The $1.5 billion deal that has Aspen Skiing Co. and a private equity firm
buying Intrawest Resort Holdings rocked the ski industry when the announcement came on Monday. But, the acquisition of the mountain resort and adventure company won’t change how SkiCo operates at home.
Intrawest owns or operates six resorts, including ones in Steamboat and Winter Park, as well as in West Virginia, Vermont and Quebec.
The purchase comes during a time in the industry where consolidation is commonplace. And with skier numbers stagnant in the last decade, SkiCo is looking to increase its market share.
Mike Kaplan is CEO and president of SkiCo. He explained the company can no longer rely on repetitive business.
“Customer behavior has changed a bit," he said. "People like to move around and sample other places, and so in looking at that trend we felt like if we got involved with other resorts we could better serve our customers and offer them more options in the form of new technology and things like that that come out of working together.”
Both Intrawest and SkiCo offer multi-resort passes separately, and there will be no joint deals in the
SkiCo and KSL Capital Partners set up separate companies that will own and operate Intrawest. The deal is supposed to be completed this fall.
SkiCo and KSL, along with East West Partners, joined up late last year when they bought the property in Snowmass’ Base Village. It was SkiCo and Intrawest that originally planned to develop Base Village, but they sold the land to Related Cos. about a decade ago for nearly $170 million. Then, last fall, the partnership group bought it back for just over $56 million. SkiCo plans to break ground on a Limelight Hotel this spring, finally bringing some life to the dormant base area.