Aspen Skiing and KSL Capital Acquire Mammoth Resorts

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Image credit: Mammoth Mountain Resorts

A pair of Colorado-based firms are heading West.

Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL Capital Partners this week announced the firms entered into an agreement to acquire Mammoth Resorts. The Southern California ski-resort properties include Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2017, pending certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition of four prized ski resorts, accessible to Southern Californians, is big news across a spectrum of industries. In addition to skiing enthusiasts, the hotel and travel industry—as well as event planners that specialize in selecting venues for intimate corporate and association meetings—is taking notice of the deal.

“Mammoth has been Southern California’s mountain home since 1948,” said Rusty Gregory, current chairman and CEO of Mammoth Resorts. “After doubling down on our offerings to Southern California with the purchase of Snow Summit and Bear Mountain in 2014…this new platform, built around a collective passion for the mountains and our commitment to the people who visit, work and live there, is exactly what the ski resort business needs.”

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Image credit: Mammoth Mountain Facebook

With more than 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, Mammoth is considered the No. 1 skiing and snowboarding destination among Southern California winter-sports enthusiasts. The area is also considered a prime destination for hikers and mountain-bikers from California, Nevada and Arizona.

Starwood Capital Group is currently the majority owner of Mammoth Resorts. Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood, said, “We had greater plans for Mammoth but the Great Recession, and then some less favorable weather, interfered with our strategic aspirations in a finite life investment vehicle.”

In addition to Mammoth, the acquisition includes Snow Summit, with 240 acres and 31 trails; Bear Mountain Resort, comprising 748 acres; and June Mountain, which offers 1,500 skiable acres and 41 trails. Mammoth Mountain is serviced by 28 lifts, including two gondolas.

Eric Resnick, CEO of KSL, offered a pragmatic assessment of the deal. “This transaction will allow the combined company to better serve Mammoth’s loyal customers while at the same time exposing these world-class resorts to a broader audience,” Resnick said.

“Mammoth is a special place,” said Mike Kaplan, CEO of Aspen Skiing Co. “The landscape is spectacular, the mountain is phenomenal and the place is in constant motion. Whether it’s the vibrant park and pipe scene, the high-quality alpine racing programs, or excellent mountain biking, Mammoth has it all.”