The Alterra/IKON Speculation Topic
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hickster - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 03/20/2021 🔗
6 posts

My last topic fell flat for responses, so I'm hoping this title is better click-bait ;)

Do any of you have any inside knowledge or want to speculate on a few places potentially joining Alterra's IKON.  There may be room to compete with Vail's Epic since next year they'll have quite a bit of Pennsylvania resorts in their portfolio.  The closest Alterra-owned property to DC is Snowshoe, followed by Windham and then much bigger places like Stratton and Killington/Pico.  But those aren't day-trip places.

What about Wisp, or Canaan Valley, or Timberline?  I'm sure Perfects won't be selling Timberline:  from the sounds of it, they're doing very well.  But maybe a pass partnership?  Wisp is already selling season passes for next year, heralding the 3 other PGR resorts as a benefit...that might complicate joining IKON.

I've been reading much about Massanutten on these forums, and know it's on Indy pass...just haven't ventured there.  What other day-trip places would be a possibility for Alterra/IKON?  

I am on the fence about these mega-passes, but they do deliver value for me:  some local days, relatively easy to get to, and I always have at least a week at a larger resort West or Northeast of DC.

GGNagy
3 months ago
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
469 posts


 I don't see any of those joining IKON, short of Alterra buying PN or PGR outright, and as you said, PGR already has passes on sale. IIRC, CV is on State Park land, and I don't think anyone is really lining up to run it as a concession.  

As an aside, to no surprise the ticket exchange program Wisp had with the areas formerly on the Highlands pass is gone. A tiny perk, but there you go.  

hickster wrote:

What about Wisp, or Canaan Valley, or Timberline?  I'm sure Perfects won't be selling Timberline:  from the sounds of it, they're doing very well.  But maybe a pass partnership?  Wisp is already selling season passes for next year, heralding the 3 other PGR resorts as a benefit...that might complicate joining IKON.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,809 posts

Given the Ikon line up in terms of iconic Partners like Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, and Big Sky, along with Alterra resorts like Sugarbush, Palisades and Mammoth (good for late season), not sure there is much need to add a local Ikon location in order to make sales to people in the DC/NoVA/PA region.

I post a lot about Massanutten because it's been my home mountain for about 15 years.  It's changed quite a bit since my daughter started on skis back in 2004.  What I didn't realize until recently is that the ESOP is the sole owner at this point.  That makes any takeover very unlikely because the ESOP members would have to approve any sale.

Wisp and Wintergreen would undoubtedly benefit if PGR joined Ikon as a Partner.  Certainly has been good for Boyne Resorts and Powdr.

Cole53
3 months ago
Member since 02/2/2021 🔗
17 posts
Tangentially Alterra, owner of Ikon Pass, has ownership of ski resorts in the Mid Atlantic. The majority holder of Alterra: KSL Capital own both Camelback and Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania. But these mountains are owned separately from the Alterra company and not part of Ikon. If I were to guess any addition to Ikon in our region would take place in the form of these mountains. Although I think this is unlikely, as MarzNC pointed out Ikon is mainly large destination or famed mountains in the context of the region. For example, Snowshoe in the Mid Atlantic is by far the largest mountain and almost entirely a destination mountain as so Jackson Hole, Sunday River, the three Aspen mountains etc. The remaining resorts in the Mid Atlantic not already on a pass or in KSL ownership are in my opinion too small or not noteworthy enough to fit into Ikon's model. 
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,809 posts

Cole53 wrote:

Tangentially Alterra, owner of Ikon Pass, has ownership of ski resorts in the Mid Atlantic. The majority holder of Alterra: KSL Capital own both Camelback and Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania. But these mountains are owned separately from the Alterra company and not part of Ikon. If I were to guess any addition to Ikon in our region would take place in the form of these mountains. Although I think this is unlikely, as MarzNC pointed out Ikon is mainly large destination or famed mountains in the context of the region. For example, Snowshoe in the Mid Atlantic is by far the largest mountain and almost entirely a destination mountain as so Jackson Hole, Sunday River, the three Aspen mountains etc. The remaining resorts in the Mid Atlantic not already on a pass or in KSL ownership are in my opinion too small or not noteworthy enough to fit into Ikon's model. 

The owner of Camelback and Blue is not KSL Capital, but KSL Resorts.  Most of the resorts owned by KSL Resorts are beach properties.

Turns out that KSL Capital lists the Homestead as one of their properties.  Also some golf clubs and hotels in the DC/NoVA region.

kslresorts.com

kslcapital.com

If I read the Wiki info correctly, one of the co-founders of KSL Recreation, which became KSL Resorts, eventually created KSL Capital.  But by the time that happened, KSL Resorts was sold off to another leisure property company in 2004.

Cole53
3 months ago
Member since 02/2/2021 🔗
17 posts
On both the KSL Resorts and KSL Capital Camelback is listed as an asset while Blue Mountain is KSL Resorts only. 
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,809 posts

Cole53 wrote:

On both the KSL Resorts and KSL Capital Camelback is listed as an asset while Blue Mountain is KSL Resorts only. 

 Interesting.  It was quite confusing when the acquisitions for Camelback and Blue were announced.

Came across an article with a little history of how Henry Kravis (K in KSL) and Mike Shannon started working together.  KSL Recreation was created in 1992.  K for Kravis, S for Shannon, and L for Lichliter.  Mike Shannon was an exec for Vail 1986-92.  Shannon co-founded KSL Capital Partners in 2004.  Shannon is from Wisconsin.

August 2006: A private equity paradise in Vail

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
224 posts

Word on the street is Alterra is very comfortable with their portfolio and not in acquisition mode.  Jay could be an exception but nobody knows, the confidentiality around that process (down to two bidders) has been airtight.

As for Blue and CB: I would speculate they don't need or even want Ikon revenue.  Go ski at CB or Blue on a Saturday at 10am between Thanksgiving and March 1 and you'll see why.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,809 posts

RodneyBD wrote:

As for Blue and CB: I would speculate they don't need or even want Ikon revenue.  Go ski at CB or Blue on a Saturday at 10am between Thanksgiving and March 1 and you'll see why.

 With Ikon, it's possible for a Partner to restrict usage on busy weekends and holidays using Ikon reservations.  Taos and JH did that this season.  Saturdays and Sundays did fill up for Ikon reservations at Taos in February.  Several Ikon Partners are now only accessible with Ikon Base Plus or Full Ikon.  I'm guessing that also means a bigger payback when Ikon is used at those resorts.

As the 2020-21 pandemic season demonstrated, when there is a reason it's not that hard to limit capacity for a ski area/resort for the days known to be busy.

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