Vail Resorts, already one of the world’s largest ski resort operators with 20 ski areas in the US, Australia and Canada, including many of North America’s biggest and best-known resorts, has almost doubled the number of resorts it owns with the purchase of Peak Resorts, which operates 17 US ski areas on the East Coast and Midwest US.
Now operating 37 ski areas, Vail Resorts is believed to be the largest ever ski resort operator in terms of number of resorts and the purchase of Peak Resorts the largest single purchase of resorts at one time.
The new additions to Vail’s collection include internationally well-known and historic ski centres such as Mount Snow in Vermont, Hunter Mountain in New York State (pictured top) and Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain (pictured below) and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire along with a dozen regionally important smaller areas near to major metropolitan areas.
The value of the purchase is approximately $264 million which Vail Resorts intends to finance through a combination of cash on hand, its existing revolver facility and an expansion of its existing credit facility.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the resorts and their employees into the Vail Resorts family and invest in their continued success,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Peak Resorts’ ski areas in the Northeast are a perfect complement to our existing resorts and together will provide a very compelling offering to our guests in New York and Boston. With this acquisition, we are also able to make a much stronger connection to guests in critical cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest and build on the success we have already seen with our strategy in Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit. The acquisition fully embodies our philosophy of Epic for Everyone, making skiing and riding more accessible to guests across the U.S. and around the world.”
Vail Resorts business model is largely built on its Epic Pass lift tickets and related services, the main versions of which provide holders, reported to number more than a million in over 100 countries worldwide, to access to all of its areas all season long.
Vail have confirmed that when the transaction closes, the 2019-20 Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass and Military Epic Pass will include unlimited and unrestricted access to the 17 Peak Resorts ski areas.