In the continuing flurry of ski resort sales, a blockbuster dropped this week as Vail Resorts Inc. announced it has acquired Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in North Lake Tahoe, Calif., for $63 million.
Vail Resorts purchased the stock of the companies that operate Northstar-at-Tahoe from Booth Creek Resort Properties LLC and other sellers. The operations of Northstar-at-Tahoe are conducted on land owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc. which will be leased to Vail Resorts under a long-term agreement.
Vail Resorts now operates two mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region, also operating Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe. The Sierra-at-Tahoe resort is not part of the acquisition and will continue to be the sole resort operated by Booth Creek. Booth Creek also announced the sale of Waterville Ski Resort in New Hampshire two weeks ago.
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to bring Northstar-at-Tahoe into our family of world-class mountain resorts. With substantial and diverse ski terrain, a completely renovated and modern base village and outstanding guest service, Northstar-at-Tahoe has been one of the fastest-growing mountain resorts over the past few years,” said Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts. “We believe guests of Heavenly and Northstar will greatly appreciate the flexibility to enjoy both the north and south shores of Lake Tahoe as we introduce pass and lift tickets products that offer access to both resorts starting with this coming 2010/2011 ski season.”
Northstar is host to a new base area village featuring 35 shops and restaurants in more than 100,000 square feet of commercial retail space, as well as on-site lodging and a conference center. The mountain offers 19 lifts, 92 ski trails and seven terrain parks on 3,000 acres. During the 2009/10 ski season, Northstar-at-Tahoe reported more than 700,000 skier visits.
George Gillett, Booth Creek’s CEO, Chris Ryman, president and chief operating officer, and Betsy Cole, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Booth Creek, will no longer have management positions at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Vail Resorts announced that Julie Maurer, vice president of marketing and sales at Booth Creek, will immediately become a vice president of marketing with Vail Resorts, overseeing the marketing and sales of both Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. Vail Resorts will begin an immediate search for a new general manager of Northstar-at-Tahoe, which, it said, will include both internal and external candidates.
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