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The worst-kept secret in the ski industry is a secret no more as Vail Resorts on Tuesday announced it’s acquiring the ski company’s first East Coast ski area in Vermont’s venerable Stowe Mountain Resort.
The move has been rumored and reported for several weeks in local newspaper stories and other media outlets.
The acquisition continues an impressive buying spree for the Broomfield, Colo.-based ski company that last year took over Whistler-Blackcomb in British, Columbia, Canada, and Perisher in New South Wales, Australia.
Vail Resorts also owns resorts in Utah, California and several other states. Stowe will be included on the company’s Epic Pass season ski pass next ski season.
Here’s the press release from Vail Resorts:
Vail Resorts to Acquire Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont
BROOMFIELD, Colo.—Feb. 21, 2017—Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that on Feb. 17, 2017, it entered an agreement to acquire Stowe Mountain Resort from Mt. Mansfield Company, Inc. (MMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), for a purchase price of $50 million, subject to certain adjustments. Stowe Mountain Resort will be Vail Resorts’ first mountain resort on the East Coast and complements the Company’s network of 10 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas.
This acquisition brings together Vail Resorts, the world’s leading mountain resort operator, with AIG Global Real Estate (AIGGRE), a best-in-class real estate developer, who share a common vision for the long-term success of Stowe Mountain Resort as the premier, high-end resort for skiers and snowboarders on the East Coast. Vail Resorts is acquiring all of the assets related to the mountain operations of the resort, including base area skier services (food and beverage, retail and rental, lift ticket offices and ski and snowboard school facilities) at Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Other facilities such as the Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe Mountain Club, Stowe Country Club and certain real estate owned and held for potential future development will be retained by MMC.
“We’re thrilled to add Stowe Mountain Resort to our family of world-class mountain resorts. With the investments in both mountain infrastructure and base area facilities that AIG has made over the years, Stowe Mountain Resort has become the premier, high-end resort for East Coast skiers and snowboarders. We look forward to working with AIG to continue enhancing the guest experience and to ensure the resort’s long-term success,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.
Douglas Tymins, president and chief executive officer of AIG Global Real Estate, said, “Under Vail Resorts’ management, Stowe’s reputation as a premier ski destination with a commitment to excellent service will continue to grow. AIGGRE is looking forward to combining Vail Resorts’ tremendous mountain operations capabilities with our continued commitment to the development of the Spruce Peak community.”
Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vt., has a long history of providing outstanding hospitality and adventure for its guests and has reinforced its internationally respected brand with world-class improvements both on and off the mountain. The resort’s newest facilities and improvements include the Spruce Peak Adventure Center, the new Meadows Quad on Spruce Peak, Evolution Stowe’s RFID tickets, passes and gates and the new Shops at Spruce Peak. Spruce Peak also has new high-speed lifts, new base facilities and gourmet restaurants. MMC will retain ownership of the renowned Stowe Mountain Lodge at Stowe Mountain Resort, a 312-room hotel and spa that has already been recognized as one of the greenest and most luxurious mountainside hotels in the world, and additional slopeside real estate opportunities.
This transaction is subject to Vermont administrative review. At closing, the purchase price will be adjusted for certain agreed upon terms, including a reduction (or increase) in the price by the amount that the resort’s EBITDA exceeds capital expenditures for the period from Nov. 1, 2016, through closing. Stowe Mountain Resort is expected to generate incremental annual EBITDA in excess of $5 million in Vail Resorts’ fiscal year ending July 31, 2018.
Operations at the resort for the remainder of the 2016-17 ski season will continue in the ordinary course as will future summer and winter seasonal hiring. Vail Resorts will be retaining the vast majority of the resort’s year-round staff.
Vail Resorts looks forward to integrating Stowe Mountain Resort into its Epic Pass and other season pass products for the 2017-18 winter season, subject to the acquisition closing. With the Epic Pass, Vermont skiers and snowboarders will have unlimited access locally at Stowe at an attractive price as well as the best of the West at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe; and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada.