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Updated 5 months ago
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5 months ago

Can’t believe nobody posted on this yet…

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/21/vail-resorts-vermont-stowe-ski-area-purchase/

Gobble, gobble….Now that they have a foothold in the northeast, the mid-atlantic is next.  That means Snoshoe imo.

5 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

Can’t believe nobody posted on this yet…

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/21/vail-resorts-vermont-stowe-ski-area-purchase/

Gobble, gobble….Now that they have a foothold in the northeast, the mid-atlantic is next.  That means Snoshoe imo.

Perhaps we’ll be trading in our Ridiculous Passes for Epic passes in a few years …….. 

 

5 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

Can’t believe nobody posted on this yet..

It’s been in many of the other ski sites I read. Just makes $towe even more unaffordable for me.

5 months ago

I guess it was inevitable they’d come east?   Without knowing anything about the current Snowshoe owners I would agree that Snowshoe seems somewhat plausible for an acquisition.  It draws a lot of folks from points south who only ski  a few days a winter, the kind that might go to Snowshoe for 3 days and then Breckenridge for 5 days - fitting the EpicPass model perfectly??  And it is the nearest thing we have in the mid-A for a destination resort, kind of like Stowe in that it gets a mix of short visitors and longer visitors.  Not a direct analogy, but what Vail is doing reminds me a little of all the realigning recently of college conferences.  They are all aiming for entry in various large TV markets around the country, not just in their original geographic region.  

I am going to Vail in a few days and will report back if I get a sense of what locals there think about all this.

5 months ago

A Stowe season pass will likely go from the current $1800 rate to the $800 Epic Pass rate.  I would say this is good for the locals.

The regular season walk up rate is already $124 per day.

Love or hate Vail, they offer a nice experience and a good product. 

 

camp wrote:

Bonzski wrote:

Can’t believe nobody posted on this yet..

It’s been in many of the other ski sites I read. Just makes $towe even more unaffordable for me.

 

5 months ago

JimK wrote:

I guess it was inevitable they’d come east?   Without knowing anything about the current Snowshoe owners I would agree that Snowshoe seems somewhat plausible for an acquisition.  It draws a lot of folks from points south who only ski  a few days a winter, the kind that might go to Snowshoe for 3 days and then Breckenridge for 5 days - fitting the EpicPass model perfectly??  And it is the nearest thing we have in the mid-A for a destination resort, kind of like Stowe in that it gets a mix of short visitors and longer visitors.  Not a direct analogy, but what Vail is doing reminds me a little of all the realigning recently of college conferences.  They are all aiming for entry in various large TV markets around the country, not just in their original geographic region.  

I am going to Vail in a few days and will report back if I get a sense of what locals there think about all this.

Snowshoe is owned by Intrawest, which is a large operator in its own right operating mountains such as Steamboat, Winter Park, Tremblant, Stratton, and Blue Mountain. I Think it would be highly unlikely that Snowshoe be bought by Vail. 

However, I think the SnowTime resorts of Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop would be excellent candidates for acquisition by Vail. They fit the model of their recent acquisitions in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where they get season pass holders in large cities to ski at their local resorts, then use their same pass to travel to and stay at their destination resorts. With Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop bringing the DC and Baltimore markets, that could have a huge upside for Vail.

5 months ago

Good info on SS, forgot about Intrawest connection.  With the Max pass they are in direct competition with Vail Resorts.  The other thing that may be endearing to New Englanders about the acquisition of Stowe is that EpicPass price will be about half the current cost of a season pass to Stowe.  I assume that would not be the same in case of SnowTime resorts??

 

Blue Knob, please let it be Blue Knob:-)  or Timberline:-) :-)

5 months ago

Good, recent article with some bite to it on the whole deal:  http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2017/02/22/vail-buys-stowe/

5 months ago

You can argue about who has the best skiing in the east - on the map.  If you include both on and off the map, it is Stowe, hands down, or more properly Mt. Mansfield.  And I am a Mad River shareholder.  Stowe allows skinning, when lifts are not running and groomers are not active.  They don’t bother you for skinning on the edge of the gondola side even when lifts are running.  No Vail resort allows skinning under any circumstances.  I’ve been thrown out of Kirkwood pre season.  What will happen when Stowe’s deeply ingrained and accepted backcountry and tree skier culture clashes with vail’s lawyers?  

I’m rooting for the tree skiers.

5 months ago

JimK wrote:

Blue Knob, please let it be Blue Knob:-)  or Timberline:-) :-)

absolutely totally priceless.  too bad it’s a hoax, i want it to be true.

5 months ago

I think yunz is ignoring the snarling dude with the bandana and the eye patch when speculating about the which Mid-A resort fits the profile. Kinda hope not but could it be?

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5 months ago

Denis wrote:

You can argue about who has the best skiing in the east - on the map.  If you include both on and off the map, it is Stowe, hands down, or more properly Mt. Mansfield.  And I am a Mad River shareholder.  Stowe allows skinning, when lifts are not running and groomers are not active.  They don’t bother you for skinning on the edge of the gondola side even when lifts are running.  No Vail resort allows skinning under any circumstances.  I’ve been thrown out of Kirkwood pre season.  What will happen when Stowe’s deeply ingrained and accepted backcountry and tree skier culture clashes with vail’s lawyers?  

I’m rooting for the tree skiers.

Interesting, I was at Vail last weekend and noticed 2 seperate people snowshoeing.  One up a trail just under chair 26, the other on a cross trail near chair 2.  Both busy trails.  It surprised me, knowing Vail’s conservative ways.  Why snoshoeing and not skinning?

 

5 months ago
Stowe is one of my favorite ski areas in VT, I hope it doesn’t become crazy expensive like Vail. The internet price for a single ticket for this Saturday at Vail is $179 and the following Saturday is $149. Window rates are more. Stowe’s a bargain at $92 for the same dates.
5 months ago

Re: Snowshoe/Intrawest… Intrawest may be putting Steamboat up for sale… looking to get out of the CO market?  Trying to attract Vail to buy it at some premium, a-la Whistler?

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/is-steamboat-ski-area-for-sale-report-says-intrawest-is-exploring-idea/

I hadn’t thought abt SS as a possible Vail target, but have advocated for a long time for SnowTime to get bought by them- fits their recent feeder model and opens the (rather affluent) DC-Balt market.

5 months ago

Snowtime owned Windham NY at one point.  I doubt Snowtime is looking to expand and SS would be a big purchase for them.  The Snowtime business model is working well, even in the bad seasons. 

Vail buying Snowtime is an interesting concept.  Snowtime does not exactly fit the urban location factor like their three other urban areas; however adding the DC/Balt. market could be huge.  Epic Pass at $800 vs. a traditonal snowtime pass at $469; one trip would pay for the epic upgrade.    

 

skinavy wrote:

Re: Snowshoe/Intrawest… Intrawest may be putting Steamboat up for sale… looking to get out of the CO market?  Trying to attract Vail to buy it at some premium, a-la Whistler?

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/is-steamboat-ski-area-for-sale-report-says-intrawest-is-exploring-idea/

I hadn’t thought abt SS as a possible Vail target, but have advocated for a long time for SnowTime to get bought by them- fits their recent feeder model and opens the (rather affluent) DC-Balt market.

 

5 months ago

I’m a fan of Vail resorts.  I think few people would argue that the EpicPass has been good for many skiers.  Vail brings efficiency and scale to resort operations, especially around stuff like B2B relationship management, marketing, HR, and customer service.  Hopefully that will drop prices and improve the product.

I also generally like Stowe.  Will be interesting to see whether much changes.

5 months ago

I wasn’t thinking of Snowtime buying Snowshoe- though that would be cool- was referring to the thought of Vail buying Snowshoe.  I mention the Steamboat sale as coincidence.

Separately, Vail buying Snowtime- which aligns with their purchases- seems like they’ve gone after hills closest to midwest cities so far- smaller, then larger- to try the concept.  Now time to go for the East coast kill.

Afton: local hill for Minneapolis/StPaul (2012)

Brighton: Detroit (2012)

WIlmot: Chicago/Milwaukee (2016- after evaluating the success of the smaller city targets?)

Whitetail & Liberty are similar drive times from DC/Balt as Wilmot from Chicago/Milwaukee.

I think Stowe does fit this scheme, but not in the same way- its a destination resort for Easterners, not a daily driver.  But it can capture customers to head West similarly to the daily driver hills.  Even if it doesn’t get them West, Stowe could itself get feeder traffic from WT/Lib/RT?  I would certainly sweep through Stowe and out West, and it would elminate the “damn, wrong pass attached to my jacket” problem!

teleman wrote:

Snowtime owned Windham NY at one point.  I doubt Snowtime is looking to expand and SS would be a big purchase for them.  The Snowtime business model is working well, even in the bad seasons. 

Vail buying Snowtime is an interesting concept.  Snowtime does not exactly fit the urban location factor like their three other urban areas; however adding the DC/Balt. market could be huge.  Epic Pass at $800 vs. a traditonal snowtime pass at $469; one trip would pay for the epic upgrade.    

5 months ago

I think the big thing Stowe gives Vail is the premier east coast resort in terms of prestige, aspiration, and luxury.  Stratton is nice too, but if you’re a rich person in the north-east, and don’t want to fly out west, you often go to Stowe.  That seems to align with who Vail wants to be as a brand.

5 months ago

skinavy wrote:

Re: Snowshoe/Intrawest… Intrawest may be putting Steamboat up for sale… looking to get out of the CO market?  Trying to attract Vail to buy it at some premium, a-la Whistler?

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/is-steamboat-ski-area-for-sale-report-says-intrawest-is-exploring-idea/

 

It’s unliklely the Feds would let Vail buy Steamboat. It would concentrate too much power in one company. One needs to remember that when Vail bought Breck, Keystone, & A-Basin a decade ago from Purina, the feds made Vail divest A-Basin.

5 months ago

blah blah blah - my Epic local pass costs less than $800 each it is the best deal I ever had - we are  in Tahoe and expect to use our  passes at Heavenly and Kirkwood a LOT. Actually you would not beleive the snow here it is totally out of control. The berms along the road are 10-15 feet high !  Oh and M won $200 on slots last night at Atlantis in Reno yay! We actually have our condo up for sale thinking we could score a nice place in Incline Village off the lake. Ya mon I wanna 38 foot sailboat. JohnL and JimK … how about another cruise lol!!

Check this out … out view from the place we are at:

 

5 months ago

At Stowe for a few days.  Talked to a few locals who are pretty excited about the Vail purchase.  Partially because they expect the price of season passes to go down significantly.  Also because they expect some projects to happen on the Mansfield side.  I didn’t realize that the land on the Spruce side where AIG is continuing to build high end lodging is private land while the land on the Mansfield side is state land.

For those who haven’t been to Stowe since the Spruce lodge and new children’s building was completed … gives a completely different impression that the Mansfield and Midway lodges.

5 months ago

Crush wrote:

blah blah blah - my Epic local pass costs less than $800 each it is the best deal I ever had - we are  in Tahoe and expect to use our  passes at Heavenly and Kirkwood a LOT. Actually you would not beleive the snow here it is totally out of control. The berms along the road are 10-15 feet high !  Oh and M won $200 on slots last night at Atlantis in Reno yay! We actually have our condo up for sale thinking we could score a nice place in Incline Village off the lake. Ya mon I wanna 38 foot sailboat. JohnL and JimK … how about another cruise lol!!

Check this out … out view from the place we are at:

 

Twist my arm on another cruise…

 

5 months ago

Vail can’t buy Snow Time unless Snow Time wants to sell.  Having said that, the founder of Snow Time (Mr. Irvin Naylor, an industry legend) is on up there in years… plus who knows how many partners/investors have joined ownership over the years.  Someone could ask Scott Romberger (Pres/COO) if a sale is feasible just to gauge his reaction… 

5 months ago

Sesaons pass prices may go down  but expect the walk up ticket rate to go up.  Vail is $180.  Vail just purchsed Whistler and the walk up rate their was $139 cad.  I expect it to be a lot higher next season.  

5 months ago

Powder Magazine’s take on Vail’s purchase of Stowe:

 

http://www.powder.com/stories/stowe-in-the-vail-era/#BMu8tOPT1MCo0Wxh.97

 

Inteeresting speculation in the last two paragraphs of the article:

“And he’s not convinced that Stowe’s neighbor, Smugglers’ Notch, won’t eventually be part of the Vail empire. The two resorts could easily be linked into one huge Eastern powerhouse.

“I bet they buy Smuggs—just make them an offer they can’t refuse—and do a big lodging play back there,” says Levinthal. “I bet anything you that’s their ultimate play.”

and that does sound lilke something VaIl would do ala Canyons and PCMR.

5 months ago

They could link Stowe and smuggs with lifts.  At times in the past each resort has honored the other’s lift ticket for a single ride.  But, there is a problem.  The road thru smugglers notch is closed in winter ~ November - April.  Driving from one base area to the other takes an hour or more in winter, depending on congestion and snow/ice on narrow country roads.  Smuggs sells itself as family friendly, which it is.  But there is an unadvertised hard core side that is the equal of Stowe, perhaps better.  The notch itself is full of famous radical backcountry descents, both on the Stowe side and the smuggs side.  Smuggs has more of them.  After a descent you traverse back to a lift on the snow covered notch road.  All this is off piste of course.  Vail takes a very dim view of off piste skiing, which will not sit well with northern new England’s great skiers, and there are many.  Vermonters are famously independent and stubborn.  Vermont was an independent republic for 14 years  before it joined the US, 1777-1791.  Ethan Allan and the Green Mountain boys led a successful fight for independence from New York.  There is still some sentiment for re-establishing the Vermont Republic.  

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