Crested Butte May Be The Gem In Vail Resorts’ Portfolio, But Its Lifts Must Be Fixed Before It Can Shine

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The wind is blowing snow across the mountaintop. Temps are well below zero. Visibility is bad.

“This is an adventure,” said Chris Jarnot, sidestepping in his K2 skis up a narrow ridge, heading toward Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s precipitous, powdery Teocalli Bowl.

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Your Very Own Ski Day With An Olympian

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We watch Olympians on TV every four years, but you don’t have to wait that long to rub elbows with skiing stardom. Several mountain resorts around the country offer opportunities to ski with their most prominent athlete ambassadors, and learn the slopes from a pro perspective.

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Biggest SnoCountry News Of 2018

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As we bid a fond farewell to 2018, the editors at SnoCountry take a look at the news that shaped skiing and riding at mountain resorts across North America over the year.

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Vail Lease Of Mount Sunapee Approved

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The State of New Hampshire has approved the transfer of the lease of Mount Sunapee Resort to Vail Resorts.

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Vail Promises Stewardship Of Mount Sunapee

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The sale of the lease and operating agreement of New Hampshire’s Mount Sunapee to Vail Resorts was discussed at a public information session Wednesday night at the resort's Sunapee Lodge. Many attendees of the meeting came for reassurances that the new owners of the lease would continue stewardship of the state park’s natural resources and protection of affordable outdoor recreation.

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Summer Is Kids’ Time In Colorado Mountains

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Colorado’s mountain resorts roll out the fun carpet during the summer, especially for families with children. Base areas abound with entertainment for the younger set, while most resorts put kids on the mountain for outdoors activities, like mountain biking and tubing.

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Kids Getting Active At Summer Mountains

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Willy Booker, head of Burke Mountain Academy which hones some of America’s finest ski racers, bemoans that kids are less active and athletic today and don’t get outdoors enough. 

One way to remedy that is to have fun at a mountain resort this summer.

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Vail Resorts To Purchase Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte, Stevens Pass

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Vail Resorts launched another salvo in the battle to own the winter destination market and a larger slice of the ski marketplace with the purchase of Vermont’s Okemo Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, Crested Butte in Colorado and Steven Pass in Washington Monday.

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Mount Sunapee, Okemo, Crested Butte Brings Epic Up To 64 Resorts

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Epic skiing and riding under the orange bubble chair at Okemo. (Okemo/Facebook)

Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire, Okemo, Vermont and Crested Butte, Colorado have entered into a multi-year season pass partnership with Vail Resorts and the Epic Pass, bringing the total number of Epic Pass mountain resorts to 64 in eight countries.

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What’s New On The Mountains At Colorado Resorts

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Easier to get around Purgatory this year. (Purgatory/Facebook)

Each ski and snowboard season brings upgrades, improvements and just plain new stuff at Colorado resorts, where the competition for visitors is fierce.

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Fly In And Hit Slopes On Same Day

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Tetons loom over Jackson Hole airport. (Jackson Hole Airport/Facebook)

Vacationing skiers and snowboarders can be an anxious lot. They want to get the most runs possible in the time they have, so getting out of the airport quickly and onto the slopes as soon as possible is paramount.

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High-Country Distilling Nestles Up To Resorts

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The whiskey is lined up in Park City. (High West/Facebook)

Catching a cocktail after a long day on the slopes has been a winter tradition since the beginning and, recently, the distillers are making the good stuff right at the resorts.

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College Student Discounts At Colorado Resorts

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Selected days at Wolfie mean deep stuff on the cheap. (Wolf Creek Ski Area)

Going to college has many benefits for one’s future, but one perk for the present is a discount on season passes at Colorado ski resorts.

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Airlines To Fill Skies Over Colorado Resorts

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Ready to go after landing in Aspen. (Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Facebook)

This season, it will be easier than ever to hop on a plane and head for where the powder is freshest in Colorado.

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Kick Back On Outdoor Decks Across The Country

Kick Back On Outdoor Decks Across The Country

Catchin' some rays at Crested Butte (Crested Butte/Facebook)

One of the perks that comes with sticking out the ski and snowboard season to the end is a great sun tan – and lots of party time in the sunshine.


Most mountain resorts make space for sun-worshippers to engage in their favorite apres-ski activities, and SnoCountry took a look around to find some of the best.

Purgatory. Look out, or you might ski right into Purgy's at the base of the southern Colorado resort. Hit up the outdoor bar for craft beers, order an appetizer, and lounge in the deck chairs for some of the best people-watching locales around.

Park City. Mid-Mountain Lodge once served more than 1,000 miners a day. Now, it's the 10th Mountain outdoor grill at the base of the Pioneer and McConkey's Express lifts. Lodge has two-tiered decks and hosts weddings during summer.

Luxury on the mountain at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley. Take the tramway to High Camp halfway up the mountain. Even if the pools are empty, there's tons of deck chairs and plenty of choices for a nosh – and the views of the Sierra and Lake Tahoe will amaze.

Lutsen Mountains. Summit Chalet at the top of Moose Mountain lays out food, drink and spectacular views to the North Shore of Lake Superior. Menu offers wraps, soups, burgers and pizza -- including local fave walleye sandwich.

Camp III at Loon

Loon. Camp III, a log cabin in the former logging area on New Hampshire mountain, sits at the base of North Peak Express Quad. It's famous for its venison stew, bison burgers and daily specials – but if the sun's out, hit the expansive deck with a beverage and sun screen.

Foggy Goggle go-to at Sunday River.

Sunday River. Foggy Goggle, at the base of the Maine resort, is reputed to have the longest après ski party in the East. Also venue for Bud Light Music Series, with massive deck and tons apres-ski eats on the menu.

Crested Butte. The new Umbrella Bar atop the Prospect Lift gives novices and intermediates a place to catch some rays – if the weather's right. Retractable windows create open-air atmosphere for munchies and local craft beer – and eye-popping views of southern Colorado Rockies.



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Dumpage Continues Across The Sierra, Rockies

Dumpage Continues Across The Sierra, Rockies

"Bury the Butte." (Crested Butte/Facebook)

Starting in the Sierra and moving across the Wasatch to the Colorado Rockies, a dozen Pacific-laden storms unleashed their largesse in January to set up skiers and snowboarders for the rest of the season.

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SnoCountry’s Best Steeps In The U.S.

SnoCountry’s Best Steeps In The U.S.

Tele turns at the top of "Goat" at Stowe. (Stowe)

The true “steeps,” they make us pause. Across ski-snowboard country, we peer tentatively over the edge and into precipitous pitches, long and short, that cause the heart rate to rise and adrenaline to course through our veins.

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‘Uphilling’ Takes Hold At U.S. Mountains

‘Uphilling’ Takes Hold At U.S. Mountains

Uphiller nears summit of Sunlight (photo Sunlight Mountain Resort)

Be it to stay fit, save money or get some quiet time in the out-of-doors, ”uphill skiing” has become a staple at many U.S. resorts – requiring mountain managers to adopt rules for the activity.

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Sale Announced Of Ski Resorts Across The Country

Sale Announced Of Ski Resorts Across The Country

Maine's Sugarloaf will have new owners in 2017. (Sugarloaf)

After two years of searching for a buyer, CNL Lifestyle Properties has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with EPR Properties to obtain CNL’s 15 ski resort properties as well as other waterparks, amusement parks and family entertainment centers.


 

The sale, expected to go through in the second quarter of 2017, will be the largest transaction in the history of the sport. However, the ski resorts are leased to operating companies like Boyne Resorts who hold long-term leases, and sale will not have a direct impact on the day-today operations of the resorts.

EPR, a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Kansas City, Missouri, will acquire the portfolio of ski and attraction assets from CNL and provide debt financing to Och-Ziff Real Estate (OZRE) for its purchase of 14 CNL ski properties in a transaction valued at $700 million.

EPR will acquire Northstar California, along with 15 attraction assets (waterparks and amusement parks) for approximately $456 million. EPR will provide approximately $244 million of five-year financing for 14 ski and mountain lifestyle resorts to be acquired by OZRE for approximately $374 million.



Boyne Resorts is CNL’s largest ski tenant with Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Loon in the East and Cypress Mountain, Brighton and The Summit at Snoqualmie in the West.

“This sale will have no impact on our resort operations, as this is not a management change. This simply means that we will likely have a new landlord by next summer and we will know more once we engage in further discussions about their longer term intent,” Boyne Senior Vice President, Corporate PR and Programs, Julie Ard told SnoCountry.com.

The sale will also include California’s Sierra-at-Tahoe and Mountain High Resort, as well as Stevens Pass in Washington and Massachusetts’s Jiminy Peak.

Crested Butte tubing

Triple Peaks’ three resorts, Crested Butte, Mount Sunapee, and Okemo are also part of the deal. “This sale really has no impact on us or our guests. It is similar to a homeowner whose bank sold their mortgage to another bank. It makes little to no difference to the homeowner,” Okemo’s Tim Mueller told us.

Omni Hotels and Resorts acquired the Omni Mount Washington Resort, home of Bretton Woods, from CNL in December 2015.


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Summer Bounty At Resort Farmer's Markets

Summer Bounty At Resort Farmer's Markets

Angel Fire Art + Farmers’ Market is a weekly showcase of diverse local/regional artists, live music, food artisans & fresh produce. (Angel Fire)

There are vibrant communities surrounding our favorite mountain towns, and one way to celebrate that community is to shop locally at a farmer’s market. Whether you’re a regular or a visitor exploring a new place, a farmer’s market is a great way to experience the flavors and culture of small-town life. 

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