CNL Lifestyle Properties The Florida-based real estate investment trust (REIT) has set itself up with an option to purchase Big Sky Resort, Mont., from Boyne Resorts, according to documents filed in early October with the Securities and Exchange Commission. CNL already owns 10 ski areas in its portfolio of 109 properties across the U.S. and Canada.

Seven of CNL's ski hills are operated by Boyne. Big Sky would join sister resorts such as Loon Mountain, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Brighton, and Cypress-ski areas operated by Boyne, but owned by CNL.

CNL is providing investment capital to Boyne to the tune of a $68 million two-year loan. SEC documents stipulated that Boyne agreed to complete the new maintenance facility and environmental remediation projects at Big Sky. CNL also issued a written statement in early October that said that Boyne would continue enhancing chairlifts, adding food and beverage venues, expanding snowmaking, enhancing the mix of shopping and dining, and improving the golf course.

The investment agreement includes the option for CNL to purchase Big Sky by the time the loan matures in September 2010. The selling price would be $74 million. Boyne would continue to operate Big Sky Resort under a long-term lease after the sale.