Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

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Brownski Brownski
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

I have to say I'm surprised that the area collects more in sales taxes during the summer then the winter. I wonder if any eastern resort towns come close to that.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

Brownski wrote
I have to say I'm surprised that the area collects more in sales taxes during the summer then the winter. I wonder if any eastern resort towns come close to that.
Are you talking about Crested Butte?

What I know is that for Massanutten in northern VA (3 hours from DC), I can get a timeshare unit pretty much any weekend during the winter.  Have to plan ahead a couple months for the holiday weekends, but not really that difficult even when I want to premium location starting on a Friday.  During the summer, would have to book a unit at least six months in advance, if not a full year.

Lodging rates can be higher during the summer at 4-season ski resorts.  Especially midweek.  School summer vacation makes a huge difference for most families in terms of when they plan a trip that involves staying overnight at a resort.

Have you looked around Lake George in early December?  I stayed there on the way to Lake Placid for Thanksgiving one year.  Couldn't even find an open restaurant.  Most would open for the Christmas holidays but some businesses are only open April-October.  Found the same at Rockport recently, which is a tourist town north of Boston.  Even though it was after Memorial Day not all the shops were open yet since schools weren't out yet in New England.
Brownski Brownski
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

Yeah, I meant Crested Butte. The article said summer/winter used to be about even but now the summer accounts for 60%. I guess I’m out of touch with these big resorts. I thought summer was the slow time for most of them even though they all aspire to be “four season”. I’m from upstate NY so I’m pretty familiar with Lake George. It’s a summer resort area so I’m not surprised by your experience.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

From what I've read about traffic in the Colorado mountains, it's a lot busier all summer than in the winter.  I-70 is a mess when there's a snowstorm or at times when locals who are weekend warriors have to drive.  But during the summer there is traffic every day.

Every so often I see what's available for a timeshare trade during the summer.  Not much to be found in the mountains.  We didn't have much trouble getting a unit in Orlando in July when my daughter was little.  International travelers go to Florida during the winter when it's relatively cool.

Looked at VRBO rates for a few places in CB.  Rates look the same for July & August as the non-holiday weeks in Jan-March.  What's harder to tell is the occupancy rates for that sort of lodging.  Especially in a low snow winter.  Summer tourist numbers are probably more stable.
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

In reply to this post by Brownski
Brownski wrote
Yeah, I meant Crested Butte. The article said summer/winter used to be about even but now the summer accounts for 60%. I guess I’m out of touch with these big resorts. I thought summer was the slow time for most of them even though they all aspire to be “four season”. I’m from upstate NY so I’m pretty familiar with Lake George. It’s a summer resort area so I’m not surprised by your experience.
As a comparison to CB, Telluride has been increasing tax revenue in both summer and winter months in recent years.  The current owner bought it in 2003.  In 2015 Bill Jensen become CEO and a partner, meaning he has an ownership stake in the company.  Jensen was COO at Vail and VP of the Mountain Division when he left in 2008 to head up Intrawest.  Telluride has a long term agreement to be part of the Epic Pass as a perk for limited days starting 2018-19.  

https://www.denverpost.com/2015/12/07/bill-jensen-tapped-as-ownership-partner-ceo-at-telluride-ski-resort/

" . . . Telluride has thrived under Horning, a West Coast commercial real estate and healthcare facility entrepreneur. In recent years, the resort company’s revenue-based lease payments to its Forest Service landlord have climbed as much as 30 percent a year. Summer and winter sales tax revenues in both Telluride and Mountain Village have set records nearly every month for the last few years. . . ."
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

To put the money being spent by Vail for Triple Peaks in context, here are the dollars for VR acquisitions around Tahoe.

2002 - Heavenly for $102 million, planned to spend $25 million over five years
2010 - Northstar for $63 million, spent $30 million on early improvements, only for operations lease and some buildings because was owned by CNL
2012 - Kirkwood for $18 million

Heavenly was bought when Adam Aron was CEO, about the time that Rob Katz moved to Boulder.  Katz was on the VR Board as the Director who paid more attention to operations.  Katz became CEO when Aron decided to move on in 2006 after ten years.  Aron started VR on the acquisitions path.  Katz came up with the Epic pass idea in 2008.

Not much has changed at Kirkwood.  Squaw bought Alpine Meadows in 2011, so picking up Kirkwood at a bargain price may have been taking advantage of an opportunity more than a long range plan.  Good for selling Epic passes to Californians.

Harvey wrote
http://news.vailresorts.com/corporate/vailresorts/tpsp.htm

04 June 2018

Vail Resorts will acquire Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado.

In a separate transaction, Vail Resorts will acquire Stevens Pass Resort in Washington State.

Upon closing, Epic Pass and Whistler Blackcomb Edge Card products will now include additional access to all four resorts for the 2018-19 winter season, providing even more variety and options in New England, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest.

Vail Resorts plans to invest $35 million in total capital across the four resorts over the next two years.

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – June 4, 2018 – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. The Company will purchase Triple Peaks, LLC from the Mueller family for a purchase price of $82 million, subject to certain adjustments. At closing, Triple Peaks will pay $155 million to pay off the leases that all three resorts have with Ski Resort Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Oz Real Estate, with funds provided by Vail Resorts.
 
As part of a separate transaction, Vail Resorts will also purchase Stevens Pass Resort in Washington from Ski Resort Holdings, LLC, who was advised on the sale by Houlihan Lokey, for a total purchase price of $67 million, subject to certain adjustments. Both transactions are subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
 
“Together, the acquisitions of Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte, and Stevens Pass will significantly enhance the Vail Resorts’ network of resort experiences, adding even more variety and choice for all of our pass holders and guests. Okemo and Mount Sunapee are terrific complements to Stowe in the Northeast, as is Crested Butte to our four Colorado resorts, and Stevens Pass for our Whistler Blackcomb and Seattle guests,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Additionally, each of these resorts will individually offer guests from around the world entirely new and distinctive experiences in extraordinary locations from coast to coast.”
Darkside Shaman Darkside Shaman
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

The sale of Sunapee is being held up, as it is technically still owned by the the state of New Hampshire.
Ski More at Old Gore!  
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

Darkside Shaman wrote
The sale of Sunapee is being held up, as it is technically still owned by the the state of New Hampshire.
Not sure a public hearing on June 19 will slow down approval by the NH Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources that much.

The land in Sunapee State Park used for skiing is owned by NH.  Someone else has owned chairlifts and related buildings, most recently a couple real estate investment firms.  Triple Peaks was the operator leasing stuff from CNL and then OZ after 2008.  The Vail purchase agreement with Triple Peaks includes money to buy out the lease from OZ for Sunapee, Okemo, and Crested Butte.  I gather there are NH government officials who were not happy even when CNL sold Sunapee property to OZ, even though CNL was always supposed to get rid of all the ski resorts after a while.  Was never supposed to be a long term ownership.  But there was no basis for requiring approval from NH.  Since the Vail Resorts sale was kept secret from the Governor of NH until 15 minutes before the public announcement, he and the Attorney General probably want to make it look like NH is involved in the process.

The land lease that governs Sunapee as a ski area was written in 1998, originally for a Mueller company that existed before Triple Peaks.  In the VR announcement, providing money to Triple Peaks to buy out the current leases with OZ was mentioned.  Not sure the Concord Monitor article is correct in stating that VR will buy out the lease, at least not technically.  Presumably VR has lawyers who have read all the relevant contracts and leases.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/New-Hampshire-Attorney-General-Vail-Sunapee-will-require-state-approval-18216953

" . . . the deal, totaling $82 million, is riddled with complexities. . . ."

Sounds like the relationship between the Muellers and the NH Governor's office has been on the tense side for a long time, starting back in 1998 when they hoped to build on private land near Sunapee and were not able to get approval.

http://www.newenglandskihistory.com/skiareamanagement/triplepeaksllc.php
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

The Vail Resorts press release is pretty clear about how the lease with OZ will be bought out.  Triple Peaks gets out with money provided by VR.  Then VR buys Triple Peaks.

"BROOMFIELD, Colo. – June 4, 2018 – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. The Company will purchase Triple Peaks, LLC from the Mueller family for a purchase price of $82 million, subject to certain adjustments. At closing, Triple Peaks will pay $155 million to pay off the leases that all three resorts have with Ski Resort Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Oz Real Estate, with funds provided by Vail Resorts. . . ."

As an aside, I discovered that Mountain High in southern CA bought out it's lease with OZ last fall.  Assuming the Triple Peaks sale goes thru, that means only Jiminy Peak would still be owned by OZ.  Seems likely that the Fairbanks Group will figure out how to buy back Jiminy Peak since that's literally their home mountain.  I noticed that Brian Fairbank and his son Tyler have their names on parking spaces in the parking lot of the Jiminy Peak Admin building.

CNL only wanted to sell the ski resorts as a package deal.  Pretty clear that OZ is getting out of owning ski resorts but they were willing to split up the properties into separate sales.
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Re: Vail buys Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte

In reply to this post by Benny Profane
Benny Profane wrote
Btw, how's Sunapee? Never been.
The news is out.  NH govt approves transferring the Sunapee lease to Vail Resorts.  Or at least a subsidiary that will be set up under VR to handle the Sunapee legal paperwork. The decision was announced at an open meeting on Sept. 26, 2018.  Expansion into West Bowl is expected to move forward, but of course there will be more paperwork before the timing becomes clear.

Haven't seen a VR press release yet.  Doesn't make much difference for 2018-19 since CB, Okemo, and Sunapee were going to be on the Epic pass regardless of ownership.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20180927/NEWS02/180929595

"NEWBURY — Mount Sunapee ski area will be under new management this winter, as the state announced Wednesday night it is approving the lease transfer to Colorado-based Vail Resorts.

“We have come to the conclusion that New Hampshire can be confident that Vail is a great fit for our state,” said Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Commissioner Sarah Stewart.

The decision was announced to applause in the crowded Sunapee Lodge at the resort.
. . ."
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