Vail Resorts has closed on a $63 million acquisition of Northstar-at-Tahoe, a major destination resort. It was a complicated transaction that included acquiring the stock of the companies that operate the resort from Booth Creek Properties LLC and other sellers. The resort is operated on land owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc., which will be leased back to Vail Resorts under a long-term agreement.

Vail Resorts, which recently acquired a Tahoe-based property management firm, will now have strongholds on both sides of the lake. The deal gives skiers and riders the option to play at either Northstar on the North Shore, or Heavenly on the South Shore, or both, through several new pass plans.

Booth Creek's officers, including George Gillett, who once owned Vail and was just involved in a decidedly messy ownership fight over a UK soccer team, will no longer be involved at Northstar.

Julie Maurer, vice president of marketing and sales for Booth Creek, will immediately become a vice president of marketing for Vail Resorts, responsible for both Tahoe properties. Booth's much smaller Sierra-at-Tahoe property was not part of this deal

Improvements at Northstar have been somewhat nonstop with a new base village with 100,000 square feet of retail space, a conference center, skating rink, and lodging. Skiable terrain encompasses 3,000 acres with snowmaking covering 50 percent of the trails. The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe opened last season and is connected by a gondola to the new village.

Vail Resorts, as a collection, now includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe in California, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson, Wyoming. RockResorts is a luxury resort hotel company, and is a subsidiary. 

Vail Resorts also owns Mountain News Corp., publishers of this Web site. OnTheSnow.com and this newsroom operate independently of that ownership. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).