Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Intrawest Buys Steamboat Ski Area for $265M

It looks like we have a deal for the Steamboat Ski Area after many rounds of bidding (scroll down through the last few months for some history) Ski areas are becoming much more attractive to buyers because of changing demographics as the baby boomers age and look for places to spend more time with their familes and eventually retire. Steamboat is particually interesting because it is a real town with a diverse set of attractions for retirees, familes and other vacationers. Steamboat will also benefit from existing plans to redevelop much of the base area and downtown. Intrawest will quickly bring a much better experience to the mountian and the pieces of the base area the resort controls. Indications are that ASC is serious about closing the deal this time. Let me know if you are curious about the implications and what to expect in hte near future.

From the Steamboat Pilot:
Intrawest to buy Steamboat $265 million deal announced today By Tom Ross
Tuesday, December 19, 2006 Updated 08:59 a.m.

Steamboat Springs — Intrawest ULC has agreed to buy the Steamboat Ski Area and related assets for $265 million, American Skiing Co. CEO B.J. Fair announced today.

The deal will bring an end to ASC’s 10-year run as the ski area’s owner. Included in the sale are the resort and all resort-owned operations, all of Steamboat's resort-owned real estate assets, the commercial core of the Steamboat Grand Hotel and Condominiums and the company's interest in the Walton Pond Apartments complex.

Intrawest, which was acquired by Fortress Investment Group in October, is expected to close on the Steamboat deal by March 31. Fortress is a rapidly growing hedge fund and private equity fund managing $26 billion in assets. Fortress purchased Intrawest, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, in a $2.8 billion deal. Intrawest has an interest in 10 North American mountain resorts including Copper Mountain and Winter Park in Colorado and Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia.

“The acquisition of Steamboat represents another milestone in our long-term strategy to develop, market, operate and provide our customers with access to the world’s premier network of experiential destination resorts,” said Alex Wasilov, president and chief operating officer at Intrawest. “This acquisition marks the resurgence in our strategy to grow through acquisitions and to leverage our platform to enhance value for our customers throughout the Intrawest network of resorts.”
Today’s sale marks the second time in five years American Skiing prepared itself to part with Steamboat. But today’s announcement is different from the last time around.

See the full article here in the Pilot

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