Vail Resorts Purchases Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain

Vail Resorts’ mountain portfolio will grow to 40 with the acquisition of Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Hidden Valley Resort and Laurel Mountain in Western Pennsylvania for approximately $125 million. Combined, the three ski areas feature 15 chairlifts and 450 acres of skiable terrain. They are currently held by the Nutting family, which also owns the Pittsburgh Pirates. Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Inc. will retain select adjoining operations, including the Seven Springs Golf Course and certain real estate for potential future development.

Vail Resorts now operates eight mountains in Pennsylvania, the most of any state. “We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to add Seven Springs to our family of resorts along with Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain,” said Kirsten Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts. “As a company, we have been focused on acquiring resorts near major metropolitan areas as we know many skiers and riders build their passion for the sport close to home. These great ski areas in Pennsylvania are a perfect complement to our existing resorts, creating a much stronger connection and compelling offering to our current and future guests in Pittsburgh as well as those in other critical markets such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Cleveland.”

The transaction is expected to close this winter, however, operations at the three resorts for the 2021-22 winter season will continue normally. Vail Resorts plans to add the three resorts to select Epic Pass products for the 2022-23 season.

35 thoughts on “Vail Resorts Purchases Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain

  1. Wiley Feiger December 8, 2021 / 2:21 pm

    I do wonder whether these Vail will neglect one or two of these areas to promote one over the other given they all compete with each other.

    Like

  2. pbropetech December 8, 2021 / 3:18 pm

    Doubtful. They don’t promote Vail over BC, nor Keystone over Breck. They definitely compete with each other. Why buy three ski areas if you’re not going to try and make a go of all of them?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sam Shirley December 11, 2021 / 8:31 am

      That’s a good question, but take a look at their NH resorts. Sunapee gets all the attention while WIldcat and Attitash are severely neglected. Crotched is kind of in the middle.

      Like

      • Michael December 11, 2021 / 10:41 am

        Vail has only owned Attatish and Wildcat for 2.5 years (both dealing with Covid) and they are building a new Quad at Attatish next year. Peak Resorts owned Attatish for 12 years and Wildcat for 9 years and built ZERO lifts. Where’s the neglect?

        Like

        • Calvin December 11, 2021 / 10:57 am

          Vail is not installing a new quad at Attitash. They are installing a used quad.

          What about Vails neglect of the snowmaking system at Wildcat? The booster pumps are broken and they can’t make snow above Tomcat.

          Like

        • Calvin December 11, 2021 / 10:59 am

          Also the only reason Attitash is getting an upgrade is because Vail looks to reduce labor costs at all costs. They do not like duplicate lifts. See all the upgrades removing the double-doubles and double-triples at JF/BB.

          Like

        • Michael December 11, 2021 / 11:41 am

          “What about Vails neglect of the snowmaking system at Wildcat? The booster pumps are broken and they can’t make snow above Tomcat.”
          Don’t know about the pumps specifically, but everyone else in the Industry (including Doppelmayr who had to borrow chairs from an old lift to complete a project) is suffering from Supply Chain issues. Pumps and or parts- who knows what the availability is? Doesn’t sound like ‘neglect’ to me. I’ve been waiting 3 months for a compressor for my frigging refrigerator!

          “Also the only reason Attitash is getting an upgrade is because Vail looks to reduce labor costs”
          When every employer in the Nation is complaining about labor shortages, why wouldn’t a business want to reduce labor costs? Along with power, spare parts, maintenance, etc?

          Liked by 2 people

        • Sam Shirley December 14, 2021 / 7:11 am

          They way they operate Attitash and Wildcat is pathetic. There are no plans to replace the Summit Triple at Attitash, which is the lift which really needs to be replaced. Wildcat is still only open with one run from 2/3 of the way up the mountain. They used to always open in late October or early to mid November with 2,000 vertical.

          Like

  3. Randy December 8, 2021 / 4:18 pm

    I bet they sell off Laurel or close it down. Unless they can expand the terrain, it doesn’t make since for Vail to hold onto a smaller 1 chair area when it has 2 full resorts near it.

    Like

    • Myles Svec December 8, 2021 / 6:32 pm

      Why would they buy Laurel just to close it down? Vail is just losing money if they do so although Laurel may lose them money in the long run.

      Like

      • Utah Lost Ski Area Project December 8, 2021 / 7:53 pm

        They wouldn’t lose money by ripping out a brand new Skytrac and relocating it to a Vail property. But again, I would have thought that Vail would shut down one of Cleveland’s three ski hills and that hasn’t happened yet.

        Like

        • Michael December 9, 2021 / 4:12 pm

          It would make better economic sense to just buy a new a Skytrac lift rather than purchasing a complete ski area and ‘ripping out’ and existing lift, don’t you think?🤭

          Like

      • Utah Lost Ski Area Project December 8, 2021 / 8:01 pm

        Adding to my original comment, Vail did something similar in the past where they bought areas around Vail properties such as Meadow Mountain. They also bought ski Broadmoar and Hidden Valley, but closed them down after only a few years of owning them taking the lifts with them. I believe three out of the four Hidden Valley lifts were reinstalled at Vail proper.

        Like

        • charlie (theincsupport) December 8, 2021 / 8:41 pm

          Does Alterra do any of this? Buying a mountain, ripping the lifts out then shutting the area down? I’m not very familiar with the Ikon and Epic passes, I only have 1 corporately area near me in Schweitzer.

          Like

        • Utah Lost Ski Area Project December 9, 2021 / 7:52 am

          Boyne did, with shutting down Thunder Mountain and Walloon Hills in Michigan for the reason of eliminating competition and ripping out lifts for reinstallation at Boyne.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Anthony December 11, 2021 / 4:07 pm

          @Charlie:

          Just a note that while Schweitzer is on the Ikon Pass, it’s still family-owned. Not exactly “corporate.” Not unless somewhere like Red also counts as “corporate.”

          Like

      • Randy December 9, 2021 / 12:28 pm

        Laurel was part of the 3 area deal. All operated by the same company and sold as a group. Vail did the same thing when they purchased keystone/ Breck/ABasin from Purina. They sold off A-Basin, the smallest of the 3 with no lodging. Laurel is a 1 chair located in a state park, therefore most likely unable to expand. I don’t think Laurel makes money seeing how it’s been open off and on over the years.

        Like

        • Teri Kuhn December 9, 2021 / 4:09 pm

          Yes but laurel boasts tje highest verticle drop and lower wildcat is one of the steepest grade slopes in Pennsylvania. I would think that gives them something to ponder on. Every skier should do lower wildcat at least once

          Liked by 1 person

        • spittinmad December 10, 2021 / 8:33 am

          Pretty sure that w/o DCNR subsidies, Laurel is not economically viable. Probably only marginal w/ the subsidies.

          Like

        • Tom December 10, 2021 / 2:50 pm

          Vail I believe was required by the government to sell abasin (dept of justice).

          Like

      • spittinmad December 10, 2021 / 8:28 am

        Looks like their strategy is to make sure every skier/rider everywhere ends up with an Epic Pass product of some sort. And thus inducing more folks to fantasize they can go to Vail CO for “free” – ignoring ofc all the bank you will drop on transport, lodging, food – for the dubious privilege of being run over by someone richer than you. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

        Like

  4. SCSkier December 8, 2021 / 5:24 pm

    Would seem more likely they segment them to appeal to different crowds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Munier Salem December 8, 2021 / 5:34 pm

    Amazing how a company with roots in the Rocky Mountains is increasingly composed of major metro-area resorts. Outside of Summit and Eagle Counties there are just two Vail resorts in the Rockies: Crested Butte and Park City. Sure we see partnerships with Telluride, Sun Valley, Snow Basin, RotCR … but the strategy seems to be not to bring Mohammad to the mountains, but the mountains to Mohammad.

    Like

  6. jaytrem December 8, 2021 / 7:07 pm

    Did they really need 2 Hidden Valleys?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Utah Lost Ski Area Project December 8, 2021 / 7:55 pm

      Make it three, they used to own a Hidden Valley in Colorado. They shut it down and relocated their lifts to Vail proper.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carson December 8, 2021 / 8:25 pm

        I still to this day will never forgive vail for shutting down hidden valley

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bob Johnson December 9, 2021 / 2:35 pm

          Vail did not buy hidden valley and close it. The park service did and sold vail just the lifts. They did not want a ski resort in Estes Park. http://www.coloradoskihistory.com/lost/skiestespark.html Broadmoar they did buy a shut down for the lifts. But it was not really competition being in the Springs. It was also not financially viable. The city owned it and wanted out, probably gave them a killer deal.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Tom December 8, 2021 / 7:21 pm

    Does any one know what the annual skier visits are at seven springs ski resort?

    Like

  8. Vail Borg December 8, 2021 / 10:01 pm

    Resistance is futile – you will be assimilated

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jfoldno7 December 9, 2021 / 4:58 am

    Aa a Northeast Epic Pass holder living right outside DC, I am very excited that Vail acquired these mountains. This gives my family at least one decent decent sized resort option in under a 4 hour drive. I really enjoy Whitetail and Liberty for day trips but there were not a lot of good weekend or longer stay options unless I drove all the way up to Hunter or into Vermont.

    Like

    • spittinmad December 10, 2021 / 8:31 am

      Doubt putting Vail on the sign will increase the number of rooms available. More likely the other way.

      Like

      • jfoldno7 December 14, 2021 / 5:41 pm

        I wasn’t saying more rooms would be available, not sure where you got that impression. I’m just happy to have more resort options to visit within driving distance on the season pass I already purchased.

        Like

  10. IndySkier December 9, 2021 / 10:27 am

    At what point do the courts get involved? ASC was broken up with far less market share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anthony December 11, 2021 / 4:11 pm

      ASC wasn’t broken up due to antitrust concerns, it took on too much debt and unraveled.

      That said, Vail is *WAY* bigger than ASC ever was, and in some areas it owns effectively the entire regional ski industry. They’re certainly getting close to antitrust territory, especially in certain markets.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s