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WJenness

Vail's world dominance tour, next stop: Peaks Resorts

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I am guessing Ikon add Windham to match Hunter. I am surprised Windham is still independent. Maybe Belleayre will join Ikon, they could use the publicity, but would probably drive less traffic to other Ikon resorts.

I know Vail is not stingy with the new lifts, so I guess the Attitash Summit Chair and Mount Snow Sun Brook will not last much longer.

I also suspect Lift ticket prices will rise faster.

 

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Out of all of the hem the Summit really needs to be prioritized to #1

I am guessing Ikon add Windham to match Hunter. I am surprised Windham is still independent. Maybe Belleayre will join Ikon, they could use the publicity, but would probably drive less traffic to other Ikon resorts.
I know Vail is not stingy with the new lifts, so I guess the Attitash Summit Chair and Mount Snow Sun Brook will not last much longer.
I also suspect Lift ticket prices will rise faster.
 


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Someone on another forum asked if this means "No more Sacklers".

My response:

Quote

It means they probably just more than doubled whatever money they had invested into Peaks. Vail is buying out everything at $11/share, what I can see online says the Sacklers acquired their shares on 11/21/2018. Ticker prices that day range between $5.03 and $5.07... Depending on who they acquired it from and how, that price may not even be in the ballpark of what they spent, but it gives you a good idea.

So, yeah, they're gone from the ski business, but they're laughing their asses off all the way to the bank.

Back of envelope math:

Total outstanding Peaks resorts shares: 15,166,000
Sacklers own 53%: approx 8,037,980 shares
Assume a $5.05/share buy in: $40,591,799
Selling at $11/share: $88,417,780

Profit (before taxes, fees, etc.): $47,825,981

 

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"Vail Resorts' annual ongoing capital expenditures are expected to increase by $10 million to support the addition of the Peak Resorts ski areas. After closing of the transaction, Vail Resorts plans to invest approximately $15 millionover the next two years in one-time capital spending to elevate the guest experience at these resorts." 

I hope they have a nest egg for lifts too

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21 minutes ago, Infinite Dreams said:

"Vail Resorts' annual ongoing capital expenditures are expected to increase by $10 million to support the addition of the Peak Resorts ski areas. After closing of the transaction, Vail Resorts plans to invest approximately $15 millionover the next two years in one-time capital spending to elevate the guest experience at these resorts." 

I hope they have a nest egg for lifts too

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It's going to take a lot of money to bring up Peak Resorts properties to the Vail Experience. Lodge renovations all around. I'd have to assume a new Attitash Summit Triple.

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22 minutes ago, Infinite Dreams said:

Reality is they likely won't spend a ton of money in NH, just like Peaks. But I cannot imagine the summit lift sticking around much longer. I hope they realize the infrastructure needs to function to make money

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"Sorry, our east coast resorts are broken.

Here's a 20% off voucher for lodging at any of our west coast / Rockies properties.

Good this week only."

 

Edited by WJenness
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It's going to take a lot of money to bring up Peak Resorts properties to the Vail Experience. Lodge renovations all around. I'd have to assume a new Attitash Summit Triple.
Tash triple replacement with a HSQ would have to be major $$. Probably in the $8M range because of the Yankee. I would think once they had some engineers look at it, they'd likely realign the Yankee. I wonder if you could even pull a permit for the crossing and shared tower anymore.

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I'm having a hard time coming to terms with this. Everything changes. Attitash definitely changes for the better. I'm not so sure about Wildcat. I can't imagine what the Cat is like under Vail administration.

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3 hours ago, Weatherman said:

I'm having a hard time coming to terms with this. Everything changes. Attitash definitely changes for the better. I'm not so sure about Wildcat. I can't imagine what the Cat is like under Vail administration.

How things changed for the three small mountains in the midwest after being purchases by VR may provide some insight.  Very different from a purchase like W-B.

https://www.powder.com/stories/vail-bought-hometown-hill-heres-happened/ - 2018

https://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/ct-wilmot-renovations-travel-0327-20160310-story.html - 2016

https://www.livingstondaily.com/story/news/local/community/genoa-township/2018/12/06/mt-brighton-ski-and-snowboard-area-opens-saturday-genoa-township-vail-resorts/2206469002/ - 2018

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6 hours ago, deadheadskier said:

Tash triple replacement with a HSQ would have to be major $$. Probably in the $8M range because of the Yankee. I would think once they had some engineers look at it, they'd likely realign the Yankee. I wonder if you could even pull a permit for the crossing and shared tower anymore.

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Please, crossovers while not the norm are not as uncommon as you think.  Go out to Mammoth, Panorama Gondola and Unbound HSQ share a tower or two.  Sunday River's new T-Bar will be sharing a tower with the Locke Triple from what we are hearing.  No way will it cost $8 million for a summit HSQ just because of one shared tower.

 

With that said, Vail has yet to invest any $$ in lifts not already ordered by the previous ownership in the East.  What makes anyone think they will be quick to do so at the newly acquired ones?

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47 minutes ago, Machski said:

Please, crossovers while not the norm are not as uncommon as you think.  Go out to Mammoth, Panorama Gondola and Unbound HSQ share a tower or two.  Sunday River's new T-Bar will be sharing a tower with the Locke Triple from what we are hearing.  No way will it cost $8 million for a summit HSQ just because of one shared tower.

 

With that said, Vail has yet to invest any $$ in lifts not already ordered by the previous ownership in the East.  What makes anyone think they will be quick to do so at the newly acquired ones?

Stowe and Okemo started with much better lifts then Attitash. Mount Snow, is super crowded so there is a lot of utility in more capacity. Attitash has little choice but to install a faster Summit lift. How many days did there summit lift run?

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Please, crossovers while not the norm are not as uncommon as you think.  Go out to Mammoth, Panorama Gondola and Unbound HSQ share a tower or two.  Sunday River's new T-Bar will be sharing a tower with the Locke Triple from what we are hearing.  No way will it cost $8 million for a summit HSQ just because of one shared tower.
 
With that said, Vail has yet to invest any $$ in lifts not already ordered by the previous ownership in the East.  What makes anyone think they will be quick to do so at the newly acquired ones?
You might be right about the crossover fact. The price? I dunno. Stowe installed the Forerunner 7 years ago now at a cost of $6M. Attitash lift would be of similar length to the Forerunner and more complicated because of the crossover. It might also require some line widening during the stretch immediately above the Yankee. Factor all that, inflation and both major lift companies saying they are short on help and I would not be surprised if that lift costs closer to $8M.

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11 hours ago, Infinite Dreams said:

Wow best of both worlds. I bought Epic passes for the family in April, fully expecting to boycott the lack of investment in Attitash's triple. Guess I can still ski Wildcat and the kids still get to ski Mt Snow.

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What was the early price for the epic pass? Could you use it in the spring?

Trying to determine whether to upgrade from peaks to epic, only $70 each for my wife and I but over $300 for my older daughter. Basically a $450 family pass to sunapee. We may go to colorado next spring but I am assuming next years pass would cover april.

I was mixed on the aquisition earlier today but talked myself into it as day progressed. Living in the lakes region of nh, roughly half way between wildcat and crotched, peaks owned the majority of our ski budget. Only difference now is sunapee adds another local option plus Breckenridge is a viable alternative to killington for april vacation week. Only major concern is that i suspect we have seen the last lift served october turns at wildcat - it will suck but I will hunt for deals at k and sr.

Edited by thebigo

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6 hours ago, Benski said:

Stowe and Okemo started with much better lifts then Attitash. Mount Snow, is super crowded so there is a lot of utility in more capacity. Attitash has little choice but to install a faster Summit lift. How many days did there summit lift run?

I would tend to agree on Okemo but not Stowe.  Forerunner should have been replaced from the old original HSQ to a HSS so I do not believe from a capacity standpoint Stowe's main mountain lift system is all that good.  And the lookout double, well that had a nice rope evac this past season that lasted hours.

Maybe that is the solution for Attitash and Stowe.  Take down the Forerunner and move it to Attitash and put a HSS up at Stowe.  Okemo/Sunapee did a similar swap for the Sunburst 6 and Sun Bowl.  I still doubt you see anything get done before next year, probably longer if the Summit Triple at Attitash functions reliably this season.

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I'm really interested to see how the rest of the non-conglomerate ski areas respond to this.    Full Epic Pass = $939, Epic Local = $699.  Full Ikon = $1049, Ikon Base = $749.    How can places like Waterville, Cannon, BW, or Jay justify their single mountain pass prices (approx $988, $829, $999, and $849 respectively)??  The small combo passes like White Mountain Superpass (>$1,000) and Jay/Burke ($1,009) are even worse .   They are going to have to either drop their pass prices significantly, join a much larger combo-pass, come up with something else innovative, or get crushed!  What's it going to be?

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4 minutes ago, Cannonballer said:

I'm really interested to see how the rest of the non-conglomerate ski areas respond to this.    Full Epic Pass = $939, Epic Local = $699.  Full Ikon = $1049, Ikon Base = $749.    How can places like Waterville, Cannon, BW, or Jay justify their single mountain pass prices (approx $988, $829, $999, and $849 respectively)??  The small combo passes like White Mountain Superpass (>$1,000) and Jay/Burke ($1,009) are even worse .   They are going to have to either drop their pass prices significantly, join a much larger combo-pass, come up with something else innovative, or get crushed!  What's it going to be?

It certainly puts pressure on the independent mountains. There's only so low they can go though in order to remain profitable. Very difficult to compete head to head on pass prices with the likes of Epic since their prices are artificially low simply due to the volume of pass sales they can generate. Not sure what the answer is. It will be interesting to watch what happens though over the next few years.

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2 hours ago, Cannonballer said:

I'm really interested to see how the rest of the non-conglomerate ski areas respond to this.    Full Epic Pass = $939, Epic Local = $699.  Full Ikon = $1049, Ikon Base = $749.    How can places like Waterville, Cannon, BW, or Jay justify their single mountain pass prices (approx $988, $829, $999, and $849 respectively)??  The small combo passes like White Mountain Superpass (>$1,000) and Jay/Burke ($1,009) are even worse .   They are going to have to either drop their pass prices significantly, join a much larger combo-pass, come up with something else innovative, or get crushed!  What's it going to be?

We've been saying this for awhile now though. The WMSP hasn't looked like a good deal, maybe ever, but especially since Peaks. It held up through MAX and I bet it will hold up through Epic now too.

I feel like people are going to spend about the same amount of money on a season pass. The niche that buys Jay/Burke and the WMSP aren't really swayed by cheaper or similarly priced "better" offerings. That is my guess at least. They are going to ski Jay, or they are going to ski WV/BW/Cannon. $1000 is "reasonable" thinking about just the history of that pass and those mountains; what is happening elsewhere in the industry, even next door, doesn't appear to matter.

Edited by Jully

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6 minutes ago, Jully said:

We've been saying this for awhile now though. The WMSP hasn't looked like a good deal, maybe ever, but especially since Peaks. It held up through MAX and I bet it will hold up through Epic now too.

I feel like people are going to spend about the same amount of money on a season pass. The niche that buys Jay/Burke and the WMSP aren't really swayed by cheaper or similarly priced "better" offerings. That is my guess at least. They are going to ski Jay, or they are going to ski WV/BW/Cannon. $1000 is "reasonable" thinking about just the history of that pass and those mountains; what is happening elsewhere in the industry, even next door, doesn't appear to matter.

I don't know that the fundamentals of the WMSP really change. The net result for the NH skier is a $70 price increased ($630 to $700), and added benefit of Sunapee. The Super Pass still offers a better variety in the White Mountains. The other part that could alter the value is if Vail actually fixes Attitash. Imagine Attitash with a functional high speed lift and roofs that don't leak.

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2 hours ago, Jully said:

We've been saying this for awhile now though. The WMSP hasn't looked like a good deal, maybe ever, but especially since Peaks. It held up through MAX and I bet it will hold up through Epic now too.

I feel like people are going to spend about the same amount of money on a season pass. The niche that buys Jay/Burke and the WMSP aren't really swayed by cheaper or similarly priced "better" offerings. That is my guess at least. They are going to ski Jay, or they are going to ski WV/BW/Cannon. $1000 is "reasonable" thinking about just the history of that pass and those mountains; what is happening elsewhere in the industry, even next door, doesn't appear to matter.

All true.  But I think WMSP and single-mountain passes only manage to hold up for people who don't have a choice.  I.e. they live near, or have a 2nd home near those mountains, or some other factor that keeps them there (kids in a race program, etc).  But for people who have the ability to shop around and choose their locations these big multi-passes will drawn them away.  

Myself as an example:  I have a home in Lincoln, NH and I like to ski Cannon.  So I'm kinda stuck buying a pass there.  But as Ikon becomes an every more appealing pass based out of Loon, and as Epic takes over the MWV with Peak, I can easily imagine a scenario where one of them wins me over.  If I didn't own in Lincoln and were making the drive from MA every weekend I'd probably make the switch this year to Epic.   

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5 hours ago, cdskier said:

It certainly puts pressure on the independent mountains. There's only so low they can go though in order to remain profitable. Very difficult to compete head to head on pass prices with the likes of Epic since their prices are artificially low simply due to the volume of pass sales they can generate. Not sure what the answer is. It will be interesting to watch what happens though over the next few years.

But with an ever growing portfolio, Vail is going to be hard pressed to make resort infrastructure investment capital stretch over all their areas.  Vail has shown zero interest in upgrading lifts at it's New England resorts it has owned (granted, it sounds as though the planning for West Bowl at Sunapee is progressing though groundbreaking is not imminent).  They did jump on upgrading lifts this summer at recently acquired Stevens Pass in WA but with Crystal fully Ikon, they had to as Steven's lift system is aged compared to Crystal.  We all agree probably the most pressing lift upgrade is the Attitash Summit Triple.  If Vail is going to invest, that should be target one and penned in for next summer.  Time will tell.

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8 hours ago, Cannonballer said:

I'm really interested to see how the rest of the non-conglomerate ski areas respond to this.    Full Epic Pass = $939, Epic Local = $699.  Full Ikon = $1049, Ikon Base = $749.    How can places like Waterville, Cannon, BW, or Jay justify their single mountain pass prices (approx $988, $829, $999, and $849 respectively)??  The small combo passes like White Mountain Superpass (>$1,000) and Jay/Burke ($1,009) are even worse .   They are going to have to either drop their pass prices significantly, join a much larger combo-pass, come up with something else innovative, or get crushed!  What's it going to be?

I don't think Jay needs to worry... the place is as crowded as ever. How much does adding Peaks areas hurt Jay? Different demographics. I'd be in for Epic or Ikon if either took over Jay. But I hopeful it stays independent. Jay has a great culture and I fear Epic or Ikon ownership would cripple part of what makes the mountain great.

Cannon has been keeping pass prices lower lately and they seem to be increasing guest numbers (or at least it has felt that way to me in recent years). I think they'll be okay. I actually went in for NH state pass which is my first time ever having a Cannon pass despite the area being nearly my most skied mountain (just a few days behind Jay).

Waterville had issues before the mega pass wars so I think it could definitely hurt them more than most. I think Bretton will be fine, they aren't hurting for numbers. The biggest loser could be Ikon in a zero sum game for those that want multi-mountain passes.

For the multi-passes, Jay/Burke isn't really a multi-pass. It is a Jay pass with a Burke add on for those that are interested. That is how I see it any ways. WMSP has never made financial sense, how many of those are actually sold? B&B for Cannon/Bretton has always been a good value for mid-week skiers, that pass is cheap enough for those into that type of combo. Freedom Pass is in an entirely different market, no impact for them at all I don't think. 

Regarding the Attitash summit lift, can Epic cannibalize lifts at any of their other mountains? Do they have any new lifts that could result in sending an older lift in good condition to Attitash?

Edited by thesnowway

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