Hey Vail, Please Don't Buy Smugglers Notch Resort (or, Houston, We Have A Stalker) - Page 3

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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss View Post
    Other than the location, next to Stowe, there is no real reason for Vail to buy Smuggs. It does not fit their equation. It needs a lot of upgrades in order to handle more people and Vail is not going to do that. As they have shown, they are interested in resorts that are in great shape and profitable as they are. Smuggs is doing fine, but I am skeptical that there is serious interest. Of course anything can happen.
    There's lots of lodging at Smuggs, more than people realize due to the fact that the mountain buildout/planning hides it quite well. This would be very appealing to Vail given Stowe lacks it.

    Some of the newer buildings higher up the Morse side named for birds are quite nice & already "Vail worthy", so to speak. Most of the older buildings at the bottom, for example, Hakone, Nordland, Birches, etc.. are in bad shape, and would need much work before the new money at Vail would ever consider staying there, but it's all cosmetic & could be "Vailed up" quite quickly. New carpeting, stainless steel appliances, replace the 1970s wood paneling with sheetrock & white paint, replace 1980s Formica with granite counter-tops etc... Wouldn't take much really.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    There's lots of lodging at Smuggs, more than people realize due to the fact that the mountain buildout/planning hides it quite well. This would be very appealing to Vail given Stowe lacks it.

    Some of the newer buildings higher up the Morse side named for birds are quite nice & already "Vail worthy", so to speak. Most of the older buildings at the bottom, for example, Hakone, Nordland, Birches, etc.. are in bad shape, and would need much work before the new money at Vail would ever consider staying there, but it's all cosmetic & could be "Vailed up" quite quickly. New carpeting, stainless steel appliances, replace the 1970s wood paneling with sheetrock & white paint, replace 1980s Formica with granite counter-tops etc... Wouldn't take much really.
    But, again, it is all at the wrong side of the Notch for most folks.

    Then again, the opportunity is there for them to have a captive audience and build up their own restaurants, shops, etc. to generate revenue. Anyone who skis at Vail's resorts knows that they make their money on these "other" services.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  3. #23
    Given the state of the ski industry these days, is there another buyer for Smuggs? Is the ski area feasible going forward given aging infrastructure? Who will spend the capital required in the future + acquisition cost?

    Vail could be a better option than eventual nelsap.

    Vail could build a tunnel interconnect from Stowe. Or a funicular + tunnel?

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss View Post
    More work would be needed than that.
    It doesn’t matter who owns it, that work is going to have to happen at some point anyways. A few people might like the place as it is but I doubt there’s enough of them to keep paying the bills. I don’t know what a day ticket cocts at Smuggs but I’m not a big fan of paying walk up prices to sit on a cold and slow chairlift all day limiting my time actually skiing.

    Those of you on here that like Smuggs as it is now, how many days did you ski there last season?

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by DoublePlanker View Post

    Vail could be a better option than eventual nelsap.
    NELSAP? Smuggs is in no danger of going NELSAP with or without acquisition. The place makes money.

    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    Those of you on here that like Smuggs as it is now, how many days did you ski there last season?
    More than you by the sound of it. Not sure where this, "Smuggs isnt financially stable" meme is coming from, but I see no indication it's remotely true. The place is relatively busy in summer too.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    NELSAP? Smuggs is in no danger of going NELSAP with or without acquisition. The place makes money.



    More than you by the sound of it. Not sure where this, "Smuggs isnt financially stable" meme is coming from, but I see no indication it's remotely true. The place is relatively busy in summer too.
    I don’t ski in the east anymore. Heck, I haven’t skied in Vermont or anywhere out east since 1993. Is it financially stable enough to eventually rebuild the infrastructure that’s getting closer to the end of its life expectancie? But seriously, how many days?

    Holy crap, I just realized it’s been 25 years since moving out west to be a ski bum. The wheel in the sky keeps on turning I guess.
    Last edited by raisingarizona; Sep 11, 2018 at 11:04 PM.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    NELSAP? Smuggs is in no danger of going NELSAP with or without acquisition. The place makes money.



    More than you by the sound of it. Not sure where this, "Smuggs isnt financially stable" meme is coming from, but I see no indication it's remotely true. The place is relatively busy in summer too.
    My cousin in Maryland has a timeshare at Smuggs that he uses in the summer for a couple weeks and always says it is quite busy. They do have a lot of all-season activities and I could easily see them turning a profit non-winter months as well. I would agree there's no indication of any financial concerns. Does that mean they have enough to replace core infrastructure when needed though? Unless someone has access to their books we simply don't know. They've been a successful business for years, so I would like to think they have some sort of long range capital improvement plan. It is highly unlikely they think their current lifts would never need to be replaced (or even that they're just planning for it to be the next guy's problem). The owner may be old, but would be really want his legacy to be that he left a mess for the future resulting in the resort failing? I can't speak for him, but I know I wouldn't want that to happen if I was the owner.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss View Post
    But, again, it is all at the wrong side of the Notch for most folks.

    Then again, the opportunity is there for them to have a captive audience and build up their own restaurants, shops, etc. to generate revenue. Anyone who skis at Vail's resorts knows that they make their money on the "other" services.
    While I agree that Smuggs is on the wrong side of the Notch as things are today, that is if you are looking at it for a weekend trip. If Vail buys Smuggs and connects it to Stowe, it creates a mega-resort unlike anything in the northeast. This makes it a destination worthy of a week long vacation, which makes the extra drive time seem not so bad. They could control the lodging and dining, and make the Smuggs side more geared towards the weekly skier, and Stowe becomes the weekend/day trip side.

  9. #29
    Most summer operations at ski areas are to lessen the losses, they don't make money in the summer. I would also be skeptical that they are turning a hefty yearly profit. From a skier perspective what gives you the inclination that they are making money? I admit I have not been to Smuggs in about 20 years but I have not heard of any large capital improvements there like many other areas (Jay & Burke excluded) have been undertaking. Usually reinvesting is a sign of profit. Unless their plan is to sell...

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I don’t ski in the east anymore. Heck, I haven’t skied in Vermont or anywhere out east since 1993. Is it financially stable enough to eventually rebuild the infrastructure that’s getting closer to the end of its life expectancie? But seriously, how many days?
    I imagine they have enough money to replace a lift should one need replacing, which doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. It's not a situation like Magic Mountain where they cant run the Black Chair (or can only run it with every other seat) so nothing is dire yet. I probably ski there anywhere from 5 to 8 days per season, though I fail to see how/why this matters.



    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    My cousin in Maryland has a timeshare at Smuggs that he uses in the summer for a couple weeks and always says it is quite busy.
    Out of curiosity, what happens to timeshare owners on these changes in ownership that we've been seeing recently, does the contract simply revert to new ownership and nothing changes?
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



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