Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that it has closed on the acquisition of Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort in North Lake Tahoe, Calif., one of the premier mountain resort destinations in North America. Vail Resorts acquired the stock of the companies that operate Northstar-at-Tahoe from Booth Creek Resort Properties LLC and other sellers for total consideration of $63 million. The operations of Northstar-at-Tahoe are conducted on land owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. which will be leased to Vail Resorts under a long-term agreement. Vail Resorts now operates two mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region, also operating Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe. The Sierra-at-Tahoe resort is not part of the acquisition and will continue to be operated by Booth Creek.
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to bring Northstar-at-Tahoe into our family of world-class mountain resorts. With substantial and diverse ski terrain, a completely renovated and modern base village and outstanding guest service, Northstar-at-Tahoe has been one of the fastest growing mountain resorts over the past few years,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “We believe guests of Heavenly and Northstar will greatly appreciate the flexibility to enjoy both the north and south shores of Lake Tahoe as we introduce pass and lift tickets products that offer access to both resorts starting with this coming 2010-2011 ski season.”
Northstar is host to a new base area village featuring 35 unique shops and restaurants in more than 100,000 square feet of commercial retail space, a conference center, a 9,000-square-foot skating rink, on-site lodging, special events and more. A winter sports paradise, the mountain offers 19 lifts, 92 ski trails spread across 3,000 acres, snowmaking that covers 50 percent of the ski trails, seven terrain parks and snow sports including alpine and telemark skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing. Summer activities include mountain biking, golfing, scenic lift rides for sightseeing and hiking, fly-fishing and more. During the 2009-2010 ski season, Northstar-at-Tahoe saw more than 700,000 skier visits.
Last winter season, The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe was unveiled at mid-mountain featuring ski-in, ski-out access; mountain valet services; Manzanita, the resort’s signature restaurant created by renowned San Francisco celebrity chef Traci Des Jardins; and a 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. The year-round resort property includes 170 guest rooms, 23 private Ritz-Carlton Residences and 25 Ritz-Carlton Club fractional ownership units. The resort installed and operates the new Highlands Gondola with eight-passenger cabins, providing a direct connection between the Village at Northstar™ and The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe. Northstar also expanded and redesigned its beginner teaching area to include more of the sculpted Smart Terrain™ that the resort has successfully demonstrated helps to improve the learning curve for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
George Gillett, chief executive officer, Chris Ryman, president and chief operating officer, and Betsy Cole, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Booth Creek, will no longer have management positions at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Vail Resorts announced that Julie Maurer, vice president of marketing and sales at Booth Creek will immediately become a vice president of marketing with Vail Resorts, overseeing the marketing and sales of both Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. Vail Resorts announced that it will begin an immediate search for a new general manager of Northstar-at-Tahoe, which will include both internal and external candidates.
“I want to thank George, the Gillett family, Chris and Betsy for their vision and leadership in bringing the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort to world-class status over these past years,” said Katz. “We are incredibly excited to bring the entire Northstar team into the Vail Resorts family. They have all been responsible for one of the great success stories in the mountain resort industry today.”
Epic Season Pass:
• Epic Season Pass: The revolutionary Epic Season Pass features unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Heavenly in California/Nevada at $629 for adults and $329 for children (ages 5-12) through Nov. 7, when sales end. Epic Pass holders will now also receive unlimited, unrestricted access to Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe – eight great resorts in total for the 2010-2011 ski season.
• Epic 7-Pack: New this season, the Epic 7-Pack features seven days of unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Heavenly at $479 for adults and $239 for children through Nov. 7, when sales end. The Epic 7-Pack can now be used at Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe for the 2010-2011 ski season as well.
Northstar-at-Tahoe 2010-2011 Season Passes:
• Double Whammy Unlimited-Adult: The Double Whammy Unlimited Pass offers unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe resorts at $799 for adults. Existing pass holders will be able to exchange their Double Whammy Unlimited Pass for the Epic Season Pass ($629) and receive a refund for the difference in the price (over $100 in most cases). Moving forward, we will promote the purchase of the Adult Epic Season Pass, providing unlimited and unrestricted skiing and riding at eight resorts at a much lower price than the Adult Double Whammy Unlimited.
• Double Whammy Unlimited-Teen/Child: Offering unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Northstar and Sierra, the price of the teen ($449) and child ($119) pass will remain unchanged. Teens will have the option to upgrade to an adult Epic Season Pass. Children will have the option to upgrade to a Child Epic Season Pass or a Child Heavenly Pass.
• Double Whammy Limited: The Double Whammy Limited offers skiing and riding at Northstar all season long with 10 restricted dates and unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Sierra at $519 for adults and $299 for teens. Adult pass holders will now receive skiing and riding at Heavenly, with the same restricted dates as Northstar. Teens will have the option to upgrade to a Teen Heavenly Pass at $309.
• Double Whammy Value: The Double Whammy Value offers skiing and riding at Northstar and Sierra with some restricted dates and no access to Northstar on Saturdays between Dec. 18, 2010 and March 26, 2011. Pass holders will now also have access to Heavenly with the same restricted dates. The pass price is $419 for adults.
• Northstar Only Pass: The Northstar Only Pass offers skiing and riding at Northstar on weekdays only at $319 for adults; not valid at Heavenly.
• Sierra Only Pass: Will remain valid at Sierra; not valid at Heavenly, Northstar or other resorts.
Heavenly 2010-2011 Season Passes:
• Heavenly Pass: Ski and ride at Heavenly all season long at $379 for adults, $309 for teens and $199 for children. Some restricted dates apply. Heavenly Passes will now offer access to Northstar and Sierra with some restricted dates; not valid at Northstar on Saturdays from Dec. 18, 2010 through March 26, 2011.
Awesome news! We can now ski and ride at over 8,000 acres of terrain in Tahoe with one pass!