Is the pen mightier than the snowboard?
Deer Valley Acquired by a Private Equity Company
6 posts from 2 users
Updated 9 months ago
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9 months ago



Well, it appears that someone is stepping up to challenge the Vail monolith.


On Monday, Deer Valley, a place that had been family-owned since Edgar Stern founded it in 1981 and was famous for things like corduroy lines extending to the locker rooms and turkey chili on demand, was swept off the board by a Hungry Hippo private equity firm that, over the last 18 months, has fashioned itself into Vail’s chief rival in the ski industry. Where a deep-pocketed, publicly traded, 15,000-person company—Vail—owns and operates the ski resorts on one side of Park City (Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons), the other side is now owned by an upstart, as-yet-unnamed, aspirational big fish with a war chest of seemingly unlimited funds fronted by private equity firm KSL Capital Partners.

Deer Valley suddenly makes KSL a mountain-for-mountain competitor with Vail’s 15-resort Epic Pass. (It is important to note that the Deer Valley purchase specifically is KSL in partnership with Chicago-based Henry Crown and Company. Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk—also owned by Henry Crown and Company—are not currently under KSL’s umbrella.) KSL’s growing megalo-corp will now boast 9 million skier visits between 13 resorts, or roughly 15 percent of projected nationwide skier visits in 2017-18. On the surface, if you’re a consumer, it’s #passwars, but just underneath that there is a high-stakes game of snow poker.”

 Even though the KSL entity doesn’t even have a name yet, their recent resort acquisitions, along with Deer Valley, include Mammoth in April, as well as taking embattled Intrawest off the hands of Softbank, a Japanese telecommunication company, that same week. In hardly any time at all, KSL has built a portfolio that includes Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain in California, Blue Mountain in Ontario, Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canadian Mountain Holidays in Alberta, and a resort in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Cue closing credits of The Shawshank Redemption.

9 months ago

a view of the deal from “enemy territory”




9 months ago

I just found this is the “intrawest sold” thread below.. Didn’t think to look there becasue this didn’t relate to intrawest being sold.


Scott, feel free to remove if you think this redundant.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

Interesting that the owners of DV are keeping Solitude out of the mix.  Just as the Crown family is keeping full control of Aspen Ski Corp.

There was a video floating around that was an introduction to the new multi-resort entity.  But it included a notice that it should not be shared.  Now it’s clear why.  That video had an intro for each of the ski resorts but didn’t include DV, which will obviously be added.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

The DV blog entry about the sale includes a pretty comprehensive FAQ.  DV regulars were clearly concerned that snowboarders would be allowed.  The current statements from DV management is that nothing will change for DV skiers used to the level of grooming and service at DV.  DV senior management is not changing … at least not right now.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

The real question for MidA folks is what the MCP and MAX Pass will look like for 2018-19.  If Aspen/Snowmass, and Squaw/Alpine and Mammoth pull out, that will send the MCP back to the drawing board.  The MAX Pass included Intrawest locations.  If they pull out then MAX Pass will be mainly Boyne operated places, although the recent addition of the ORDA mountains in NY will keep it interesting for folks in New England who want to plan a trip to Big Sky.

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