Vail's Latest Acquisitions: Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte, and Stevens Pass

Discussion in 'Skiing and Industry News' started by K2 Rat, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. K2 Rat

    K2 Rat Out on the slopes Skier

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    And the big just keep getting bigger ....

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rel...ass-resort-in-two-transactions-300658976.html

    From Vail:
    • Vail Resorts will acquire Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado.
    • In a separate transaction, Vail Resorts will acquire Stevens Pass Resort in Washington State.
    • Upon closing, Epic Pass and Whistler Blackcomb Edge Card products will now include additional access to all four resorts for the 2018-19 winter season, providing even more variety and options in New England, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest.
    • Vail Resorts plans to invest $35 million in total capital across the four resorts over the next two years.
    BROOMFIELD, Colo. – June 4, 2018 – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. The Company will purchase Triple Peaks, LLC from the Mueller family for a purchase price of $82 million, subject to certain adjustments. At closing, Triple Peaks will pay $155 million to pay off the leases that all three resorts have with Ski Resort Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Oz Real Estate, with funds provided by Vail Resorts.

    As part of a separate transaction, Vail Resorts will also purchase Stevens Pass Resort in Washington from Ski Resort Holdings, LLC, who was advised on the sale by Houlihan Lokey, for a total purchase price of $67 million, subject to certain adjustments. Both transactions are subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

    “Together, the acquisitions of Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte, and Stevens Pass will significantly enhance the Vail Resorts’ network of resort experiences, adding even more variety and choice for all of our pass holders and guests. Okemo and Mount Sunapee are terrific complements to Stowe in the Northeast, as is Crested Butte to our four Colorado resorts, and Stevens Pass for our Whistler Blackcomb and Seattle guests,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Additionally, each of these resorts will individually offer guests from around the world entirely new and distinctive experiences in extraordinary locations from coast to coast.”

    “We know our guests and employees will benefit from Vail Resorts’ outstanding track record of resort and community investment, environmental stewardship, and employee development,” said Tim Mueller, president of Triple Peaks, LLC. “We care deeply about the legacy of these resorts, and have absolute confidence in Vail Resorts to celebrate what makes them so special, while also providing long-term stability for the communities.”

    “Triple Peaks, LLC and the Mueller family and Karl Kapuscinski, the tenant and operator of Stevens Pass Resort, have been outstanding operators of these resorts and we have valued our association with them,” said Steven Orbuch, founder and president of Oz Real Estate. “We are excited for the opportunities that these transactions create for Vail Resorts and its guests while providing a beneficial outcome for our investors.”

    When the transactions close, the 2018-19 Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Epic Australia Pass, and Epic Military Pass will include unlimited and unrestricted access to all four resorts, with seven and four unrestricted days for the Epic 7 Day and Epic 4 Day passes, respectively. Whistler Blackcomb Edge Card holders will be able to use any of their U.S. days at Stevens Pass, subject to the restrictions on each card. “We are thrilled that the Epic Pass and our other season pass products will now provide our pass holders around the world with even more variety and unique experiences to choose from,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

    After closing of the two transactions, Vail Resorts plans to invest $35 million over the next two years across the four resorts to continue to elevate the guest experience. In addition, annual ongoing capital expenditures are expected to increase by $7 million to support the addition of these four resorts. Together, these acquisitions are expected to generate incremental annual EBITDA in excess of $35 million in Vail Resorts’ fiscal year ending July 31, 2019.

    Closing of Transactions

    The transactions are expected to close this summer. Operations at the four resorts for the remainder of the 2018 summer season will continue in the ordinary course of business, as will future winter seasonal hiring. Upon closing, Vail Resorts plans to retain the vast majority of each resort’s employees and will be working with the local leadership teams in the coming months to determine the right long-term management structure for the resorts.

    Vail Resorts will, subject to approval, assume the state land leases for Okemo Mountain Resort and Mount Sunapee Resort and will obtain new Special Use Permits from the U.S. Forest Service for Crested Butte Mountain Resort and Stevens Pass Resort. The state land lease transfers in Vermont and New Hampshire are subject to administrative review and consent from their respective states.


    About the Resorts

    Crested Butte Mountain Resort, located in southwest Colorado’s Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests, is known for the colorful and historic town of Crested Butte, renowned mountain peaks, and legendary skiing and riding terrain. The resort was established in 1961 and has since passed through three families. The Muellers added Crested Butte to their family of resorts in 2004, following their 1982 acquisition of Okemo Mountain and 1998 acquisition of Mount Sunapee.

    Rising above the Vermont village of Ludlow, approximately three hours from Boston and four hours from New York City, Okemo Mountain Resort has developed a reputation for superior guest service, incredible snow quality, grooming, terrain parks, and family programs.

    Mount Sunapee, the premier ski area in southern New Hampshire, is just a short 90-minute drive from Boston. The four-season, family-focused ski area has breathtaking views overlooking Lake Sunapee and consistently receives accolades for excellence in snowmaking and grooming.

    On the other side of the United States, Stevens Pass, with its exciting terrain and plentiful snowfall, will be the Company’s second resort in the Pacific Northwest. The resort, less than 85 miles from Seattle, sits on the crest of Washington State’s Cascade Range within two national forests, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest on the west side of the crest and the Wenatchee National Forest on the east.

    Pass Access Details

    Vail Resorts is offering the following benefits for 2018-19 Epic, Epic Local, Epic Australia, Epic 7-Day, Epic 4-Day, and Military Epic Pass holders, subject to closing of the transactions:
    • Epic Pass™: Ski or snowboard unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for only $899. The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over four days of skiing or snowboarding. Enjoy full access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte Mountain Resort and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Stowe Mountain Resort and Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont; Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Stevens Pass in Washington; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; and Perisher in Australia for the 2019 season. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Pass holders will receive seven days of skiing or snowboarding with no blackout dates at Telluride in Colorado; seven days at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which includes Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Nakiska in Alberta, and Mont Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec; and up to five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Pass also grants limited access to Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France; 4 Vallées in Switzerland; Arlberg in Austria and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $469.
    • Epic Local Pass™: For $669, receive unlimited and unrestricted skiing or snowboarding at Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Crested Butte, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Stevens Pass, Wilmot, Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Stowe, plus a combined total of 10 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb with holiday restrictions. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Local Pass holders will receive five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Local Pass pays for itself in just over three days. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $359.
    • Epic 7-Day Pass™: For $669, receive a total of seven unrestricted days at Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stowe, Crested Butte, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Stevens Pass and Arapahoe Basin, plus seven additional free days at Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton or Wilmot Mountain. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic 7-Day Pass holders will receive up to seven days of skiing or snowboarding at Telluride and at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies with no blackout dates as part of their seven total days on the pass. After the seven days, regardless of the resort at which they were redeemed, pass holders can get 20 percent off additional lift tickets at Telluride. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $359. The pass pays for itself in just over three days.
    • Epic 4-Day™: A convenient option for a short ski trip as the pass pays for itself in just over two days and includes a total of four unrestricted days valid at Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stowe, Crested Butte, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Stevens Pass and Arapahoe Basin, plus four additional free days at Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton or Wilmot Mountain. New in 2018-19, Epic 4-Day Pass holders will receive up to four days of skiing or snowboarding at Telluride and at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies with no blackout dates as part of their four total days on the pass. After the four days, regardless of the resort at which they were redeemed, pass holders can get 20 percent off additional lift tickets at Telluride. The Epic 4-Day Pass is $439 for adults and $239 for children (ages five to 12).
    • Military Epic Pass: In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Epic Pass on March 18, 2018, Vail Resorts is honoring the epic service of the Company’s founders from the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, and the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, Canadian Armed Forces and Australian Defence Force with the introduction of a new $99 Military Epic Pass for active and retired military personnel and their dependents – an almost 90-percent discount to the regular Epic Pass price. Additionally, as the first of its kind in the mountain resort industry, all other U.S., Canadian and Australian veterans and their dependents are eligible for a $499 Military Epic Pass, which offers more than a 40-percent discount off the regular price ($269 for children under 18 years of age). Vail Resorts will donate $1 for every 2018-19 season pass sale to Wounded Warrior Project® to benefit wounded veterans and their families, which would exceed $750,000 based on last year’s sales. Visit www.epicpass.com/military for all details on military pass options.

    Full Release: HERE.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2018
    Mendieta likes this.
  2. Stev

    Stev Out on the slopes Skier

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    Wow!
    I wonder if this will create another shakeup in the Powder Alliance. Stevens Pass is one of the resorts on the Powder Alliance. Crested Butte was previously and then left the Powder Alliance when they reached an agreement with Vail. (I renewed my Sierra at Tahoe season pass when I heard about the Powder Alliance adding resorts.)
    I'm covered either way since I also have a full Epic Pass for next season.
    Will we hear about Vail adding even more resorts soon?
     
  3. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    This kind of shit almost makes me hope for climate change.
     
  4. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Sad day for CB locals.
     
  5. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Your move, Alterra. As I said months ago.."We ain't done yet", more resorts will fall.
     
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  6. Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    Welcome to the Vail Resorts family, @James...
     
    Wendy, SkiNurse, jimmy and 3 others like this.
  7. RachelV

    RachelV Hi. Skier

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    I think climate change is part of what’s driving this... being able to spread out weather risk in a given year is becoming more and more important as the seasons get more erratic. Makes sense to really get into as many regions as you can.
     
    AmyPJ, VickiK, Wendy and 5 others like this.
  8. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Vail, the GM of skiing... :nono:
     
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  9. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    Stowe, Okemo, and Sunapee on one pass certainly reshapes the dynamics in northern New England.

    Watch out for a bidding war for Jay Peak and Burke. Stowe and Jay on the Epic Local would appeal to lots of advanced skiers, and Okemo, Sunapee, and the milder parts of Stowe would appeal to families and groomer cruisers.
     
    RJS likes this.
  10. Dadskier

    Dadskier Getting off the lift Skier

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    New resorts in the East and $499 military pass (seems it's for all Veterans) and I may have to pull the trigger on this.
     
  11. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Jay is like Kirkwood, if it fell into their lap, I would say they would might pick it up. I still think Vail will go after Smugglers. By connecting Smuggs with Stowe and adding a few odd acres would give Vail "The most skiing acres in the East", Vail likes those titles.
     
  12. RJS

    RJS Putting on skis Skier

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    As someone who lives around Boston, having Stowe and Jay on the same pass would make for some epic (pun intended) weekend trips. And having Sunapee on there for quick day trips from Boston makes the Epic Pass even more enticing. I like Okemo quite a bit, but it's so jammed during peak times that if I am going to be facing crowds, I would rather be somewhere with more interesting terrain. Okemo did a fantastic job with opening up plenty of top to bottom trails in the early season, so it's a good place to go before Christmas and after Spring Break.

    I 100% agree with @Philpug about Smuggs, Vail would love to connect Stowe and Smuggs, which is why Vail would outbid anyone else if/when Smuggs goes up for sale.
     
  13. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Gross.
     
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  14. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Getting off the lift Skier

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    Sunapee was great when our kids were younger and just starting to ski. I've never been there when any of the woods or harder trails were open. Easy drive and nice area. It will bring even more people into the loop for Vail, but unless you own a home in Stowe I think Ikon provides better options for those of us in southern new england.
     
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  15. David Chaus

    David Chaus Winter....winter is calling, can you hear it? Skier

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    Interesting that a Whistler Edge Card will be able to be used at Stevens.

    Stevens is busy resort with a lot of weekend warriors, and seems like a perfect feeder resort for Vail. Previously Whistler was the most obvious resort to travel to, especially with the Edge Card. Now, they have many other destinations on the same pass. Which, BTW, will not be a price reduction for locals, as a season’s pass this past year was $550.

    For the record, I am not enthused about this. Yet. I teach for one of three independent ski schools that operate at Stevens, in addition to Stevens Pass Ski School. I imagine that won’t continue, so I will consider whether to teach for Stevens/Vail, or just go to Baker instead, which takes about 15 minutes longer for me to drive to/from. Crystal is more like 2 1/2 hours.

    Well, it’s not like I’m going to stop skiing......
     
  16. John O

    John O Getting on the lift Skier

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    Wow, didn't see that one coming. It could be the following winter before we see major changes to people's choices as to where to ski in WA. Both Stevens and Crystal have already sold through their cheap tier of season passes for 18/19, meaning many regular skiers have already made their choice for next winter. Although Stevens currently offers a lot of discounted tickets (4 packs, tickets at Costco, employer discount tickets, etc.). I bet those discounts are severely cut back or eliminated under Vail, which could drive casual skiers to Snoqualmie or Crystal, perhaps.

    I'm guessing that putting Stevens on the same pass as Whistler (and the rest of Vail of course) will make Stevens an even more popular choice, which is not what Stevens needs honestly. As a (currently) Crystal pass holder, the idea of putting Stevens on the Whistler Edge Card is a nice perk. I don't buy the edge card anymore because I never do more than a weekend at Whistler in a given season, and Vail got rid of the 1 and 3 day edge cards. But if I can use leftover days at Stevens, the 5 day edge card becomes a nice option again.

    Well, not the news I expected to wake up to this morning.
     
  17. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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  18. John O

    John O Getting on the lift Skier

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    Also, I wonder if Vails capital investment will go towards finally realizing some of Stevens' MDP, specifically around opening up additional terrain. That would be great if it turns out to be the case. Perhaps that's wishful thinking though.
     
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  19. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    That didn’t take long for Crested Butte and isn’t a surprise since the mega passes will decimate remote destination resorts that have high capacity utilization break even points (meaning an attached real estate business).

    I wonder how many of the associated resorts on Alterra are realistically just in the acquisition waiting room. Doesn’t look like Vail intends to have resort partnerships and I bet Alterra doesn’t either.

    I know we like to think Alterra is some sort of benign MTN, but it isn’t, and the model is unlimited season access.
     
    Wasatchman likes this.
  20. Dryheat

    Dryheat Putting on skis Skier

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    I think that in a perverse way, Stevens is giving Vail extra geographic insurance diversity for la Nina seasons like we just had.
     
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