Aspen/KSL Venture Buys Deer Valley

The new ski empire backed by the owner of Aspen Skiing Company along with KSL Capital Partners has reached a deal to purchase Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.  The news follows the group’s combination of Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts and Squaw Valley, and brings together 13 mountains rivaling the scope of Vail Resorts.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed and it does not include Solitude, which the Deer Valley partners bought in 2015.  A new name and brand for the combined Aspen/KSL venture, currently known as Hawk Holding Company, will launch sometime this fall with a unified pass product expected to follow next spring. “Deer Valley Resort is one of the pre-eminent mountain resorts in the world and is a tremendous addition to our existing portfolio,” said David Perry, president and chief operating officer of the new ski conglomerate in a press statement. “Prior to this acquisition, we were able to offer our guests exceptional experiences throughout most of North America’s major ski regions, but we did not have a resort in Utah, a state that is renowned for great skiing and mountain town life.”

Bob Wheaton, Deer Valley’s president and general manager, noted “joining this portfolio of resorts will enable Deer Valley to build upon its outstanding traditions and further enhance our ability to provide our guests with a world class skiing experience. I look forward to working with them as we develop our vision for the future of the resort and the new company.”  The still all-but-legally nameless company’s coast to coast portfolio now includes:

  • Alpine Meadows, California
  • Bear Mountain, California
  • Blue Mountain, Ontario
  • Deer Valley, Utah
  • June Mountain, California
  • Mammoth Mountain, California
  • Snow Summit, California
  • Snowshoe, West Virginia
  • Squaw Valley, California
  • Steamboat, Colorado
  • Stratton, Vermont
  • Tremblant, Quebec
  • Winter Park, Colorado

A new 2018-19 season pass product could also include the four Aspen mountains, which are separately owned by the Crown Family.  With Ajax, Buttermilk, Highlands and Snowmass included, the pass would get you on 229 lifts in North America, exactly the same number as next year’s Epic Pass.  The acquisition of Deer Valley is expected to close by the end of the year.

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17 thoughts on “Aspen/KSL Venture Buys Deer Valley

  1. John August 21, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Hmmmmm… Changes in snowboarding ban at DV coming? … and is Solitude part of the package deal?

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    • Dhowe August 21, 2017 / 12:37 pm

      I read that solitude will stay independent. Wonder if Boyne will pick it up to create solbright?

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      • Ric August 21, 2017 / 3:08 pm

        Solitude is not included in this deal according to the Q&A included in the email DV sent out this morning.

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      • Peter Landsman August 21, 2017 / 3:32 pm

        Remember Boyne tried to buy Solitude in 2014 but financing fell through, according to John Kircher at the time.

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  2. Ryan August 21, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Good. Leave Solitude alone.

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  3. Peter Landsman August 21, 2017 / 8:11 pm

    As I’ve said before, the Mountain Collective stands to lose 43 percent of its options in 2018, M.A.X. 20 percent and RMSP+ more than 50 percent. Something’s got to give. If I worked at Liftopia, I would try and court as many of the M.A.X. resorts as possible or attempt to merge the holdouts from the two passes into one new one. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, current Mountain Collective members have until October to pull out.

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  4. Mike Turley August 21, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    RIP DV
    Corporate monopolies strangling the golden goose. Private ownership rules !

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  5. Flo August 22, 2017 / 12:49 am

    Hopefully they leave the ‘skiers only’ status alone and keep it as it is, also for limiting ticked sales on busy days! I also hope within this new giant the folks of skico have more to say on the ops side than ksl. If you look at them at squaw, what a mess…

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    • Skier August 22, 2017 / 8:37 am

      Especially compared to Deer Valley. They actually have enough lifties to run every lift every day and only shut things down if there’s an actual wind problem. Unlike squaw where half the mountain closes at the threat of a slight breeze or having to dig a few feet of snow out of the pit.

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  6. Carson August 22, 2017 / 10:23 am

    So then if you by a solitude season pass does it not have 4 deer valley passes?

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    • Peter Landsman August 22, 2017 / 10:47 am

      Nothing changes in 2017-18. Likely everything changes next spring for 2018-19.

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  7. Alex August 23, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Is there a master plan for Deer Valley published anywhere? I have seen that they have considered expanding down towards the Jordanelle reservoir. Would that be a good thing? Is there good skiing in that direction or is it more about real estate? I have only skied there one day in my life so really have no idea. Also for some reason I thought that there was going to be a lift up to the daily chutes from Empire Lodge area? Anyone know anything about that?

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      • Thomas Jett August 23, 2017 / 3:41 pm

        It looks like its been updated since then.

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    • Ric August 24, 2017 / 9:58 am

      The newer map suggests that they are concentrating on the area where they will build a new village off of state route 40 and not try to link the new village and the gondola. That really means that the gondola will mostly be used for Deer Crest residents. Assuming they have enough parking at the new base village, you could get to to top of Bald Mountain pretty quickly.

      I was looking at the GIS map for Wasatch Country and it looks like DV could also do another expansion to the peak SW of Bald Mountain. They clearly aren’t focused on that right now, but it appears to be part of the Mayflower property.

      Like

  8. Carson August 23, 2017 / 5:22 pm

    So then would Mayflower be replaced with a new lift?

    Like

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