Vail Resorts to acquire Crested Butte, three other resorts | PostIndependent.com

Vail Resorts to acquire Crested Butte, three other resorts

The Epic Pass will be good at Crested Butte and VR’s other new acquisitions next season

John Meyer
The Denver Post
A skier takes advantage of the huge amounts of powder while skiing at Crested Butte ski area on January 11, 2017 in Crested Butte.
Helen H. Richardson

Vail Resorts has announced that it is buying Crested Butte Mountain Resort and two other resorts from the Mueller family, making The Butte its fifth Colorado ski resort along with Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone.

Vail will be paying the Muellers $82 million to acquire Triple Peaks LLC, which owns Crested Butte, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, while also providing Triple Peaks $155 million to pay off leases owed to another resort company, Ski Resort Holdings. In a separate deal, Vail will pay $67 million to acquire the Stevens Pass ski area in Washington state.

VR’s Epic Pass will be good at Crested Butte and its other new acquisitions next season. Vail Resorts chief executive Rob Katz said adding value to the Epic Pass was a key reason driving the new acquisitions.

“I think with Crested Butte, we feel like it is one of the most unique resorts within Colorado — the history, the original town and the mining component of it, kind of western feel, and the terrain,” Katz said in an interview. “I think the terrain at Crested Butte is some of most challenging in the state, and I think there is a kind of authenticity to the town and how the town and the mountain interact. From what we’ve heard from a lot of our (Epic Pass holders), this is something that would really interest them.

“We’re pretty excited. We feel like, and obviously this is true for all of the resorts, each one really occupies a particular spot which fills a niche for us.”

VR also announced that it would invest $35 million over the next two years to improve its new holdings.