Big-time ski news hit the interwebs this morning with the formal announcement that Intrawest is in the process of being acquired by KSL Capital Partners and Aspen Skiing Company for roughly $1.5 billion dollars.
Once an industry leader, Intrawest fell on hard times back in 2007 when the real estate bubble burst. Starting in 2009/2010, the resort holding company was forced to gradually sell off its interests in Copper Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb, and Les Arcs in France in what would become its long trend downward within the ski industry.
“We are committed to honoring the deep traditions of each resort, while working with Intrawest’s talented management team and employees to continue to serve both their guests and local communities.” – Eric Resnek, CEO of KSL
That trend ended today as KSL Capital and Aspen Skiing Company partnered together to bring Intrawest resorts back to their previous glory days. Whether or not that happens– all depends on how you look at the acquisition. At the time of sale, Intrawest owned Stratton, Mt Tremblant, Steamboat, Blue Mountain, and Snowshoe.
Here are the pro’s and con’s Concerning The Intrawest acquisition by KSL and Aspen Ski Company
- More ski areas likely to join The Mountain Collective
- Better pass reciprocity for non-Vail pass holders, especially east coast skiers
- Resort consolidation will create a free-flowing feedback loop between mountain ops at different resorts
- Master plan projects will receive new-found capital to use towards resort improvements
- Steamboat might finally get a new gondola?
- You picked up shares of Intrawest back in January
- KSL Capital has a history of rubbing local communities the wrong way
- Enhanced pass reciprocity will mean busier weekends on the whole
- The M.A.X. Pass and Rocky Mountain Super Pass are now in jeopardy (*2017/2018 passes still valid)
- Corporate structure could make it harder for resort representatives to interface with community organizations and local businesses.
- The fear that KSL Capital Partners will prioritize on-hill amenities and the “guest experience” over skiing.
- You shorted Intrawest shares back in January.
Find the entire Intrawest press release here: Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. to be Acquired by Affiliates of Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners