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Vail acquires Peak Resorts

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#1
And the acquisitions go on....

Here's the scoop:

BROOMFIELD, Colo., July 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Peak Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKIS) at a purchase price of $11.00 per share, subject to certain conditions, including regulatory review and Peak Resorts' shareholder approval.

Photo Credit: Brett Miller, Peak Resorts, Mount Snow
Photo Credit: Brett Miller, Peak Resorts, Mount Snow

Through the acquisition, Vail Resorts will add 17 U.S. ski areas to its network of world-class resorts. Located near major metropolitan areas, including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City and Louisville, the resorts include:

Mount Snow in Vermont
Hunter Mountain in New York
Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire
Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania
Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River Mountain in Ohio
Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri
Paoli Peaks in Indiana


"We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to add such a powerful network of ski areas to our Company," 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."

"The ski areas within the Peak Resorts portfolio exemplify the spirit of our sport as well as our Company's mission to provide an Experience of a Lifetime to guests," Katz continued. "We're thrilled to welcome the resorts and their employees into the Vail Resorts family and invest in their continued success."

"Vail Resorts has a proven track record of celebrating the unique identity of its resorts, while continually investing in the guest and employee experience. For this reason, we are confident that our resorts and employees will continue to thrive within the Vail Resorts network," said Timothy Boyd, president and chief executive officer of Peak Resorts. "We are very proud of our track record over the last two decades in building the breadth, quality and accessibility of our resorts. We are thrilled that our guests will now have access to some of the world's most renowned resorts."
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
Wow. Wildcat is on that list. Keep us posted about inclusion on the Epic pass.
"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. Guests with an Epic Day Pass will also be able to access the new ski areas as a part of the total number of days purchased. For the 2019-20 season, Vail Resorts will honor and continue to sell all Peak Resorts pass products, and Peak Resorts' pass holders will have the option to upgrade to an Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass, following closing of the transaction."

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/vail-resorts-acquire-peak-resorts-110000429.html
 
#7
Poor Irv Naylor. He didn’t want to sell to Vail. It only makes sense that this would be their next target though.
 
#8
"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. Guests with an Epic Day Pass will also be able to access the new ski areas as a part of the total number of days purchased. For the 2019-20 season, Vail Resorts will honor and continue to sell all Peak Resorts pass products, and Peak Resorts' pass holders will have the option to upgrade to an Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass, following closing of the transaction."

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/vail-resorts-acquire-peak-resorts-110000429.html
@Ski Sine Fine what a boon for you! I hope to see you in Stowe this season!!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#9
Poor Irv Naylor. He didn’t want to sell to Vail. It only makes sense that this would be their next target though.
It just shows that you never know what's going to happen next in any industry. It's still boils down to a few people who have to make big decisions.

Camelback is a good fit for VR. But most likely the owner is happy doing what they do. Wonder if Alterra has thought about making Camelback a partner on the Ikon pass? The Mid-Altantic was the missing piece on multi-resort passes for quite a while.
 
#10
For the 2019-20 season, Vail Resorts will honor and continue to sell all Peak Resorts pass products, and Peak Resorts' pass holders will have the option to upgrade to an Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass, following closing of the transaction."
Just listened to a newly released podcast by VR about integrating new resorts into the Epic family. Now the timing of the release makes perfect sense. VR has integrated 12 resorts so far. Even so, getting all of the Peak Resorts fully integrated before the upcoming season is going to be a challenge.

https://soundcloud.com/epicbynature%2Fintegrating-a-winning-team
 
#11
It just shows that you never know what's going to happen next in any industry. It's still boils down to a few people who have to make big decisions.

Camelback is a good fit for VR. But most likely the owner is happy doing what they do. Wonder if Alterra has thought about making Camelback a partner on the Ikon pass? The Mid-Altantic was the missing piece on multi-resort passes for quite a while.
I hope his lawyers were smart enough to include a re-sale clause (so that he at least gets a piece of the appreciated sale price). In this era of consolidation, it would be a pretty big omission if they didn’t.
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
#12
Wow. My first reaction to this was definitely something like, “we don’t need any more Epic pass holders taking trips to Colorado.” Does that make me officially a local? ;)

I feel like this does make the Epic pass a no-brainer for a LOT of east coast skiers.
 
#13
This has been part of their strategy for a long time, to acquire resorts "Located near major metropolitan areas".
 

Ski Sine Fine

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Several thoughts.

1. Yes, it’s a boon for me. I have the incredible deal that is Epic Military.

2. I already purchased the Peak Traveller pass. Would I get some kind of refund since I have both a Peak pass and an Epic pass? Even if I don’t, the cost I already paid for both is comparable to getting a Peak unlimited pass alone, or a Snow Time unlimited pass+military Epic before the Peak acquisition. And now there is no black out dates for me for the local hills Liberty/Whitetail/Roundtop. So that’s a big plus.

3. From the perspective of the non-military, however, it’s a bit murky. I recall only mere months ago the rancor among the Snow Time season pass holders about the pricing of the Peak pass (recall Peak acquired SnowTime back in summer of 2018 and 2019-2020 is the first season a Snow Time pass isn’t available). There were decidedly two camps of unhappiness. One, to which I belong, has no desire to ski other Peak resorts on the NE and would go west for ski trips. The other is locals who only want to ski the local Snow Time resorts and really don’t fly to ski. The latter camp is going to be really unhappy if Epic doesn’t have anything cheaper than the Epic Local.

4. Impact on IKON. I think folks around DC get IKON because of unlimited at Snowshoe and one or more away trips. If you now can ski unlimited Liberty/Whitetail/Roundtop, would you still stick with IKON? DC area is crawling with active/retired military. Would they now abandon IKON altogether and do Epic only?
 
#15
3. From the perspective of the non-military, however, it’s a bit murky. I recall only mere months ago the rancor among the Snow Time season pass holders about the pricing of the Peak pass (recall Peak acquired SnowTime back in summer of 2018 and 2019-2020 is the first season a Snow Time pass isn’t available). There were decidedly two camps of unhappiness. One, to which I belong, has no desire to ski other Peak resorts on the NE and would go west for ski trips. The other is locals who only want to ski the local Snow Time resorts and really don’t fly to ski. The latter camp is going to be really unhappy if Epic doesn’t have anything cheaper than the Epic Local.
Depends a lot on whether VR decides to offer a local pass of some sort. Those exist for the three ski areas/resorts that VR owns in the midwest. The obvious breakdown would be an Epic Pass for PA only, which would pull in people from Philly, Baltimore, DC, NoVA, and perhaps even Pittsburgh.
 
#16
My first reaction to this was definitely something like, “we don’t need any more Epic pass holders taking trips to Colorado.” Does that make me officially a local? ;)
:smile:
My reaction was to feel happy that more people will be buying Epic and sticking to VR destination resorts because I prefer those on Ikon/MCP. In particular people who have never gone out west for a ski vacation before.

I feel like this does make the Epic pass a no-brainer for a LOT of east coast skiers.
I've thought about the idea of getting an Epic pass for a season to explore more in Colorado but not likely to become a habit. Especially since I no longer have a reason to drive into New England during the ski season. My daughter is going to college in the NC mountains.
 

Ski Sine Fine

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
From Vail Resorts FAQ:

I have purchased both a Peak Resorts season pass product AND an Epic pass product. Can I get a refund?
Refunds of your Peak Resorts season pass products will be accepted following closure of the acquisition. More information on process for receiving refunds on Peak Resorts season pass products to be announced after closure of the acquisition.”


Woohoo! I was hoping but really didn’t think it would happen. Awesome!:thumbsup:
 
#18
For those who haven’t skied in the northeast much, here’s some info about the Peak locations. Mount Snow, Attitash/Wildcat, and Crotched serve the Boston market. Folks from NYC/NJ drive to Hunter and Mount Snow, but not NH. Except for Attitash, all have at least one high-speed quad that goes to the top. Folks in CT are more likely to drive to Mt. Snow but advanced skiers could be enticed to make the drive to North Conway for a weekend to ski at Wildcat. Lots of fun non-skiing stuff to do in the North Conway area.

Mt. Snow, in southern VT (4 hours from NYC/NJ)
Hunter Mountain, in the Catskills, NY (3 hours from NYC/NJ)
Attitash/Wildcat, near North Conway, NH
Crotched, NH (under 2 hour drive from Boston)

I think of Mt. Snow, Hunter, and Wildcat as “big mountains” for the northeast that have terrain for all abilities levels from beginner to advanced/expert. Have skied a bit at Hunter and Wildcat but not Mt. Snow. The fact that Mt. Snow is a full blown resort is pretty obvious from the website. Peak Resorts has spent a lot of time, effort, and money on major capital improvements at Mt. Snow since they bought it in 2007. Hunter is also a full resort with relatively new slopeside lodging.

Wildcat was paired with Attitash after Peak bought it in 2007. Attitash has walk in/out lodging. It’s possible to buy a day ticket for Wildcat/Attitash and ski at both on the same day. Or stick to Attitash if high winds or low visibility make Wildcat less inviting for someone who buys a day ticket online in advance. They are about 20 min apart on dry roads. Wildcat skis big because of the vertical and the main lift from base to summit is a high-speed quad. Attitash is a better place for beginners and families with young kids just getting started with snowsports. At least that was my impression during an early season visit in Dec 2018. I only spent a couple hours at Attitash but that was enough to ride all the lifts and get a sense of the two peaks.

Crotched is popular for night skiing and race leagues. It's small but does have slopeside lodging.

Mt. Snow: 1700 ft vertical, 600 acres, 480 acres snowmaking; full resort
Hunter: 1600 ft vertical, 320 acres, 100% snowmaking; resort
Wildcat: 2100 ft vertical, 225 acres, 200 acres snowmaking; ski area
Attitash: 1750 ft vertical, 311 acres (2 peaks), 240 acres snowmaking; resort
Crotched: 1000 ft vertical, 100 acres, 100% snowmaking; resort
 

echo_NY

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
Attitash has two peaks. It does have a high-speed quad to the top of Bear Peak. Last season its summit lift to the top of Attitash Mountain broke and they couldn't get it fixed for the last few months of the season. So the top of Attitash (but not Bear Peak) was inaccessible from a lift. That lift desperately needs to be replaced.
 

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