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Wednesday, April 12, 2017
$1.5 billion deal rocks Colorado ski industry as Aspen Skiing Co. acquires Steamboat and operator of Winter Park resort
From the Denver Post:
Aspen Skiing Co. and Denver’s KSL Partners on Monday acquired Intrawest Resorts in a $1.5 billion deal that gives Aspen Skiing and KSL control of Steamboat and Winter Park ski areas.
The new investment group also gets Quebec’s Tremblant, Ontario’s Blue Mountain, West Virginia’s Snowshoe and Vermont’s Stratton ski areas as well as Canadian Mountain Holidays, the world’s largest heliskiing outfit. Aspen Skiing will expand from its four hills in the Roaring Fork Valley and private equity firm KSL, which formed in 2005 and controls about $7.5 billion in hotel and resort properties, adds to its Squaw Valley – Alpine Meadows ski resort in California.
And suddenly Colorado is ground-zero for what will become the most hawkish rivalry in the U.S. ski resort industry, with Aspen Skiing – KSL vying against the world’s largest resort operator Vail Resorts in an escalating battle of consolidation. In the past year Vail Resorts has spent $1.1 billion for three-quarters of Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb ski area and $50 million for Vermont’s Stowe in an aggressive expansion plan anchored in a strategy to sell more of its wildly popular Epic Passes.