This past week the new Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners alliance acquired the Eastern Sierra’s Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, giving the partnership more than 6,000 acres of southern California ski terrain across four resorts that host more than 2 million visits a year. No price has been announced yet but in 2005 the resort traded hands for $365 million. This is just two days after the announcement that Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners were buying Intrawest Resort Holdings for $1.5 billion which included Steamboat and Winter Park, which gives them an additional 10 new ski areas to add to their rich roster, which includes Aspen Snowmass and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
A new multi-resort pass for Aspen Skiing Company and KSL looks very promising. Maybe not for 2017-2018, but a ski pass rivaling the $869 Epic Pass for 2018-2019 seems certain. Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass offers unlimited skiing at more than 40,000 acres spread across 11 major resorts in Colorado, California, Utah, Vermont and British Columbia not counting three urban resorts in the Midwest. A pass offered by Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners would offer skiing on more than 25,000 acres spread across 15 resorts in four states and Canada. In the resort industry, it’s becoming apparent that the season pass revenue is the proven financial engine, as shown by Vail Resorts which sold more than 650,000 Epic Pass this past year.
There is a lot of speculation that there will be future acquisitions by Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners before the winter of 2017/2018. Many believe it will be based largely on geographic battles with climate change in mind.