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Discussion in 'United States' started by absentskier, Apr 11, 2017.
Big news in Colorado.
Get ready for a pass that covers Aspen, Steamboat, Winter Park and Squaw/Alpine Meadows!
they still own Tremblant too, I think?
there seems to be a consolidation process across the whole industry
probably not surprising
It's not surprising at all. Intrawest has been for sale for a while. And yes they still own Tremblant.
Aspen Skiing Co.'s planned acquisition of Intrawest Resort Holdings will help it compete against Vail Resorts but it won't immediately produce a shared ski pass for Snowmass, Steamboat and Squaw Valley.
Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Mike Kaplan said shared marketing efforts are one of the expected benefits of the acquisition of Intrawest by affiliates of Skico and KSL Capital Partners. However, it's too late in the process to offer a special ski pass for 2017-18, he said.
Hi @absentskier - I still occasionally read http://www.steamboattoday.com/eEdition/ and they had an article at some stage this year about the fact a sale was likely citing things such as not wanting to spend on infrastructure such as the Gondola etc. (which reinforces what an employee told me at some stage this season - i.e. the Gondy should be replaced but they are only in maintenance mode). The writings been on the wall for Intrawest from the moment they had to offload their flagship resort being Whistler which that article you linked alludes to.
Will see what happens. Last few years I see Steamboat increasingly pricing itself out in terms value proposition so will be interesting to see if that continues under new ownership because I am not sure if that direction was a function of Intrawest (so ownership decisions) or local management (thus potentially continuing) - interesting anyway.
Just recently I noticed that one of the owners where I stay had put his place on the market so I asked how come (as they do the Xmas/New Year thing and a few trips spread out as well) and it was interesting that he citied ever increasing pass prices as one of the reasons and that it might be time to start visiting elsewhere (think he mentioned WP - sure I responded that I knew someone who rated it - that someone being you ).
Aspen season passes are US$1799 early bird!
I like Winter Park, but not as a longer term holiday destination. It is not really a destination resort and most of the people who ski there want it to stay that way. A Winter Park only season pass is US$409, so really it is going to be very interesting to see what happens in this space. I strongly suspect that they will have to continue to offer a cheap Winter Park pass.
Yeah Steamboat is far from a cheap place to ski now. It is one of the most popular resorts in North America and its pricing reflects this. Your accommodation deal has really kept it affordable for you, as well as the free season passes for kids under 13.
Also, it is apparent that Steamboat needs to spend big $$ on improvements if it wants to stay competitive with the big destination resorts it competes against. I think the chances of Intrawest doing this were very small. Just didn't have the cash.
So have you put in an offer yet ?
I haven't read any of the threads over on TGR for a couple of months but just went and had a quick look then and see this was being discussed with a few interesting comments (like KSL head being ex Vail exec etc.) so it will be interesting to see how that discussion pans out as it is a bit of a mixed bag in there (so have to take what is being said accordingly). Also see it being commented on in Opensnows CO (current forecast/report) discussion.
I think for me the thing that keeps it affordable (relatively - it isn't exactly that cheap ) isn't so much the accommodation deal per say (although I think I do get a good deal and the owner has been fair and great to deal with etc.) rather being able to stay longer term and if you can do that then I think you would be able to get relatively good deals where ever you choose to go. That first year I went we almost stayed at Crested Butte as plenty of good deals were on offer so I think if I looked at it again I reckon you would find a comparable deal and the same for various places - of course its all very subjective as well (value proposition).
If you start talking a more traditional NH ski holiday (so maybe a couple of weeks) I think that evens it all out a bit.
I actually think he is wanting more than it is worth and whilst I love the idea, in all honesty I know its probably not a wise way to spend x dollars.
The Aspen Skiing Company / KSL Capital Partners consortium on Wednesday April 12 announced they are purchasing Mammoth, June and Bear Mtns as well as Snow Summit in California. The purchase also includes Canadian Mountain Holidays in BC (a Heli Skiing operation in Canada).
This is now becoming a very big story in the US ski industry. Have changed the thread title to add in Mammoth.
"It was no secret that Vail chief Rob Katz had long pined for Mammoth, with its drive-up proximity to southern California’s more than 23 million residents promising to turbo-charge sales of his company’s popular Epic Pass. It is almost inevitable that the new, yet unnamed partnership between KSL Capital Partners, which owns California’s Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski area, and Aspen Skiing, which owns four ski areas in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, will be offering a season pass that will include Aspen Snowmass, Squaw Alpine, Steamboat, Winter Park, Quebec’s Mont Tremblant, Vermont’s Stratton, Ontario’s Blue Mountain and West Virginia’s Snowshoe ski areas.
Maybe not for 2017-18, but a pass rivaling the $869 Epic Pass for 2018-19 seems certain, according to sources close to the deal. In a resort industry that is swiftly abandoning a reliance on real estate sales, season pass revenue is the proven financial engine, as shown by Vail Resorts.
But the previously undisputed dominance of Vail Resorts is threatened with this upstart union of industry veterans. In two days time, Vail Resorts went from virtually invincible in the season pass game — with its newly acquired Whistler Blackcomb and Stowe ski areas opening up new geographic markets on both coasts to grow Epic Pass sales beyond last season’s 650,000 — to nearly matched in a pass battle that will define the rapidly consolidating resort industry. The rivalry between Aspen Skiing-KSL Capital Partners and Vail Resorts will sculpt the industry’s development for decades."
Highly critical comments have fill Mammoth's social media... frontline staff and customers are really not happy about the deal.
The concern is with Aspen/KSL surging ticket prices and lack of operational management (namely at Squaw since it took ownership there).
Yes there's a lot of people critical of KSL's management of Squaw.
The flip side is that the owners of Mammoth didn't have the capital to invest in the long term future of Mammoth.
Going to be very interesting to see where this guys.
Most of the people you see ranting about Squaw are locals that would prefer it to go back to how it was in the 1970s.
Yeah that's true.
Aspen / KSL aren't as advanced in ticketing as Vail Resorts but they will catch up.
They'll be copying the Katz model. This is good for the skiing public to have two major competitors. Competition should "keep the bastards honest".
Maybe they'll buy Thredbo. Event doesn't seem interested in mountain improvements, which is a shame
Having Squaw and Mammoth relatively close to each other is going to be of huge interest to travellers. Provided the dollar stays reasonable it gives choice to two epic pass areas when it all happens. I would be keen to see what comes out of it.
With this, Vail Resorts no longer holds such a monopoly. Excellent competition coming right up. It might be the perfect opportunity now to spread my Heavenly wings and check out some other nearby resorts.
Pretty sure they've publicly stated (softly) that without improved lease security / length, they are hesitant to undertake major investment.