MMSA sells to Aspen-KSL
Mammoth Resorts, comprised of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, June Mountain Ski Area, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, entered into a “definitive and binding agreement to sell” to this week according to Mammoth Resorts Chairman and CEO Rusty Gregory.
The buyer: A partnership consisting of Aspen Skiing and KSL Capital Partners.
Gregory said the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the next 3 to 4 months.
The move accelerates the consolidation within the industry and positions Aspen-KSL to challenge Vail Resorts for industry leadership. Vail’s holdings include Vail, Whistler, Breckenridge and Heavenly among its 14 resorts.
In California, Vail also owns Northstar-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood
While Gregory said the deal is a private transaction and would not reveal the price, reliable industry sources said the price tag is “approaching $800 million.”
Gregory will remain in his current position, and he said the ownership change “will not affect the employment status for anyone.”
Gregory will have the option to retain an ownership stake in the larger business which has been created. He said the senior executives of all the resorts in the new company will be getting together soon to develop a larger company strategy.
Earlier in the week, Aspen Skiing (owner and operator of the four mountains of Aspen Snowmass: Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk) and KSL (owner and operator of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows) purchased Intrawest for $1.5 billion.
Intrawest had been the owner of Tremblant (Quebec), Steamboat, Winter Park, Blue (Ontario), Stratton and Snowshoe (West Virginia) resorts, in addition to the 15% it still had in Mammoth.
Aspen Skiing is owned by Henry Crown and Company, a privately held, family-owned firm whose founder was industrialist and billionaire Henry Crown.
KSL’s founder is Mike Shannon, a former CEO of Vail. KSL’s CEO is Eric Resnick, another Vail alum (a former Vice-President of Strategic Planning from 1996-2001).
According to a story which appeared this week in the Denver Post, KSL has raised $7.5 billion over the past decade for 30 hotel and resort investments and is planning a $1 billion base-area redevelopment at Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows.