Just when we thought all was quiet on the season pass front, Vail Resorts announced it has entered into an acquisition agreement with Peak Resorts, Inc., owner and operator of 17 ski resorts in the East and Midwest, including Mount Snow in Vermont.
Other resorts include newly expanded Hunter Mountain, N.Y.; Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain, and Crotched Mountain, N.H.; Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, and Jack Frost Big Boulder, Pa.; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, and Mad River Mountain, Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek, Mo.; and Paoli Peaks, Ind.
Once the acquisition is finalized, these resorts located near major metropolitan areas will fall under Vail Resorts ownership, giving passholders of the 2019-’20 Epic Pass unlimited, unrestricted access to these 17 resorts, in addition to unrestricted access to the 20 resorts throughout the U.S. and Australia already included on the Epic Pass.
“We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to add such a powerful network of ski areas to our Company,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, in a press release. “The acquisition fully embodies our philosophy of Epic for Everyone, making skiing and riding more accessible to guests across the U.S. and around the world.”
Read more: Is Smugglers' Notch next?
“Vail Resorts has a proven track record of celebrating the unique identity of its resorts, while continually investing in the guest and employee experience. For this reason, we are confident that our resorts and employees will continue to thrive within the Vail Resorts network,” said Timothy Boyd, president and chief executive officer of Peak Resorts. “We are thrilled that our guests will now have access to some of the world’s most renowned resorts.”
Vail Resorts will honor and continue to sell all Peak Pass products for the upcoming season and give Peak Pass holders the option to upgrade to an Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass, currently retailing at $939 and $699 respectively, once the acquisition is finalized.
As with its other ski resort acquisitions in the past, Vail will invest significant capital in the former Peak Resorts to upgrade the guest experience, setting aside approximately $15 million in one-time spending over the next two years.
With this acquisition, Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass now includes access to 79 ski resorts worldwide. Alterra’s Ikon Pass, meanwhile, is priced at $1,049 and offers its passholders access to 39 resorts around the world. That said, the 2019-’20 ski season is still four months away—plenty of time for Alterra to counter with an acquisition move of its own.