Vail Resorts has agreed to purchase Peak Resorts, the publicly-traded parent company of 17 ski resorts in the northeast and midwest. The deal will more than double the number of mountains Vail operates and expand markets such as New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. for the Epic Pass. Mountains to be acquired include Mt. Snow in Vermont, Hunter Mountain in New York and Attitash in New Hampshire. Combined, Peak Resorts operates 109 aerial lifts in seven states. Vail will be up to 37 mountains in three countries with 437 lifts upon closing.
Peak itself closed on a $76 million purchase of Snow Time, Inc. less than eight months ago, yet the merger and acquisition action continues. “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 an early morning announcement. “Peak Resorts’ ski areas in the Northeast are a perfect complement to our existing resorts and together will provide a very compelling offering to our guests in New York and Boston. With this acquisition, we are also able to make a much stronger connection to guests in critical cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest and build on the success we have already seen with our strategy in Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit.” The deal must still be approved by Peak’s shareholders, which are being offered $11.00 per share. When the deal closes, Epic Pass holders will receive unlimited, unrestricted access to all 17 resorts.
Vail plans to spend approximately $15 million for one-time capital improvements over the first two years and an ongoing $10 million per year to support the Peak properties. Vail’s EBITDA is expected to increase by $60 million annually with the new additions. The transaction is expected to close in the fall.