It was never a question of when Vail Resorts would expand their winter resort offerings to the East Coast, but where? Vail Resorts, Inc. announced on Feb. 17, 2017, that it entered into an agreement to acquire Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort from Mt. Mansfield Company (MMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), for a sticker price of $50 million.

The acquisition of Stowe will complement Vail’s impressive network of 10 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas. The 485-acre mountain will be included into the Epic Pass and other season pass products for the 2017/2018 winter season. Vail Resorts plans to retain the bulk of Stowe’s year-round staff, and MMC will retain ownership of Stowe Mountain Lodge at Stowe Mountain Resort.

“We’re thrilled to add Stowe Mountain Resort to our family of world-class mountain resorts. With the investments in both mountain infrastructure and base area facilities that AIG has made over the years, Stowe Mountain Resort has become the premier, high-end resort for East Coast skiers and snowboarders. We look forward to working with AIG to continue enhancing the guest experience and to ensure the resort’s long-term success,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

With an Epic Pass, Vermont skiers and riders will have unlimited local access to Stowe’s 116 trails, as well as access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe; and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada.

Douglas Tymins, president and chief executive officer of AIG Global Real Estate, said, “Under Vail Resorts’ management, Stowe’s reputation as a premier ski destination with a commitment to excellent service will continue to grow. AIGGRE is looking forward to combining Vail Resorts’ tremendous mountain operations capabilities with our continued commitment to the development of the Spruce Peak community.”

Vail’s $809 Epic Pass will be one of the most affordable options in Vermont, ushering in a new player into the Northeastern ring. With Powdr Corp. owning Killington and Intrawest owning Stratton, the table is set for an interesting showdown between three of the largest ski resort operators in North America.