Just days after its initial industry-rattling announcement of plans to acquire Intrawest, the new entity currently known as Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners sends an aftershock with news of a Mammoth Resorts acquisition. Also slated to close third quarter 2017, this transaction includes Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain, joining an impressive roster with Aspen’s four mountains, Steamboat, Winter Park, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Stratton Mountain, Tremblant, Blue Mountain and Snowshoe Mountain.
At present, a Starwood Capital Group-controlled affiliate owns a majority interest in Mammoth Resorts. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Mammoth's previous sticker price was $365 million 12 years ago.
"We have taken great pride in our ownership of Mammoth over the last 12 years," stated said Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group in a press release. "We invested in the mountains, our people, and planning for the long term future. Together with Mammoth’s talented management team, we successfully navigated a very tumultuous period. We implemented state of art marketing programs, installed modern RFID technology to improve traffic flow, and we added significant new lift capacity. By also acquiring and integrating Bear Mountain and Snow Summit into Mammoth, we cemented Mammoth Resorts' position as the leading provider of ski and summer mountain experiences for all of Southern California. We had greater plans for Mammoth, but the Great Recession and then some less favorable weather interfered with our strategic aspirations in a finite life investment vehicle. We know Aspen and KSL have the experience, commitment and balance sheet to help make our vision a reality.”
Once again, season pass products will remain intact for the 2017/2018 ski season, but beyond that, a new pass product seems inevitable. Of course, you can’t talk acquisition news or multi-resort season passes in major destination markets without bringing Vail Resorts into the conversation, which also begs another question to both organizations: which ski resort will be next?