In a series of bold moves certain to shake up the ski industry, Alterra Mountain Company and Vail Resorts have announced plans to combine resources and acquire every ski resort they don’t already own.
“It was going to happen eventually,” said Robert Katz, Vail CEO. “So we figured we’d just go ahead and get it over with.”
Katz and Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory made the announcement before a gaggle of sports and financial reporters after a three-day long closed door session. Asked how the new companies will manage the transition, Gregory was quick to calm investors’ fears. “From the 70 vertical feet of New York State’s Sawkill Family Ski Center to the 400 miles of skiable terrain in France’s Les 3 Vallées,” he said, “it’s all the same to us. We can sell you a season pass in any language there is.”
Details of the multi-billion-dollar deal have not yet been announced. Analysts predict, however, that walk-up window rates for resorts owned by the companies will climb to over $300/day next season.
Only one resort remains untouched: Mad River Glen, the legendary ski co-op located in Waitsfield, Vermont. “We were approached by both companies,” said Matt Lillard, MRG General Manager, “but when they insisted on replacing the single chair with a six-pack heated bubble — well, we knew it’d never fly with our shareholders.”
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