the long run for most ski areas.  Diamond Peak in Tahoe was one of the places that was working to understand their options.

Another example of a small local ski area doing all sorts of stuff during the summer is Wachusett near Boston.  Something is working for them.  1000 ft vertical, 110 acres, with three detachable high-speed lifts plus a short lift that starts mid-mountain, a very nice main lodge with extra space for special events.  Looked good for a ski area that was developed with help from the CCC back in the 1930s.

4 months ago

MarzNC,

Are you saying that if a ski area in the mid-Atlantic doesn’t offer any spring/summer/fall events and closes all of their spring/summer/fall operations down (no lift rides, no resturant, no bar, no mtn. biking, no horseback rides, no weddings, and lays off all of their staff) might not be in business long? 

4 months ago

SCWVA wrote:

MarzNC,

Are you saying that if a ski area in the mid-Atlantic doesn’t offer any spring/summer/fall events and closes all of their spring/summer/fall operations down (no lift rides, no resturant, no bar, no mtn. biking, no horseback rides, no weddings, and lays off all of their staff) might not be in business long? 

It’s possible to stay in business only bringing in revenue during a short winter season.  But it’s getting pretty rare.  I noticed that all the articles about recent purchases include the idea of the new owner working towards a better “four season” resort.  Applies to large and small places.  From Vail and KSL/HCC/Intrawest to Saddleback in ME to little Tenney in NH.

There are only two NC ski areas that close up completely during the “off-season.”  Cataloochee and Appalachian only have about 25 acres each.  They tend to have slightly longer seasons because they start snowmaking early, only need a few days of cold weather to get open, and continue a bit later than most SE ski areas.  There are many NC ski areas that didn’t make the transition to snowmaking.  Had they come up with ways to make money during summer, perhaps then there would’ve been money to install snowmaking and stay in business.  Just speculating since I didn’t start paying attention to skiing in the SE until long after most of those places closed.

What seems clear to me is that it’s not just the destination resorts that are making capital investments to bring in people outside of ski season.  Real estate remain a piece of the puzzle for most mid-size ski resorts.  But I get the impression that there is less financial risk installing a zip line or mountain bike trails.  Even the town of Alta is thinking hard how to become a year round destination.  The major renovations and expansion of the Snowpine Lodge is based on the idea of being open all the time, not just during ski season.  The owner must think it’s a smart business move.  The Snowpine will be closed all of the 2017-18 season because the construction work will take 18 months.

3 months ago

From Denver Post….

Aspen Skiing, KSL Captial Adds Deer Valley

The new ski resort partnership that has tied Aspen Skiing Co. owner Henry Crown with Denver private equity firm KSL Capital Partners has added Utah’s posh Deer Valley resort to its swelling portfolio.

The volleys from Aspen Skiing and KSL Capital Partners are no longer over the bow of Vail Resorts, the world’s largest resort operator. The newly formed — and yet unnamed — Denver-based partnership that ranks as the world’s second largest player in the ski resort world is targeting Vail Resorts, picking off one of the highest-end ski areas in the world, which sits adjacent to Vail’s sprawling Park City resort complex.

In the last six months, Aspen Skiing and KSL Capital Partners have roiled the industry with their corralling of six Intrawest ski areas, Southern California’s dominant Mammoth Resorts and Lake Tahoe’s Squaw-Alpine resorts into a single entity, promising a season pass product that could rival Vail Resorts’ wildly successful Epic Pass.

With resorts in Colorado — Winter Park and Steamboat — the East Coast and California, the new partnership now adds Utah to the mix, giving it a continent-wide presence. If the new partnership offers a season pass like Vail’s 15-hill Epic Pass, watch for a season-pass war that, ultimately, will benefit pass-buying skiers while further taxing ticket-buying daytrippers. (The Epic Pass, which includes the most popular ski areas in North America and Australia’s Perisher, costs $859 for unlimited access while a day ticket to Vail last season went for $180.)

Vail Resorts chief Rob Katz admired Deer Valley. When he orchestrated the 2014 acquisition of Utah’s Park City and merged it with his Canyons, creating the largest ski area in the country in 2015, he told Forbes magazine that Deer Valley’s “attention to detail and commitment to investing in their resort” impressed him.

Deer Valley, perhaps sensing the growing role of Katz and Vail Resorts in Utah, acquired the family-owned Solitude ski area in 2014.

“Deer Valley Resort is one of the preeminent mountain resorts in the world and is a tremendous addition to our existing portfolio. Prior to this acquisition, we were able to offer our guests exceptional experiences throughout most of North America’s major ski regions, but we did not have a resort in Utah, a state that is renowned for great skiing and mountain town life,” said David Perry, the former Aspen Skiing executive who recently left to direct the new joint venture, in a statement. “We could not be more pleased that Deer Valley Resort will be part of our new company, and we look forward to working with the staff and Park City community to carry on the traditions that make it so special.”

One of the traditions at Deer Valley is a ban on snowboarding, making it one of three resorts in the country that prohibit the sport, including Alta in Utah and Vermont’s Mad River Glen. Aspen Mountain used to be one of those hills, but embraced the single-plank riders in 2001.

3 months ago

But apparently no Solitude?  It was not included in the DV sale and stays with some prior DV investors  If Aspen/KSL comes out with a multi-resort pass to rival the EpicPass, having both DV and Soli on it would have made a swing through UT a bit more compelling.  This is shaping up to be a battle royale, Aspen vs. Vail, déjà vu all over again:-)

3 months ago

I have concluded that this is a bad thing. The independent resort owner is going the way of the dinasors. I think the DeSteelhorst family saw it coming and sold Solitude to Deer Valley. Now Deer Valley is part of a conglomerate. I would think Solitude would have been thrown in to the deal.  I think this eliminates competition and stretches resources for improvements among one ownership group. I wonder if the vultures are heading east?

3 months ago
Quote ” Wonder if the vultures are heading East ” Don’t worry about the vultures buying Timberline One Season Resort. Timberline is well funded and the vultures will need to cough up $36 million in order to purchase Timberline.
3 months ago

DV has a pretty good FAQ on their blog entry about the sale.  Solitude not included.  No changes in senior management, no change to the skier-only approach, pretty much no changes for 2017-18.

http://blog.deervalley.com/deer-valley-resort-to-be-acquired-by-newly-formed-resort-company-and-joined-with-intrawest-mammoth-resorts-and-squaw-valley-ski-holdings/

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