The Jay Peak Receiver today filed a motion to enter a sale agreement with Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., a Park City-based operator of five North American ski areas. Importantly, the proposed sale process allows for bids from other companies in excess of PGRI’s $58 million offer. “The time has come for the Receiver to sell the Jay Peak Resort,” wrote Akerman LLP, the law firm appointed to oversee Jay Peak and related assets after the Securities and Exchange Commission uncovered widespread fraud. “When the Receiver took over the Jay Peak Resort in April 2016, it was on the verge of collapse having little money and making very little profit,” receiver Michael Goldberg wrote. “Now, after more than six years, the Jay Peak Resort is significantly more profitable and hundreds of jobs have been saved. The Receiver attributes this success to his top notch management team and the dedicated employees who work tirelessly to make Jay Peak one of the greatest ski resorts in the country,” The Asset Purchase Agreement does not include Burke Mountain assets, which are currently part of the same receivership.
It’s not clear how long the sale process will take but under the agreement potential bidders would have 30 days from the time the District Court approves bid procedures to submit offers. If qualified bidder(s) beyond Pacific Group emerge, a private auction would take place shortly after the bid deadline. Should another buyer prevail, Pacific Group would be paid a breakup fee of $1.25 million plus expenses from the sale proceeds. “Other parties have expressed interest in purchasing the Jay Peak Resort over the past few years, however, only Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. has been willing to submit a binding bid,” notes the motion. “The Receiver is hopeful that perhaps another bidder will surface at the auction.”
No matter who ends up with Jay Peak, the sale will certainly have season pass implications. Pacific Group Resorts currently operates Mt. Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island, Powderhorn Resort in Colorado, Wisp Resort in Maryland, Wintergreen Resort in Virginia and Ragged Mountain Resort in New Hampshire. None of those mountains currently participate in the Epic, Ikon or Indy multi-mountain passes. Jay Peak on the other hand is the single largest Indy Pass resort by redemptions.
After news of the potential deal surfaced, Pacific Group Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Christian Knapp tweeted “The possibility of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. purchasing Jay Peak Resort is extremely exciting and would be an incredible fit for our company, but by no means is it a done deal. Filing the APA is one more step in an extraordinarily long process that started more than 3 years ago.”