With snowflakes already falling at high elevations and lifts scheduled to open just weeks from now, many of us are dreaming of mountain escapes, imagining that first run of the season.
Since Covid-19 hit, ski industry moguls have danced around what next season will look like. But at Aspen Snowmass, pressure from locals and media has brought some of management's ideas into the open.
Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Partners are purchasing four California resorts, including Mammoth Mountain.
Moving quickly after purchasing Intrawest resorts, a new Aspen-based ownership group announced it has bought Mammoth Mountain and three other resorts in the Southern California mountains.
The heretofore unnamed entity, formed by Aspen Skiing Corp. and KSL Capital Partners, said it will close this fall on a sale of a quartet of areas including Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.
The announcement comes on the heels of the group’s industry-rocking purchase of Colorado’s Steamboat and Winter Park, Quebec’s Mont Tremblant, Vermont’s Stratton, Ontario’s Blue Mountain and West Virginia’s Snowshoe. The four Aspen mountains and Squaw Valley-Alpine, a KSL property, will come under the umbrella of the new group but will continue to operate independently.
Because both purchases aren’t expected to be finalized until next fall, resort-specific season tickets will be honored for next season. So will the M.A.X. Pass, Rocky Mountain Super Pass and Mountain Collective that overlap into the partnership’s new portfolio in various ways.
“We had greater plans for Mammoth but the Great Recession and then some less favorable weather, interfered with our strategic aspirations in a finite life investment vehicle,” said Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital Group that owned Mammoth and the other resorts “We know Aspen and KSL have the experience, commitment, and balance sheet to help make our vision a reality.”
No upgrading plans have been announced yet, but indications are that the new entity has the capital to put into improvements at these resorts – for both winter and summer. However, official statements have noted that coordinating e-commerce technology among all the resorts will a high priority in order to expand the marketing capabilities of all the mountains.
The move by Aspen Skiing Corp. to acquire and consolidate some 15 resorts under the Aspen-KSL roof is seen by industry officials as a response to Vail Resort’s two-decade effort to acquire 14 resorts across the U.S. and Canada.
Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) has closed on a property in Ketchum, Idaho, purchased from Bald Mountain LLC to be developed as a new Limelight Hotel, modeled after the company’s existing property in Aspen, Colo. The property is in close proximity to Sun Valley’s River Run base of Bald Mountain.
Aspen Skiing Company has announced an internal reorganization with the realignment of several departments and a new reporting structure. The changes are designed to enhance the guest experience through operational efficiencies, improve the collaborative environment for current employees, allow the company to maintain focus and keep up with the pace of the changing business environment.