More US ski resorts join forces
The dominance of Vail Resorts is being challenged in the US by the amalgamation last week of some of North America’s biggest ski resorts.
Early last week a deal was announced between the company that owns Aspen-Snowmass (Aspen Skiing Co-KSL Capital) and Intrawest, which owns six ski areas including Winter Park and Steamboat. Two days later, the new (as yet unnamed) partnership announced it had bought Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain in California.
The new partnership now owns California’s Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski area, Aspen Snowmass, Squaw Alpine, Steamboat, Winter Park, Quebec’s Mont Tremblant, Vermont’s Stratton, Ontario’s Blue Mountain and West Virginia’s Snowshoe ski areas. Though no announcement has yet been made, pundits are speculating that it will only be a matter of time before a ski pass to rival Vail Resorts’s Epic Pass goes on sale.
The manager and chief executive of Mammoth Resorts Rusty Gregory said in a statement the buyout was “the next logical chapter in the story of Mammoth”.
“This new platform, built around a collective passion for the mountains and our commitment to the people who visit, work and live there, is exactly what the ski resort business needs,” he added.
For $859, the Vail Resorts Epic Pass offers unlimited access to Whistler-Blackcomb in Canada, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. Stowe Mountain will be integrated into the Epic Pass once its takeover by Vail Resorts is complete.
In addition to these North American resorts, Epic Pass holders will receive limited access to 30 European ski resorts including five days in Les 4 Vallées, Switzerland and three days in Arlberg in Austria, when skiers stay in specific partner accommodation in these two areas. Three days in Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta in Italy and two days each in Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val d’Isère in France — though for these resorts skiers must apply for their tickets