Summer 2017 Resort Upgrades - Page 6

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  1. #51
    Edd's Avatar
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    The lodging at Sugarloaf has become kind of a bum out for me, mostly. You need 6-10 people to get anything remotely decent. Anything less is extremely dated.


  2. #52
    It's remarkable that Sugarloaf hasn't built new lodging. They seemed to be borrowing and building a lot more in the 70's and 80's when the cost of capital was much higher. I work in restructuring and Hertz seemed to be a likely candidate for bankruptcy-- instead they recently borrowed $1.2 billion at 7.625% (!) to refinance a company that was levered 12.5x Total Debt / 2017E EBITDA (normal leverage would be maybe 4x). Ski resorts should be borrowing and building right now while money is cheap, because in a few years that might not be the case. This OpCo / PropCo structure that Boyne and others are using where REITs own the real estate and charge rent while operators try to eek out a thin margin causes both sides to be too conservative. The outcome is that resorts are more stable and surviving but they are not developing as fast as they used to... and skiers are riding lifts that should have been replaced decades ago and not enjoying the amenities that they are paying for but not receiving.

  3. #53
    I don't think the market is there for more slopeside lodging at Sugarloaf. They already have a ton of it. There are always a ton of units for sale at very reasonable prices that just aren't selling quickly. This is the slow season for ski property sales and there are 89 on the market, many for a long time and very few either pending or with contracts.

    http://www.beangroup.com/Search/ME/C.../v_galaryView/

    The only way the situation changes is if HOAs put pressure on current owners to renovate their properties more if they wish to be in the rental pool. Most owners right now are reluctant to invest much in their properties because perhaps more than any other Eastern ski area, those properties sit dormant for the vast majority of the year. Sugarloaf is an absolute ghost town in summer and that's unlikely to change. Maine summers are all about the lakes and ocean. Summer vacationers looking for a mountain experience will turn to the Whites or the Greens over Carrabasset Valley.

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  4. #54
    Edd's Avatar
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    Summer 2017 Resort Upgrades

    This place, close to Sugarloaf, has been recommended to me. Anyone try it before? This is the tentative plan on my next trip.

    http://m.nestlewoodinn.com/?url=http...le.com%2F#2685

  5. #55
    I'd also add that banks aren't lending to ski areas freely like they did 20 years ago. That's why you are seeing REIT ownerships with leasing or EB5 type programs. My father was a commercial lender in Boston during the 80s. His bank and others lended to ski areas all the time back then, but slowed way down in the 90s and my understanding is that's still the case today. It is a flat industry. Too much risk for default, so I'm sure if banks are willing to lend it is at interest rates that the ski area owners are reluctant to take on.

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  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by xlr8r View Post
    I bet when the time comes to upgrade the Gondola at Loon that they basically refurbish it instead of replace it. This would mainly be the replacement of all grips, sheaves, and replace the chain cadence system with tires. This has been done recently at Northstar and is taking place this summer at Steamboat. Boyne seems to be as cheap as possible when it comes to lifts these days so this would be the cheapest option to get another 20 years out of the gondola. The cabins unfortunately would probably remain as small as they are. The towers I have no idea if they need replacing or not considering most are 50 years old.

    I wish they would replace it with a 8 passenger gondola to help with the lines. The current 4 passenger cabins make the loon gondola one of the lowest capacity lifts in New England, save for maybe the single at MRG. I do not see it ever getting replaced with a chair as the base of the lift in its big barn really cannot be moved. There is no runout coming into the Octagon base, so there is no place to move the base of the lift out of the barn. The barn really cannot be removed as it is a section of the base lodge. I guess theoretically they could put a chair coming out of the barn, but it would be weird and require lots of snow moving constantly.

    Loon as it is though has a lot of possible additions and improvements outside of the gondola, its just a shame Boyne does not invest any more money besides snowmaking. The new beginner area at South Peak is needed and is already approved for construction for a couple years now. The current beginner area is rather lacking. This would add another proper base lodge as the Pemi base is still just a tent 10 years after South Peak opened. Originally hotel or condo lodging was supposed to be built at the location of the Pemi base, but that obviously has not been built. Also there is still just a tent for overflow seating at the Governors base that has been there for 10 years. It would be nice if they built a proper addition onto the Governors lodge to get rid of the tent.

    So while Sugarloaf might look neglected in comparison, there is still a lot of things Boyne should do at Loon if the would invest more capital.
    If they redo the gondola on the cheap, maybe they look to upgrade the seven brothers chair at some point to move people out of the base faster?

    You make a good point about the barn and lack of real estate for people to line up for a chair with skis on.

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  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    This place, close to Sugarloaf, has been recommended to me. Anyone try it before? This is the tentative plan on my next trip.

    http://m.nestlewoodinn.com/?url=http...le.com%2F#2685
    Looks like a great option, especially if it has shuttle pick-up and drop-off. Stumbling distance from the Rack as well. A long stumble, but doable

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  8. #58
    Edd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    You make a good point about the barn and lack of real estate for people to line up for a chair with skis on.

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    That sucks big-time. I'd never considered it before but they appear to have boxed themselves in with that setup. I'd hope that there's a genius way around it but probably not.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    I don't think the market is there for more slopeside lodging at Sugarloaf. They already have a ton of it. There are always a ton of units for sale at very reasonable prices that just aren't selling quickly. This is the slow season for ski property sales and there are 89 on the market, many for a long time and very few either pending or with contracts.

    http://www.beangroup.com/Search/ME/C.../v_galaryView/

    The only way the situation changes is if HOAs put pressure on current owners to renovate their properties more if they wish to be in the rental pool. Most owners right now are reluctant to invest much in their properties because perhaps more than any other Eastern ski area, those properties sit dormant for the vast majority of the year. Sugarloaf is an absolute ghost town in summer and that's unlikely to change. Maine summers are all about the lakes and ocean. Summer vacationers looking for a mountain experience will turn to the Whites or the Greens over Carrabasset Valley.

    Sent from my XT1565 using AlpineZone mobile app
    I forgot how ridiculously cheap sugarloaf condos were to buy. The issue Edd raised though I agree with though for renters. A lot of places, especially bigger resorts, have a cheaper lodging option for 2 people or so on site. The non-condo options are the hotels which are rather expensive if you're trying to be frugal.

  10. #60

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    I also wonder what the association fees are for these condos at Sugarloaf. That is the problem that I am finding with Stowe condo's. The association fees are way to high.

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