Vail Resorts Buys Stowe for $50 Million

Vermont’s Stowe, which operates a mixed fleet of Leitner-Poma and Doppelmayr chairlifts along with two gondolas, will join the Vail Resorts family this spring.

In a move that should surprise no one, this morning Vail Resorts officially went east, agreeing to buy the mountain operations of Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont for $50 million from a subsidiary of insurance giant AIG.  The move had been rumored for months and was signed on Friday.  Stowe will join Vail Resorts’ hugely popular Epic Pass next season and will become the second mountain newly-acquired by Vail to abandon the Mountain Collective following Whistler-Blackcomb.  Like Whistler, Stowe will probably also abandon its SKIDATA RFID lift access technology in favor of the proprietary Epic system.

“We’re thrilled to add Stowe Mountain Resort to our family of world-class mountain resorts. With the investments in both mountain infrastructure and base area facilities that AIG has made over the years, Stowe Mountain Resort has become the premier, high-end resort for East Coast skiers and snowboarders. We look forward to working with AIG to continue enhancing the guest experience and to ensure the resort’s long-term success,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

Like the flagship Vail Mountain, Stowe has invested heavily in new lifts from both Doppelmayr and Leitner-Poma in recent years, adding six new lifts since 2004.  Four of those additions are located on the redeveloped Spruce Peak at Stowe.  The addition of Stowe’s eight chairlifts and two gondolas brings Vail Resorts to operate more than 260 lifts across 13 mountain resorts.  Vail has already announced four new high-speed lifts (three Leitner-Poma, one Doppelmayr) to be built at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail for next winter.  The purchase of Stowe is expected to close sometime this spring.

12 thoughts on “Vail Resorts Buys Stowe for $50 Million

  1. Ryan February 21, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Is this good news or bad?


    • Peter Landsman February 21, 2017 / 1:56 pm

      Depends who you ask. Vail is an experienced operator known for investing in infrastructure such as lifts. Unlike other multi-resort companies, MTN manages many functions from the corporate headquarters in Broomfield rather than at the resort level. As such, there will likely be layoffs.


  2. Dave Amirault February 21, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Don’t you worry about Mountain Collective, this is not a surprise to us. We’ll be making some awesome announcements on March 7th.

    Liked by 1 person

      • RMurphy February 24, 2017 / 4:49 pm

        What areas are on more than one pass? The only one’s I can think of are Crested Butte and Stevens, both on MAX and Powder Alliance. Alyeska’s already on MAX.


  3. John M. February 21, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    (Not related to post) If you ever get the chance, you should take a trip to California and get all lift pictures from Heavenly, Northstar, Squaw Valley, Mammoth, etc. I think that a lot of those resorts have some interesting and unique lifts and it would be cool to have pics of them.


    • Thomas Jett February 21, 2017 / 10:56 pm

      I can do Mammoth in March if Peter wants.


    • Peter Landsman February 21, 2017 / 11:03 pm

      I’m hoping to get out to those you listed after Jackson closes. Snow should not be an issue this spring! I just returned from Aspen and am almost finished with Colorado.


  4. Andrew Weber February 22, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    On the note of visiting different resorts, will you ever visit larger resorts in the midwest like Lutsen?


    • Peter Landsman February 23, 2017 / 2:33 pm

      Hopefully someday. Lutsen’s new gondola looks very nice.


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