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Peak Resorts to buy Snowtime
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Updated 2 months ago
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marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

It’s finally happened, Snowtime found a buyer.  Peak Resorts put out a press release on 9/24/18 about the purchase of Roundtop, Liberty, and Whitetail.  Snowtime season pass holders will be able to upgrade to a Peak Pass for the 2018-19 season.  Peak holdings include Hunter and Mt. Snow.  Hunter completed a major expansion on the backside this summer.

http://ir.peakresorts.com/File/Index?KeyFile=395108862

“PEAK RESORTS TO ACQUIRE SNOW TIME FOR $76 MILLION

ACCRETIVE TRANSACTION EXPANDS PEAK’S NORTHEAST PORTFOLIO WITH THE ADDITION OF THREE HIGH-QUALITY RESORTS

Company Release - 9/24/2018 7:00 AM ET

WILDWOOD, Mo., Sept. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Peak Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKIS) (“Peak” or the “Company”), a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded U.S. ski resorts, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Snow Time, Inc. (“Snow Time”) for $76 million in total consideration.

 

Importantly, season pass holders at Liberty, Roundtop and Whitetail who have already made the decision to purchase or renew their season passes for the 2018/2019 ski season will have the ability to upgrade to the Peak Pass and enjoy all 10 of our Northeast resorts. We expect to provide these customers with more details, including pricing options, in the coming weeks.”

Irvin S. Naylor, Founder and Chairman of Snow Time, added, “I am extremely pleased to pass along the stewardship of Snow Time and our three mountain resorts to Peak Resorts. Having watched the progress they continue to make at the formerly family-owned Hunter Mountain, I view Peak Resorts as the perfect operators to take Liberty, Roundtop and Whitetail to the next level. For more than 50 years, my team and I have grown these three resorts into the magnificent properties they are today and we are delighted that Peak Resorts will continue to grow their appeal for the next generation and beyond.”

…”

2 months ago

Roundtop’s making it’s other big announcement at noon today.  More terrain’s expected to be opened up

Roundtop Sam said that the local passes will continue to be an option, with the Peak Pass being an optional enhancement.

2 months ago

Wow.  The founder of Peak Resorts is 65 and caps off an impressive career with a bang.  Seems like a good deal, a price at just 6.8x revenue (ebitda) and apparently no debt.  For comparison sake, the Okemo/Crested Butte/Sunapee acquisition by Vail was just $237 million.

You can bet the upcoming liqour license referundum came up at some point during the sale negotiations!

 https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/tri_state/pennsylvania/whitetail-resort-begins-pitch-to-voters-for-selling-alcohol/article_ead10790-bd31-11e8-89b9-130afe348319.html 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

I remembered that Naylor sold Windham to local investors in 2005.  So he’s quite familiar with the skiing available in the NY Catskills.  With the major expansion at Hunter this summer, it’s going to be much friendlier to intermediates.  The crowds on weekends at Hunter or Mt Snow shouldn’t be an issue to people who ski Whitetail and Liberty on weekends.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

RodneyBD wrote:

Wow.  The founder of Peak Resorts is 65 and caps off an impressive career with a bang.  Seems like a good deal, a price at just 6.8x revenue (ebitda) and apparently no debt.  For comparison sake, the Okemo/Crested Butte/Sunapee acquisition by Vail was just $237 million.

What I didn’t realize until this summer is that Peak is based in the midwest.  The three Peak ski areas in the midwest don’t ever get mentioned in the east.  Tim Boyd is a golfer, not a skier.

https://www.stlmag.com/Crouching-Tiger-Hidden-Valley/ - 2009

2 months ago

I have to say I’m a little bit surprised, I figured they would have been sold already if it was going to happen. I hope they up keep the dedication to making snow, Sno Time has treated their customers so well in that regard.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

eggraid wrote:

I have to say I’m a little bit surprised, I figured they would have been sold already if it was going to happen. I hope they up keep the dedication to making snow, Sno Time has treated their customers so well in that regard.

Hunter and Mt. Snow are well known for their snowmaking.  The Peak ski areas in the midwest wouldn’t exist without snowmaking.  The CEO of Peak knows first hand what it takes to run snow guns.

Peak is a public company but it’s a family business.  From what I’ve read about him, I would guess Naylor likes that.  Dealing with the money needed to improve Mt. Snow and incorporate Hunter into the mix has not been easy in the last five years.  Perhaps Naylor was waiting until Peak could handle the purchase.

https://www.stlmag.com/Crouching-Tiger-Hidden-Valley/ - 2009

“… 

“He’s not afraid of failure,” agrees Boyd’s son Jesse, who helps manage several ski resorts. “He’s always willing to take chances. The decisions he makes aren’t always in line with the rest of the ski industry, but he’s done his homework.” Sitting inside a Sno-Cat in Vermont in mid-November, Jesse adds, “He’s actually snow-making here today. He’s always been the hands-on type of guy; he feels detached if he’s not out working with the guys.”

Today Boyd’s company, Peak Resorts, stretches well beyond St. Louis. It spans 11 ski resorts dotting the Midwest and New England, including Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire and Vermont. “I kind of flit around wherever there is a need,” he says. Boyd travels about twice a month, recently spending the bulk of his time at Vermont’s Mount Snow, his latest and largest project.

 

Boyd figured out the formula: Build a metro ski area in a climate where there’s no competition; offer affordable rates and nighttime skiing; take advantage of the growing snowboard market, which doesn’t require a steep vertical terrain — “the great equalizer,” Jesse calls it — and put the lion’s share of capital into snow-making technology. The rest will follow.

“Here’s the thing about these ski areas,” says Boyd. “The good news is there’s no competition. The bad news is there’s a reason: It’s really tough to run these things successfully.”

He admits Hidden Valley, with only a 310-foot vertical drop, isn’t a Colorado ski resort, but he contends that it’s affordable, it’s nearby and it’s fun — making it viable even during a recession. “In past downtimes, we’ve actually done better because people don’t travel as far,” he says. “What we give up in weather, we gain in the fact that the economy and other factors tend to help us.”


…”

2 months ago

Roundtop posted the video - they’re in the process of adding a beginner run off of Powerhorn and reattaching to Drummer Boy. They’re expecting to open it next season.

At any rate, now that Peak owns these guys, I’m hoping they put some money into expansion.

2 months ago

I REALLY hope for 19’-20’ they keep the existing pass offerings, the Peak Pass seems signifigantly more expensive then the existing pass, and IMO has nowhere near the value to me as the Ikon pass. I know it doesn’t matter for 18’-19’…but I’m a little concerned for  future seasons.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

superguy wrote:

Roundtop posted the video - they’re in the process of adding a beginner run off of Powerhorn and reattaching to Drummer Boy. They’re expecting to open it next season.

At any rate, now that Peak owns these guys, I’m hoping they put some money into expansion.

Do you mean opening the new run for 2018-19 or 2019-20?

I wouldn’t expect anything quickly.  Still money to be spend to finish projects at Mt. Snow and Hunter, and a few other Peak resorts in the northeast.  Also depends on what kind of effort has gone into behind the scenes planning in recent years.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

rbrtlav wrote:

I REALLY hope for 19’-20’ they keep the existing pass offerings, the Peak Pass seems signifigantly more expensive then the existing pass, and IMO has nowhere near the value to me as the Ikon pass. I know it doesn’t matter for 18’-19’…but I’m a little concerned for  future seasons.

The Peak Pass makes the most sense for people who live in the northeast somewhere close to one of the Peak mountains.

Perhaps Peak has noticed that Vail Resorts has local passes for the three “urban ski areas” in the midwest.  I think they run around $350.  Presumably the idea is that people will get the full Epic or 7-day Epic every once in a while for a trip out west.  For a family who can envision driving a couple times a season, certainly can’t charge too much more than the local pass to get them interested.

2 months ago

I hope you are right marznc. From what I can tell now none of the peak resorts have their own pass at this point, although having an option for the snowtime resorts and the 2 in the poconos seems like a logical option.

Interestingly enough I’m under 30 for another season…so I already paid more for my 18-19’ pass than the under 30 option that Peak has, but I don’t think I could justify the $800 for the regular adult pass…

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

superguy wrote:

Roundtop posted the video - they’re in the process of adding a beginner run off of Powerhorn and reattaching to Drummer Boy. They’re expecting to open it next season.

At any rate, now that Peak owns these guys, I’m hoping they put some money into expansion.

Do you mean opening the new run for 2018-19 or 2019-20?

I wouldn’t expect anything quickly.  Still money to be spend to finish projects at Mt. Snow and Hunter, and a few other Peak resorts in the northeast.  Also depends on what kind of effort has gone into behind the scenes planning in recent years.

They’re shooting for opening it in ‘19-‘20.

2 months ago

Kind of sad that we are loosing local ownership who continually re-invest in these resorts. These resorts are very well run. I hope Peak Resorts continues the excellent record of the Naylors. Irv promised his wife that he would dance with her again before he passed on. If anyone can overcome being a parapelegic (Irv is paralyzed from a horseback riding incident), it’s Irv.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

snowsmith wrote:

Kind of sad that we are loosing local ownership who continually re-invest in these resorts. These resorts are very well run. I hope Peak Resorts continues the excellent record of the Naylors. Irv promised his wife that he would dance with her again before he passed on. If anyone can overcome being a parapelegic (Irv is paralyzed from a horseback riding incident), it’s Irv.

From my reading about the originally ski area that lead to Peak Resorts, which is Hidden Valley in MO near St. Louis, the approach taken for the midwest ski areas created and still owned and operated by Peak is based on investing for the future.  That includes coming up with revenue during the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

What I would watch is who gets the job of GM at Roundtop, Liberty, and Whitetail.  If a GM who has been around for a while stays on, that’s a good sign to me.

2 months ago

Hmm …

First, congratulations to the Naylors and thanks to the whole Snow Time family.  Liberty, Whitetail, and Roundtop are all very well-run, and the first two have been my home areas for the past decade.  

Peak Resorts has a good reputation.  I hope very little changes at the Snow Time resorts as a result of this purchase.  I’ve been spoiled by the snowmaking and lodge-window views at Liberty, by the HSQ and cookies at Whitetail, by the old-school vibe at Roundtop, and by the convenient cubbies at all three ski areas.  

As a pass or card holder for the past 10 years, I am greatly concerned that the prices will rise substantially … and that the three-resort pass, senior discount, and Mountains of Distinction exchange will disappear under Peak Resorts - if not in 2018-19 then in 2019-20.  I hope not.

Woody

2 months ago
I mentioned on both WT and RT’s’s FB pages that the Peak Pass may not be a good value for some people. I may only ski for a couple days outside of the home area. I’d rather have a local pass and a discount at sister resorts than pay hundreds extra and not get my money’s worth. WT seemed to like that idea.
2 months ago

superguy wrote:

I mentioned on both WT and RT’s’s FB pages that the Peak Pass may not be a good value for some people. I may only ski for a couple days outside of the home area. I’d rather have a local pass and a discount at sister resorts than pay hundreds extra and not get my money’s worth. WT seemed to like that idea.

I did the math and if they decide that you have to buy a Peak Pass, my costs would jump from $1600 a year to $2800 a year for 4 passes.. That would put an end to season passes for us. I’d opt for an Ikon pass at those prices, instead. 

2 months ago
I’d probably opt for Blue Knob or a Highlands pass at that point. Even for just me, $800 is too rich for my blood as I’m be sticking around the area mostly. I think ST’s pass prices are pretty fair. I’d hate to see that get ruined.
2 months ago

FWIW I found the below link by scrolling through peak resorts Facebook. The early season prices are significantly cheaper, the ranger pass has no blackout days at crotched, so if they add the snowtime resorts to the ranger pass with no blackouts I’d be fine with the $529

http://ir.peakresorts.com/File/Index?KeyFile=392491250

2 months ago

$629 is better, but still wasted money for those who stay local. That’d be a nice optional bolt-on for those that want it at that price.

2 months ago

Thie investor presentation (available on ir.peakresorts.com) specifically mentions “Target pricing increases around Peak Pass Tiers based on increased resort options.”  They also talk about data-driven marketing- often fluffy, but presumeably will be looking at their skier populations and who’s going where, in order to determine how to structure pricing and options.  I’m hoping they do a geography-based pass for us down here.

 

2 months ago

I noticed on one of the Ohio resorts they have an Adult (over 20) “Peak Ohio” pass for $319 with the option to upgrade to the Peak Pass.  I would think Peak Resort would do something like that for the Snowtime Resort rather than force us to by a an $800+ Peak pass.  

https://www.skimadriver.com/peak-ohio-passes/

 

 

2 months ago

snowyslope92 wrote:

I noticed on one of the Ohio resorts they have an Adult (over 20) “Peak Ohio” pass for $319 with the option to upgrade to the Peak Pass.  I would think Peak Resort would do something like that for the Snowtime Resort rather than force us to by a an $800+ Peak pass.

https://www.skimadriver.com/peak-ohio-passes/

 

 

I like that.  Throw in Jack Frost and Big Boulder, call it the Peak PA Pass with an option for the whole enchilada, and call it good. :)

I think the $800 price tag is fair for those up north - you have Mt Snow, Hunter, and the NH resorts all within relatively close proximity. But we’ll be at the extreme south end, and no way any of those north of JF/BB could be a day trip.

Interesting reactions reading the Instagram pages of other Peak Resorts.  Most of the big New England ones (Mt Snow, Attitash and Wildcat) and Hunter are giving a WTF? response. As they have much bigger hills, most of them don’t see the point of the “piddly” little hills down south.  Those folks are definitely spoiled and don’t see the bigger business picture. The smaller resort folks seem happier though.

I can see why Peak made the purchase.  It makes business sense. They’re profitable resorts in the largely underserved Baltimore/DC areas. Though they won’t appeal to the northerners, it gives the southerners more options and opportunity for Peak to grab those folks. Baltimore/DC sees a lot of travel, so it’s at least an option for visitors in the area.

It can make a ski vacation to New England much more affordable (and more likely) for a family of passholders down here, and an opportunity to grab hotel, food, and other revenue from them too.

I’m sure the midwesterners are happy to have options for any hills bigger than 300’ vert. :D

Scott - DCSki Editor
2 months ago

I just published a story on DCSki that provides a history of Snow Time, Inc. leading up to this week’s sale.  You can check it out here: http://www.dcski.com/articles/1557

2 months ago

Nice article Scott, thanks for the background on Snow Time. I really enjoy learning about the history of skiing in Pennsylvania. Although I was aware of Irv Naylor, I never knew he developed Roundtop. 

There is a certain dismay that local ownership and local small ski areas are on the decline but it is a pattern we can continue to expect. As you know, I feel that the survival of these local resorts are imperative to the continued success of the ski industry as a viable option for family recreation for middle and working class families who either cannot afford or do not wish to spend vacation money to travel to large destination resorts. Our sport requires a commitment of time to master as Irv’s story illustrates. Rare are the people who can master the sport to any degree of satisfaction during a first ever one week vacation. Access and affordability are key, in my opinion.  If consolidation of the industry keeps local resorts open and prices within reach then this is a good thing.

There is another independent and locally owned successful ski operator in the Mid-Atlantic. Will Bob Nutting and Seven Springs Mountain Resort continue as is, seek to consolidate more nearby resorts (as they have done with the acquisition of Hidden Valley and the lease agreement with Laurel Mountain State Park), or be bought out by a large national resort operator looking to buy market share? My hunch would be on the former two based on the fact that Mr. Nutting is young and Seven Springs is very successful to the point of not just sustaining itself but also being able to reinvest, expand especially during the warm seasons (which also makes it a desirable target for a buy out), and turn a profit. Seven Springs has always been a major player in the Mid-A. How will Wisp, Timberline, Canaan and Blue Knob fare? It will be interesting to watch it all play out.

2 months ago

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Nice article Scott, thanks for the background on Snow Time. I really enjoy learning about the history of skiing in Pennsylvania. Although I was aware of Irv Naylor, I never knew he developed Roundtop.

There is a certain dismay that local ownership and local small ski areas are on the decline but it is a pattern we can continue to expect. As you know, I feel that the survival of these local resorts are imperative to the continued success of the ski industry as a viable option for family recreation for middle and working class families who either cannot afford or do not wish to spend vacation money to travel to large destination resorts. Our sport requires a commitment of time to master as Irv’s story illustrates. Rare are the people who can master the sport to any degree of satisfaction during a first ever one week vacation. Access and affordability are key, in my opinion.  If consolidation of the industry keeps local resorts open and prices within reach then this is a good thing.

There is another independent and locally owned successful ski operator in the Mid-Atlantic. Will Bob Nutting and Seven Springs Mountain Resort continue as is, seek to consolidate more nearby resorts (as they have done with the acquisition of Hidden Valley and the lease agreement with Laurel Mountain State Park), or be bought out by a large national resort operator looking to buy market share? My hunch would be on the former two based on the fact that Mr. Nutting is young and Seven Springs is very successful to the point of not just sustaining itself but also being able to reinvest, expand especially during the warm seasons (which also makes it a desirable target for a buy out), and turn a profit. Seven Springs has always been a major player in the Mid-A. How will Wisp, Timberline, Canaan and Blue Knob fare? It will be interesting to watch it all play out.

Agreed - 7S has a good solid lock on the year round resort business.  I remember my parents going out there in the 80s and doing all sorts of fun things, and that’s only expanded since then.

One thing 7S has been able to do very well over the years is snowmaking.  They’ve typically had the longest seasons around, and can generally get most of the mountain open fairly quickly as long as the weather cooperates.  I remember reading in Skiing magazine in the 90s about the volumes they could put out back then - and I’m sure it’s only gotten better.

I can see Wisp being ripe for an acquisition. 7S already has some pass reciprocity with them, and they’re also close enough to their cluster of resorts that it would make a nice addition. I think BK needs too much work at this point to be really attractive to someone - but the potential is there.  With the new ownership commited to fixing up the place, becoming a year round resort, and making further improvements, I could see them being acquired down the road. I think that’s several years off at least, though, IMO.  I was hoping they’d team up with ST in the meantime for pass reciprocity.

Scott Bender’s been advising BK and I think they can have a great future. I’m curious to see what happens over the next few years once all the deferred maintenance is done.  If BK does get bought out, I’d like see Boyne buy it out. I think they’re style of being more “rustic”, local, and family oriented would be a good fit.  BK has the Brighton feel - and I think they’d keep that.

2 months ago

Scott - nice article. One thing you forgot to mention was the Naylors tried to establish a new ski area back in the 1980’s. Ski College Mountain was located a few miles from Liberty in Emmitsburg, MD. They even cut the trails. Up until a few years ago you could still see where the trails were cleared. I at one time had a “Ski College Mountain” brochure. I believe the mountain had close to 1000 ft vertical. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get a permit to withdraw water from a local creek for snow making. Additionally, there was a lot of community opposition. Thus the pursuit died.

2 months ago

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

How will Wisp, Timberline, Canaan and Blue Knob fare? It will be interesting to watch it all play out.

Wisp is already owned by EPR properties and there is some relationship with EPR and Peak that I have not been able to fully figure out.  EPR lists themselves as owners, and Peak as the operator, of many of the resorts in the Peak Resorts list.  EPR also owns Wintergreen, so these two resorts are already “played out” to a certain extent.  CV, as you know, is owned by the state so I suspect little change there.  We all know the story of Timberline.  But I agree with you, it will be interesting to watch the others. 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Scott wrote:

I just published a story on DCSki that provides a history of Snow Time, Inc. leading up to this week’s sale.  You can check it out here: http://www.dcski.com/articles/1557

Very nice article!  I didn’t know the history that led to Naylor buying what became Ski Liberty.

2 months ago

Scott wrote:

I just published a story on DCSki that provides a history of Snow Time, Inc. leading up to this week’s sale.  You can check it out here: http://www.dcski.com/articles/1557

 

2 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

Scott wrote:

I just published a story on DCSki that provides a history of Snow Time, Inc. leading up to this week’s sale.  You can check it out here: http://www.dcski.com/articles/1557

Great article, thanks Scott!!

 

2 months ago

Nice Scott. Interesting that Dauphin County was interested in buying Whitetail. Whitetail is in Franklin.

2 months ago

That really was a great article, Scott. It was interesting to read about the wrangling with Whitetail. A viable start up plan for starting a ski area in these parts would seem to require having the cash flow to handle several poor seasons in a row while still meeting loan obligations.

The Peak resorts/EGR relationship is interesting…any sort of pass that would include Wintergreen and Wisp along with the Peak resorts would certainly be something to consider for the mid-atlantic skier who is not planning to go out west.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
2 months ago

Good article by Scott summing up the Snow Time era.

The three resorts were somewhat pricey, but you generally got what you paid for.  I commend Snow Time for providing consistently well-run operations at all three mountains for many years.  They were sometimes unpleasantly busy, but that tends to happen when you offer a good product.  In an era when smaller hills struggled these ski areas remained stable and thriving. 

When Snow Time owned Windham, NY I never got a sense that there was a strong pipeline of Wash/Balt people traveling up there to take advantage of the connection.  It will be interesting to see if the Peak Resorts connection motivates a lot of local Liberty/Whitetail/Roundtop pass holders to check out Hunter, Mt. Snow, Hunter, Wildcat and other northeastern mtns on the Peak pass.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

JimK wrote:

When Snow Time owned Windham, NY I never got a sense that there was a strong pipeline of Wash/Balt people traveling up there to take advantage of the connection.  It will be interesting to see if the Peak Resorts connection motivates a lot of local Liberty/Whitetail/Roundtop pass holders to check out Hunter, Mt. Snow, Hunter, Wildcat and other northeastern mtns on the Peak pass.

I can understand why driving from DC to ski at Windham wouldn’t be much of a draw.  Haven’t skied there but have stopped by the base during off season to take a look.  However, Hunter was pretty fun the one Sat morning I skied there in mid-December a few years ago.  Mt. Snow is a full ski resort, so a lot higher end lodging available at or near the slopes.  That might entice people who actually stay overnight at Whitetail to plan a ski vacation based on a Peak pass.

This article has comments from Jesse Boyd, VP of Peak, and son of the founder about the business reasons that adding the three Snowtime locations made sense.

https://sgbonline.com/behind-the-deal-peak-resorts-makes-strong-play-with-snow-time-acquisition/

” …

Bub [Peak CFO] and Jesse Boyd, Peak Resorts’ vice president of operations, spoke with SGB on Monday morning about the transaction, emphasizing that the trio of resorts being added is an excellent fit for the company’s current portfolio and will greatly increase the value of the Peak Pass.

“This strengthens our pass,” Boyd said. “We have a really affordable pass model in the East, and we’re continuing to strengthen the areas in which we operate to give our customers more options when they want go skiing. These folks not only ski a lot in their area, but many also travel north to Vermont, New Hampshire and New York, so it really benefits our pass to add these three resorts.”

…”

2 months ago

I figured it was more for the people going north than the ones coming south. ST resorts aren’t destinations for those folks, but might pick up a visit if someone happens to be in the area.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

superguy wrote:

I figured it was more for the people going north than the ones coming south. ST resorts aren’t destinations for those folks, but might pick up a visit if someone happens to be in the area.

Exactly.  I read the comment backwards the first time.  Then realized that “these folks” meant Snowtime regulars.  The idea is that selling more Peak Passes is good for Peak Resorts in general.  Definitely no reason for someone who lives near the Catskills or farther north to drive south to ski in PA.  Unless they have friends or relatives to visit who like to ski/board.

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

superguy wrote:

I figured it was more for the people going north than the ones coming south. ST resorts aren’t destinations for those folks, but might pick up a visit if someone happens to be in the area.

Exactly.  I read the comment backwards the first time.  Then realized that “these folks” meant Snowtime regulars.  The idea is that selling more Peak Passes is good for Peak Resorts in general.  Definitely no reason for someone who lives near the Catskills or farther north to drive south to ski in PA.  Unless they have friends or relatives to visit who like to ski/board.

When is all happened Monday, I was surprised by it. Yes, I knew it was a matter of time before Snow Time sold its resorts. I had the thoughts that Vail Resorts would kick the tires and give it a hard look. Vail Resorts has no Mid Atlantic presence currently to feed to their other resorts. Shifting back Peak Resorts, my first thought was they could use the 3 resorts as leverage to pry a resort in Colorado from Vail Resorts. It would present a win win for both sides. Vail gets a Mid Atlantic presence and Peak gets the Western connection that could boost their portfolio. Yes feeding the Northeast resorts could be a good reasons too. But how many JF/BB pass holders actually did visit the bigger resorts? Is it a risky move for them, yes and no. Weather could truly kill them if the East Coast experiences a warm year. When as a snowy will feed their bigger resorts.
2 months ago

padjaski68 wrote:

marzNC wrote:

superguy wrote:

I figured it was more for the people going north than the ones coming south. ST resorts aren’t destinations for those folks, but might pick up a visit if someone happens to be in the area.

Exactly.  I read the comment backwards the first time.  Then realized that “these folks” meant Snowtime regulars.  The idea is that selling more Peak Passes is good for Peak Resorts in general.  Definitely no reason for someone who lives near the Catskills or farther north to drive south to ski in PA.  Unless they have friends or relatives to visit who like to ski/board.

 

When is all happened Monday, I was surprised by it. Yes, I knew it was a matter of time before Snow Time sold its resorts. I had the thoughts that Vail Resorts would kick the tires and give it a hard look. Vail Resorts has no Mid Atlantic presence currently to feed to their other resorts. Shifting back Peak Resorts, my first thought was they could use the 3 resorts as leverage to pry a resort in Colorado from Vail Resorts. It would present a win win for both sides. Vail gets a Mid Atlantic presence and Peak gets the Western connection that could boost their portfolio. Yes feeding the Northeast resorts could be a good reasons too. But how many JF/BB pass holders actually did visit the bigger resorts? Is it a risky move for them, yes and no. Weather could truly kill them if the East Coast experiences a warm year. When as a snowy will feed their bigger resorts.

Here’s the way I look at it for us “southerners” going north.  I’ll use me as an example.

I’ve never done a ski vacation. Ever. The times I’ve skied out west (when not living there) was in conjunction with another trip - like visiting family for the holidays or taking an extra day on a work trip.   For me, the biggest downside is the cost.  Regardless of where I go, I’m going to have to take care of lift tickets somehow, hotel, food, and entertainment.  If I go west, I’m throwing in airfare and baggage fees to haul my gear.  Taking a week-long trip west, just even me, could run about 2 grand by the time all is said and done.  If any of the fam goes, that’s more.  New England would be cheaper as I could at least drive, but I still have all the costs once I get there.  And chances are, I’m only going to do one resort to get multi-day discounts.

Now we have Peak Pass.  I now have Mount Snow, Hunter, and a few in NH that are valid options.  I can drive up, haul my gear, and even take others with me at neglible extra cost (for transportation).  I don’t have to worry about shelling out $100+ a day for tickets.  Besides gas, all I have to cover is lodging and food.  That $2000 trip now gets cut in half at least - and is cheaper per person for others I bring.

Now a trip up north makes a lot more sense and is a lot more attractive.  I’m not necessarily confined to one resort.  I can start in NH and work my way back, or start at Hunter and work my way north.  Take a day here, a couple there, etc. If we decide to stay an extra day at one place - no problem. Peak now has much more opportunity to get more money out of someone like me when it was completely off the table before.

Someone else who traditionally takes a trip west may consider going up north instead due to the savings.  Some of the folks here that have no problem driving 6 hours or so to take a weekend trip may consider going north instead of going to some place like Snowshoe.

Prior to the purchase, Peak wasn’t going to make a lot of money off folks down here.  Now they have much more of a chance to get something out of the folks down here.

They really have nothing to lose.  If nothing changes, they’re out nothing because they weren’t getting the business to begin with.  They just make money off of the ST resorts as they’re already profitable.  But even if only 10% of the people who buy passes here end up going north, that’s a nice chunk of revenue that they never would have had before.

Even if Peak loses on the pass end down here, they still win with profitable resorts.

2 months ago

WT sent out an email this morning saying Peak add-on options will be available starting tomorrow.  They didn’t say anything on price, so we’ll have to wait til tomorrow.

Upgrade Your Season Pass Starting October 3!

By now you’ve heard that Whitetail, Roundtop, and Liberty Mountains have been acquired by Peak Resorts and are now members of a much bigger family of resorts!

Today we are pleased to announce that all current and future passholders will have opportunities to upgrade their season passes to gain direct to lift access to seven additional resorts here in the east, and day lift ticket access to seven resorts in the Midwest through our new ownership. Upgrade options will be available starting October 3, 2018.

If you have not purchased your season pass, and wish to add Peak Resort benefits, visit our website and select your pass as you normally would, with Family, Individual, or Senior options. Each pass will have a modifier that will allow you to add Peak Resort access.

If you have already purchased your season pass, you will need to call us to speak to one of our guest services representatives, who will help you through this process.

Upgrading will give you additional direct to lift access to Peak Northeast Resorts:


You will also have access to receive a free ticket each day to any Peak Midwest Resort:


Finally, you’ll gain these additional benefits:

  • 20% off lodging at Liberty Mountain, Hunter Mountain & Mount Snow
  • Up to 50% off tubing at select resorts that offer snow tubing parks
  • Up to 25% off bring a friend tickets (one per pass per day)
  • Other special passholder only events throughout the season

Please note that Mid-Week Seniors & 18-29 (Drifters) do receive slightly different benefits.

Still have more questions? Visit our FAQ page or feel free to reach out to us via e-mail or over the phone at 717-328-9400 Ext. 3600. We are here to help you upgrade!

2 months ago

The website has been updated. Looks like it is $678 for the SnowTime with peak upgrade. In the case you bought a SnowTime pass and are eligible for the drifter pass (17-29 yo) they will be placing an $80 resort cash on your pass opposed to a refund.

 

Edit… $609 was for 65+ it looks like. Whitetail’s website seems to be off, while Liberty has things right.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop posted upgrade prices for season pass holders who want access to the other Peak Resorts mountains such as Hunter or Mt Snow. Looks like another $199 until Oct. 31, 2018 for those who already got a Snowtime season pass. There are so many options, it pays to read the FAQ. The Individual season pass for an adult is $479 until 10/31 and $579 afterwards.

Haven’t quite figured out what the idea is behind including access to the Peak Resorts locations in the midwest.  The midwest passholders have gotten some perks to entice them to drive east to Hunter, Mt. Snow, or Attitash/Wildcat during last season, but resort lodging was required.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Hmm, Hidden Valley in MO has RFID.  Wonder if that could be in Whitetail’s future?  Jiminy Peak put in RFID years ago and it allows a lot of flexibility for timed lift ticket options.

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop posted upgrade prices for season pass holders who want access to the other Peak Resorts mountains such as Hunter or Mt Snow. Looks like another $199 until Oct. 31, 2018 for those who already got a Snowtime season pass. There are so many options, it pays to read the FAQ. The Individual season pass for an adult is $479 until 10/31 and $579 afterwards.

Haven’t quite figured out what the idea is behind including access to the Peak Resorts locations in the midwest.  The midwest passholders have gotten some perks to entice them to drive east to Hunter, Mt. Snow, or Attitash/Wildcat during last season, but resort lodging was required.

For the same reason PA resorts are included in the main Peak Pass. So you have the option to ski if you happen to be in the area.

No one from the north is going to take a ski vacation down here, and even less so for the Midwest resorts. No one’s going to take a vacation to a 300 foot hill most of us would sled down. But with the pass, you could go and not resent having to pay for a lift ticket at a little hill.

ST hills are big enough to at least be on the main pass. Midwest was already on the pass before the ST buy with the same conditions, so nothing’s new there.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

superguy wrote:

ST hills are big enough to at least be on the main pass. Midwest was already on the pass before the ST buy with the same conditions, so nothing’s new there.

Didn’t realize that.  It was a surprise to me that Peak was based in the midwest because I never noticed any mention of those locations when I looked at the Peak Pass website.  Started noticing after they bought Hunter because I was driving up to Lake Placid during the winter for a few years.

2 months ago

If I knew I would get a few days up north for business travel, I might have sprung the Peak Pass.  Too risky for me at this point.

I put in a question to find out what’s happening with the Mountains of Distinction program.  It’d be nice if it were still available on the local ST passes.  I’m much more likely to take a day at 7S or HV.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

superguy wrote:

I put in a question to find out what’s happening with the Mountains of Distinction program.  It’d be nice if it were still available on the local ST passes.  I’m much more likely to take a day at 7S or HV.

Jiminy Peak updated their website for 2018-19 season passes and included this list for Mountains of Distinction.  Former Snowtime mountains are included.   I skied at Jiminy and Wachusett last season and may again this season, so look at those websites from time to time.

Vermont: Jay Peak
Massachusetts: Wachusett Mountain
New York: Ski Windham, Bristol Mountain, Holiday Valley
New Jersey: Mountain Creek
Maine: Shawnee Peak
Pennsylvania: Ski Roundtop, Ski Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs
Michigan: Crystal Mountain
Virginia: Wintergreen

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

superguy wrote:

I put in a question to find out what’s happening with the Mountains of Distinction program.  It’d be nice if it were still available on the local ST passes.  I’m much more likely to take a day at 7S or HV.

Jiminy Peak updated their website for 2018-19 season passes and included this list for Mountains of Distinction.  Former Snowtime mountains are included.   I skied at Jiminy and Wachusett last season and may again this season, so look at those websites from time to time.

Vermont: Jay Peak
Massachusetts: Wachusett Mountain
New York: Ski Windham, Bristol Mountain, Holiday Valley
New Jersey: Mountain Creek
Maine: Shawnee Peak
Pennsylvania: Ski Roundtop, Ski Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs
Michigan: Crystal Mountain
Virginia: Wintergreen

I saw that and asked Roundtop Sam if they were still in. He said that they’ll no longer be in MOD due to the Peak purchase.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

superguy wrote:

marzNC wrote:

superguy wrote:

I put in a question to find out what’s happening with the Mountains of Distinction program.  It’d be nice if it were still available on the local ST passes.  I’m much more likely to take a day at 7S or HV.

Jiminy Peak updated their website for 2018-19 season passes and included this list for Mountains of Distinction.  Former Snowtime mountains are included.   I skied at Jiminy and Wachusett last season and may again this season, so look at those websites from time to time.

Vermont: Jay Peak
Massachusetts: Wachusett Mountain
New York: Ski Windham, Bristol Mountain, Holiday Valley
New Jersey: Mountain Creek
Maine: Shawnee Peak
Pennsylvania: Ski Roundtop, Ski Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs
Michigan: Crystal Mountain
Virginia: Wintergreen

 

I saw that and asked Roundtop Sam if they were still in. He said that they’ll no longer be in MOD due to the Peak purchase.

Good to know!

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