Vail Resorts will acquire 100% of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings, paying shareholders $676m (CAD) in cash and $715m in stock.
In a deal worth nearly $1.4bn (CAD), Colorado based Vail Resorts have announced today that they enter into a ‘strategic business combination’ with the Canadian resort Whistler Blackcomb, regarded as the biggest and best ski resort in North America and venue to many of the Vancouver Olympics events.We’d pay $1.4bn to ski snow like this today too…
Whistler Blackcomb CEO Dave Brownlie will continue leading Whistler as COO in addition to joining the senior leadership team of Vail Resorts’ mountain division. In his opinion: “This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history.”
Rob Katz, chairman and CEO at Vail Resorts added: “Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world with an incredible history, passionate employees and a strong community. With our combined experience and expertise, together we will build upon the guest experience at Whistler Blackcomb while preserving the unique brand and character of the resort as an iconic Canadian destination for guests around the world.”
Whistler is one of the most highly regarded mountain resorts in North America, rated for its excellent skiing in winter and mountain biking in summer. Located in BC’s coastal mountains near Vancouver, its 8000+ acres of terrain hold over 200 ski trails, 14 alpine bowls and three glaciers. The resort receives on average more than 465 inches (1,180 centimeters) of snow annually, and offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America. The Renaissance Project will add new weather independent four season activities to the mix.
Vail Resorts is one of the leading resort operators in North America, operating nine mountain resorts and two urban ski areas: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. They have committed to support Master Development Agreements with the local Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, continue local Canadian leadership, maintain local employment, and further develop community and environmental sustainability efforts.
The deal is set to conclude in the Autumn, and will have no effect on season pass prices for 2016/17. However, Vail Resorts intend to include Whistler Backcomb in their Epic Season Pass for winter 2017/18.