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Alterra adds Solitude to the mix for Ikon
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Updated 23 days ago
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marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

As Vail Resorts works out the details of buying Triple Peaks (Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte), Alterra announced a much simpler deal.  Alterra is buying Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon from the former owners of Deer Valley.  Sale expected to be final before the 2018-19 ski season starts.

Solitude was bought by the DV owners a few years ago.  Boyne Resorts wanted to buy Solitude in 2014 but couldn’t come up with the financing.  Solitude changed ownership in 2015.  A new lift for Summit was in place for the 2015-16 season after being in the planning stage for years.

https://www.alterramtnco.com/news/2018/06/20/solitude-acquisition - June 2018

https://solitudemountain.com/blog/first-look-the-new-summit-express-chairlift - Jan 2016

 

2 months ago
That’s a great addition. Solitude was my favorite out there.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

From what I can tell, after Solitude was bought by the owners of Deer Valley in 2015 almost $10 million was spent on capital projects.  That included the high speed quad for Summit.  For 2017-18, the price tag was $1.5 million, including two new groomers and refreshing the entire rental inventory.  The new website is quite different from the old one, presumably more mobile-friendly.  I noticed that under Where to Stay there is a section for International Guests (Australia, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Mexico) that I’m pretty sure didn’t exist before.

https://solitudemountain.com/resort-improvements

  • Relaunch of Solitude’s web presence to solitudemountain.com
  • Continuing improvements to the Roundhouse restaurant
  • Upgrade the interior of Last Chance and Moonbeam Lodges
  • Realigning the Solitude return portion of the SolBright Trail
  • Upgrading our Rossignol rental fleet, including an entirely new inventory at the Nordic Center
  • Purchase two PRINOTH BISON Tier 4 snow cats
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Didn’t realize that Solitude was such a family operation.  The father who became the majority shareholder in 1986 not only moved to a condo at Solitude with his wife, both sons were VPs.  Gary and Betsy DeSeelhorst are in their late 70s or early 80s at this point.  Son Dave DeSeelhorst took over at the top from Gary a while ago.  His brother, Scott, helps manage operations during the ski season.  Scott and his wife bought a vineyard in Boise, ID in 1998 that is quite successful.  Scott became a chef after working as a commodities broker in Chicago.  Dave was interviewed about the sale to DV by Park City TV.  Says something that the host had never met Dave DeSeelhorst before.  

https://youtu.be/GeitDqBT_ik - Oct 2014 interview with Dave DeSeelhorst, Part 1

https://youtu.be/I7x7pehpV1A - Oct 2014 interview with Dave DeSeelhorst, Part 2

The DeSeelhorst family brought in Intrawest iin the late 1990s to help build out the condos and village.  The result impressed the GM of Deer Valley.  At least he talked about how nice the base development turned out in an interview shortly after the sale of Solitude to DV was announced in October 2014.  Bob Wheaton has worked at DV for decades.  He started when it was essentially a family business under Edgar and Polly Stern.  Later their son Lessing was in charge after Edgar retired in 2007.

https://youtu.be/4f5pbWG8-jY - Oct 2014 interview with Bob Wheaton, Part 1

https://youtu.be/Uq5k10ZfwM4 -  Oct 2014 interview with Bob Wheaton, Part 2

Have to wonder what the DeSeelhorst family think about the sale of Solitude to Alterra.  Shouldn’t be too much of a surprise after Alterra made the deal to buy DV in 2017.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

During a recent interview for SAM, Rusty Gregory teased that he’s still having trouble remembering all the Alterra resorts when he was asked about future acquisitions.  Seemed clear Alterra would rather increase partnerships instead of buying resorts.  Sounds like Ikon sales exceeded expectations but they really weren’t quite sure what to expect.  Snowshoe was referenced by the interviewer, who is Jason Blevins.  He writes for the Denver Post.  The interview happened before the announcement of the purchase of Solitude.

https://www.saminfo.com/the-magazine/this-issue/item/164922-big-bold-idiosyncratic

2 months ago

“You’ve got to work with a third party on it and do the right sort of risk sharing and mitigation so you are not endangering the mothership.”

Changes at Snowshoe in this light include Snowshoe getting out of real estate sales, now taken over by First Tracts, and partnering with First Tracts to adopt their rental property management system. 

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

  Snowshoe was referenced by the interviewer

Not in a particularly flattering way:

 

RG:There are a lot of bad examples of these quick-hit, top-of-the-market real estate programs and the legacies they have created at a lot of resorts, without naming any of them.

SAM: I believe you own a place like that in West Virginia. 

RG: (laughing) There are a lot of condos on top of that hill.

2 months ago

wgo wrote:

marzNC wrote:

  Snowshoe was referenced by the interviewer

Not in a particularly flattering way:
 

You took the words right out of my mouth.  I hope SS is not the Alterra red headed step child 

2 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

wgo wrote:

marzNC wrote:

  Snowshoe was referenced by the interviewer

Not in a particularly flattering way:
 

You took the words right out of my mouth.  I hope SS is not the Alterra red headed step child 

Hold that thought when you’re skiing Widomaker in November this season, thanks to their investment in new guns, automation, etc.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Think about the potential market that Alterra gets from SS for Ikon.  People drive to SS from Ohio, Pittsburgh, DC/Baltimore, VA, NC, SC, TN, GA, and FL.  Given the price for lodging at SS, a fair number of those people can afford a trip out west at least every few years.  Vail Resorts went after the midwest market starting in 2012 and added Wilmot for the Chicago market in 2016.  VR doesn’t have a resort in the mid-Atlantic or southeast … yet.  I think Alterra will pay attention to what SS needs even after 2018.

I noticed that Rusty Gregory talked about more partnerships for Ikon.  Would be really nice for a lot of people if Snowtime or 7Springs/HV/Laurel would consider the idea.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

The sale of Solitude to Alterra is complete.

Still waiting on details for how Solitude will be incorporated into Ikon.  The Solitude website has preseason prices for season passes that are good until early Sept.  The Adult pass is $979 and the Senior 65+ pass is $599.  The prices for a Big Cottonwood pass are $1250 and $769 for Adults and Seniors.  Full Ikon is $999 and Base Ikon is $599, no senior discount.  Hmm …

https://solitudemountain.com/blog/alterra-mountain-company-closes-on-solitude-mountain-resort-in-utah

one month ago

Ikon Passes Hit Costco
Taking one more step toward the soulless abyss, the Ikon Pass has partnered with Costco to offer its 2018-2019 pass. The pass—which covers Aspen, Steamboat, Revelstoke, and Snowbird, among others—can now be purchased on the Costco website and includes a $200 Costco cash card, or just enough to buy a douchey pair of sunglasses and a season’s supply of Twisted Tea. Game on.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

swoop wrote:

Ikon Passes Hit Costco
Taking one more step toward the soulless abyss, the Ikon Pass has partnered with Costco to offer its 2018-2019 pass. The pass—which covers Aspen, Steamboat, Revelstoke, and Snowbird, among others—can now be purchased on the Costco website and includes a $200 Costco cash card, or just enough to buy a douchey pair of sunglasses and a season’s supply of Twisted Tea. Game on.

Yep, that partnership started at the beginning of July.  Looking at the entry, sounds like the Ikon card is sent directly but has to be registered with Ikon in order to get the $200 Costco cash card.  Guess they could even use the picture on file for the Costco membership card for the pass.

Any one know if there is a picture on an Ikon pass?

Costco in NC has had deals on Wintergreen lift tickets in the past.  Perhaps Snowshoe too at some point.  AMEX has offered discounts on lift tickets in the past.

one month ago

marzNC wrote:

 

Any one know if there is a picture on an Ikon pass?

They requested a photo when I ordered mine in March. I know the MaxPass had the photo on the pass and would suspect the Ikon will as well.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
23 days ago

Solitude is officially in the Ikon pass.  Unlimited for full price or unlimited with blackout dates for Ikon Base.  No surpise.

However, the surprise is that Brighton is also going to be part of Ikon for limited days.  That means someone flying to SLC outside holiday periods could using Ikon Base for Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton, and Deer Valley.  While Epic passholders only get Park City.  MCP covers Alta, Snowbird, and Snowbasin for 2018-19.

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