Summit County, Colorado – Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and RRC Associates. This legal measure, similar to a civil subpoena, seeks to gather information in connection with the proposed acquisition of Arapahoe Basin by Alterra Mountain Company. The DOJ employs this routine investigative tool to evaluate potential competitive impacts of mergers and acquisitions in specific regions.

As part of the Federal Government’s inquiry relating to the acquisition of Arapahoe Basin by Alterra Mountain Company, the Department of Justice has served NSAA and RRC Associates with a Civil Investigative Demand, which is akin to a civil subpoena. This is a routine investigative tool used by the DOJ to collect information from various sources in order to study the proposed acquisition and to assess prospective impacts to competition in the region that may result.

The data that the DOJ has commanded from NSAA and RRC consists of content from each of the three annual surveys (Kottke, Demographic, and Economic Analysis) for the 2018/2019 to 2023/2024 seasons. We have been successful in working with the DOJ to narrow their request to a scope that meets their needs but does not overreach. The DOJ has agreed to reduce the scope of NSAA and RRC’s combined productions to about half of the content from each of the three surveys, and to reduce the geographic scope to just the Rocky Mountain Region.

We are writing to let you know that the data you supplied to NSAA and RRC in one or more of these studies will be included in our production submittal to the DOJ. The data will not be presented in aggregate. The raw data files have been requested. At present, the production due date is June 26, 2024.

NSAA is determined to maintain the strictest confidentiality in assembling all of the data for these studies and to ensure that the information is used for the good of all the membership. We are assured that the Department of Justice is bound by statute to maintain the confidentiality of this data as well, and they have further represented to us that none of it should ever be disclosed in any public document or forum.

— NSAA Letter to Select Members

Scope of the Data Request

The DOJ’s demand focuses on data collected by NSAA and RRC Associates through three annual surveys—Kottke, Demographic, and Economic Analysis—spanning from the 2018/2019 season to the 2023/2024 season. Initially, the scope of the request was extensive, but through successful negotiations, it has been reduced to cover approximately half of the content from each survey, focusing solely on the Rocky Mountain Region.

Confidentiality and Use of Data

NSAA is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of the data provided by its members. The DOJ, bound by statutory confidentiality obligations, has assured NSAA that the data will not be disclosed in any public documents or forums. This confidentiality is critical to ensure that sensitive information is protected and used solely for assessing the competitive landscape.

Potential Outcomes and Implications

The DOJ’s inquiry could have several outcomes:

  1. Approval of the Acquisition: If the DOJ finds that the acquisition does not negatively impact competition, the merger may proceed without conditions.
  2. Conditional Approval: The DOJ might approve the acquisition but impose conditions to mitigate any competitive concerns, such as divestitures or behavioral remedies.
  3. Challenge or Block the Acquisition: In a more severe scenario, the DOJ could challenge or block the acquisition if it determines that the merger would significantly harm competition in the region.

The CID issued to NSAA and RRC Associates represents a crucial step in the DOJ’s evaluation of Alterra Mountain Company’s acquisition of Arapahoe Basin. By understanding the implications and maintaining transparency, NSAA aims to navigate this inquiry while safeguarding member data and supporting the broader interests of the ski industry. We will continue to keep you informed as this process unfolds.

Unofficial Networks Newsletter

Get the latest snow and mountain lifestyle news and entertainment delivered to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.