Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

Steamboat Ski Area Sold!

Steamboat Ski Area Sold!

A new era for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. started Aug. 1, 2017, with the closing of its sale, along with former parent company Intrawest and California’s Mammoth Resort, to a new entity formed by ski industry leaders KSL and Henry Crown & Company.

Henry Crown & Company is a 100-year-old firm that merged into General Dynamics, whose assets today involve publicly traded securities, real estate, investment funds and privately held operating companies, including Aspen Skiing Company. The six-year owner of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, KSL is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. While no changes to Steamboat’s current management are anticipated, the new ownership group plans to explore opportunities to have Steamboat and Aspen work together when appropriate. For 2017-18, Intrawest will continue to honor its multi-resort and season pass products currently on sale, including the RMSP+ and the M.A.X. passes.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Perlman said he anticipates the different resorts in the new company will be able to collaborate in a number of areas including events and marketing programs.

“It does creates some exciting opportunities going forward,” Perlman said Monday. “I expect we’ll have some exciting discussions about future opportunities pretty quickly once the deal closes.

“The two entities forming the new entity, KSL and Aspen Skiing Co., clearly understand the ski business and bring substantial resources to the new company,” Perlman continued. “We look forward to continuing to improve operations and guest experience, and building off the strengths we already have at Steamboat.” Perlman also had reassuring words for Steamboat Ski Resort followers who might be concerned the transaction signals a change in the qualities that define Steamboat as a community and a resort.

“It goes back to the fact that both KSL and Aspen recognize the individual assets and unique brands that make up the Intrawest portfolio, and especially Steamboat, with its iconic brand and heritage and maintaining that going forward,” he said.

The deal goes beyond the competitive advantages of bringing Steamboat, Aspen, Squaw/Alpine Meadows and Winter Park together under the same management, including the synergies that offers in multi-resort season passes. The new group also acquired Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain Ontario, near Toronto, Stratton in Vermont and West Virginia’s Snowshoe, with its proximity to the Washington, D.C. market.

As Vail Resorts has continued to gobble up large ski resorts and pursue dominance with its Epic Pass, other destination resorts have felt the pressure to compete or become marginalized. The eastern ski areas maybe be counted on to be significant feeder markets for both the California and Colorado ski areas under the Steamboat/Aspen/KSL group.

Former Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President Chris Diamond, who consults in the industry, said it’s likely the newly allied ski resorts will leverage their combined strength to take on Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass.

“If you look at (the deal) in that context, Intrawest, plus the four Aspen resorts and two California resorts … and clearly you have a very attractive competitive product to what Vail offers, no question,” Diamond said. “I think that Vail has a huge advantage in Western Canada.”

David Baldinger, Jr., a principal at Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, who has been involved in public improvements at the base of Steamboat Ski Resort, was encouraged by the news of Steamboat aligning with an expanded ownership group.

“I think this is fantastic news,” Baldinger, Jr. said. Aspen and KSL “are both experienced operators and financiers and that is absolutely what most people hoped for if the sale happened, because they know the business they are buying (in Steamboat).”





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