Vail Resorts buys Whistler for over $1 billion
Vail Resorts current portfolio of ski resorts in California and Colorado includes: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Mt. Brighton, Park City and Kirkwood in USA as well as Perisher in Australia.
Last winter Park City and Canyons combined to create the largest linked ski area in the United States with over 7300 acres and 300+ runs. But Park City was still second to Whistler as the largest ski resort in North America.
This isn’t the first expansion deal of 2016 for Vail Resorts, earlier this year they announced that they had purchased Wilmot Mountain between Milwaukee and Chicago which increased their North American presence.
One of Vail Resort’s strategies is to purchase and improve ski areas near urban centres to increase visitor numbers. They are certainly doing something right - Vail Resorts stocks are up 40% in the past 12 months.
Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts comments, "Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world with an incredible history, passionate employees and a strong community. With our combined experience and expertise, together we will build upon the guest experience at Whistler Blackcomb while preserving the unique brand and character of the resort as an iconic Canadian destination for guests around the world."
"Combining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts' portfolio of outstanding resorts provides Whistler Blackcomb with increased financial strength, marketing exposure, guest relationships and broadens the geographic diversity of our company with resorts across the United States, as well as in Australia and Canada. This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb's history," said Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb's chief executive officer.
It's a very exciting time for the ski resorts in North America, in May Whistler announced it's 5-year £345 million transformation progect 'Renaissance,' which is one of the most exciting developments in the resorts history.
Vail Resorts will integrate Whistler Blackcomb into its Epic Pass for the 2017-18 ski season.
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