The snowball that is ski resort consolidation is still gaining size and momentum. Vail Resorts, the corporate ski resort behemoth that helped nudge that ball down the slope with their Epic Pass, which offers discounted season passes at dozens of resorts across the country, just pumped up that portfolio even more.
This week they announced the acquisition of 17 more ski areas after buying Peak Resorts in a $264 million deal. Peak operated their ski resorts in an area stretching from New England to Missouri. Vail Resorts’ move should help even more part-time skiers at smaller, regional mountains feel compelled to buy the Epic Pass. Buying the Epic Pass (($939 for adults and $489 for children) means they’re covered at home and, should the mood strike and financial circumstances allow, the pass also includes many world-class destinations overseas.
Vail Resorts picks up a couple of key areas in this deal that allow them to have a firm grip on the Northeast ski area market. Hunter Mountain, less than three hours by car from New York City, as well as Mt. Snow in southern Vermont, also not far from the NYC metro area. This added to the other Vermont properties Vail operates, Okemo and Stowe, cements their status as the biggest game in the New England and Northeast town. It’s expected that Vail Resorts will pump significant financial resources into approving and upgrading the newly acquired ski areas.
With the acquisition of Peak, Vail’s Epic Pass covers 79 resorts around the globe.
Here’s the full list of parks Vail gets from Peak:
• Hunter Mountain, NY, and Mt. Snow, VT
• Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain, and Crotched Mountain, NH
• Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, Jack Frost and Big Boulder, PA
• Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, and Mad River Mountain, OH
• Hidden Valley and Snow Creek, MO
• Paoli Peaks, IN
Photo: Attitash Mountain Resort