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Ski News - Week In Review (April 16, 2017)

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Resort Ownership Consolidation: A pair of ski resort business deals a few days apart dominated the ski industry headlines. First, Aspen Skiing Company and the private equity firm KSL Capital teamed up to buy publicly traded Intrawest that includes Steamboat, Winter Park, Stratton and several other resorts. Second, the new partners bought Mammoth Mountain in California in a separate deal. The Mammoth purchase also includes the smaller California ski areas of June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. Multi-resort season passes that involve some of these resorts such as The Mountain Collective and M.A.X. Pass will not change for the 2017-18 ski season. However, speculation has already started about a possible pass for the following season that could challenge Vail Resorts’ popular Epic Pass.


Photo: Peter Morning

Bolton Valley Purchase: Amid such corporate mega-deals, Bolton Valley went old-school when members of the ski area’s founding family bought back the Vermont resort after selling it in 1997. Ralph DesLauriers and his son, Evan DesLauriers, led a group of local investors in purchasing the resort from real estate developers, Larry Williams and Doug Nedde. 

“When I grew up, none of my classmates at Burlington High School skied. Skiing was a sport for the affluent,” said Ralph DesLauriers. “When I built Bolton Valley back in the ‘60s, I made it my mission to give every Vermont child the opportunity to ski. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of, and it’s that same family-centered mission and love of Vermont that’s driving me and my kids back into this business.”


Photo: Bolton Valley

Jay Peak Settlement: According to an Associated Press report, a $150 million settlement has been reached with Raymond James Financial in the Jay Peak fraud case. The money will be used primarily to pay contractors and investors involved in the Vermont resort. A portion of the funds will go toward finishing construction of the Stateside Hotel.

A-Basin Enduro: On Wednesday, April 12, the 28th-annual Enduro event at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Colorado raised about $20,000 toward medical care for the daughter of two longtime A-Basin employees. Devon and Becky Haire’s daughter Amelia was born in March with a defect in her abdominal wall that requires multiple surgeries. Making laps on the famous Pallavicini Chair, 34 teams of two took on the challenge of skiing or boarding from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. without stopping. Another 13 teams participated in the less intense Enduro Light tour of the entire mountain.


Photo: Dave Camara

Record Whitefish Visits: According to a report in the Flathead Beacon, Whitefish Mountain Resort set a record with more than 346,000 skier visits during the 2016-17 season. The Montana resort received 407 inches of snow, the second-most in 20 years. The ski area wrapped up its season on April 9.


Photo: Whitefish Mountain Resort

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