Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Aspen buys Steamboat Resort owner for $1.5 billion

Aspen buys Steamboat Resort owner for $1.5 billion

Aspen Skiing Co.is partnering with Denver-based KSL Capital Partners to acquire Intrawest Resorts Holdings for about $1.5 billion, including debt, Aspen Skiing said in a statement.

The new company will merge with Intrawest, which owns Steamboat Ski Resort and five other ski areas out of state and in Canada and operates but doesn't own Winter Park.

The deal is expected to conclude by the end of the third quarter of this year. "Each has its own unique story and its own unique sense of place", said Eric Resnick, chief executive officer of KSL, in a release.

The iconic gondola at Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

As the Denver Post puts it, "Suddenly Colorado is ground-zero for what will become the most hawkish rivalry in the USA ski resort industry, with Aspen Skiing/KSL vying against the world's largest resort operator Vail Resorts in an escalating battle of consolidation".

Since that deal was announced, Fortress has been exploring the sale of Intrawest.

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Per the agreement, the iconic Steamboat Ski Resort will now be operated by Aspen Skiing Co.

The acquired resorts keep the Intrawest name.

The consolidations - not new in a ski industry that has seen long periods of consolidation in the past - won't be noticed by customers in the short term, said Mike Kaplan, Aspen Skiing's president and CEO. Inc., said the American ski chains are looking north of the border for the same reason as American visitors. Additionally, the Company operates a comprehensive real estate business through which it manages condominium hotel properties and sells and markets residential real estate.

Intrawest stock was down about one and a half percent in trading Monday morning. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

KSL is a private equity firm worth billions, with offices in Denver. It underscores the financial appeal of some ski resorts despite concerns over the impact of climate change.KSL is backing a ski resort operator whose identity could not immediately be learned. KSL's current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure.

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