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Huge Vail Resorts Announcement

Conrad

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While Vail Resorts doesn't own any East Coast ski areas, I figured I would start this anyways since they are spending a lot of money. A new six pack at Vail along with moving a used triple over from Beaver Creek. Plus a new quad (not sure what kind or if it is used or brand new) at Mt. Brighton in Michigan. This combines with the already announced Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge. But new lifts aren't the only thing taking place. Millions more will be spent to improve the ski areas, especially at newly owned Michigan ski areas Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton. Thoughts?

Article
http://www.firsttracksonline.com/20...uding-10m-each-at-afton-alps-and-mt-brighton/

Lifts to be removed:
http://www.skilifts.org/old/images/resort_images/co-vail/mountaintop/mountaintop.htm
http://www.skilifts.org/old/images/resort_images/co-vail/gopherhill/gopherhill.htm

Lift to be reinstalled:
http://www.skilifts.org/old/images/resort_images/co-beavercreek/rosebowl/rosebowl.htm
 

AdironRider

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For a corporation of their size, this seems like housekeeping rather than a major announcement.

Skiing is but a portion of what Vail is known for, couple of my buddies on the street consider them a large parking company.

I must admit, picking up those midwest resorts and adding them to the Epic pass on paper looks like a genius move. Have to see the financials after the ski season to get a glimpse, but I'm willing to bet a lot of the dirt wont be made public. Could we see Vail buying up Mtn Creek sometime soon? Possibly Hunter if they ever did sell?
 

drjeff

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Considering that when I was out a Vail last week, one of their ambassadors who I was riding up Gondola One with said that they had 14,000 customers on the mountain that day (and it was a THURSDAY!!! and it didn't really even seem that crowded!!), they've got the revenue to spend that kind of $$.

Also, their 4th generation Epic Mix smartphone App sounds great! I was amazed with how cool it was! You get a picture taken by their Epic Mix photographers, and within a few seconds, it's downloaded to your smartphone. You participate in their Epic Mix racing, and practically before you've come to a stop in the finish area, your time, and how it relates to the theoretical time of Lindsey Vonn (their company pacesetter in a NASTAR style setting) is on your smartphone. The vertical of the lifts your rode, and what time you loaded the lifts (you basically ski under an EX Pass style scanner that tracks your Epic Pass just before you load a lift), if you have kids/family/friends that are linked to yuor Epic Pass, you get any of their pictures/race results/etc downloaded to your smartphone or EpicMix web page. It's really cool stuff.

If Vail Resorts someday gets into the Eastern market (and i'm guessing they will at some point), they'll likely be a game changer for what ever resort they'd acquire and also the level of competition that their Eastern competiton would have to live up to
 

drjeff

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For a corporation of their size, this seems like housekeeping rather than a major announcement.

Skiing is but a portion of what Vail is known for, couple of my buddies on the street consider them a large parking company.

I must admit, picking up those midwest resorts and adding them to the Epic pass on paper looks like a genius move. Have to see the financials after the ski season to get a glimpse, but I'm willing to bet a lot of the dirt wont be made public. Could we see Vail buying up Mtn Creek sometime soon? Possibly Hunter if they ever did sell?

It's not too much of a sceret that Intrawest would also sell of Stratton for a fair price these days. I could see that as a solid fit for Vail, as they've already got both some decent infastructure to start with AND a solid clientele base who would more than likely be interested in some pass reciprocity at their Colorado or Tahoe area properties.

It also wouldn't shock me if Vail Resorts some day took both Mountain Creek and Stratton off of Intrawest's books. My hunch though is that behind the scenes Intrawest is trying to package Snowshoe, Stratton and Mtn Creek together and get out of the Eastern US market and focus on their Western US and Canadian properties (and their debt situation). I doubt that unless Intrawest is about to go belly up, that they'd sell off Tremblant for a reasonable price, as that was really, and shoort of Whistler still is, one of their main, marquis resorts and the one that really got them off the ground
 

catskillman

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Considering that when I was out a Vail last week, one of their ambassadors who I was riding up Gondola One with said that they had 14,000 customers on the mountain that day (and it was a THURSDAY!!! and it didn't really even seem that crowded!!), they've got the revenue to spend that kind of $$.

Hunter had a 10,000 customer day, not including passholders ....., a few Sunday's ago, so a 14,000 skier day does not seem crazy for a place like Vail. Hunter however was crowded!!! Actually the mountain was not as crowded as you would expect as everyone was in lift, food and bathroom lines!!

I think a company like VR would be really change the vibe at Hunter. The mountain improvements would be great, however they would have to be paid for somehow........
 

snoseek

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meh, I'm done with Vail Resorts for awhile. Cheap passes are nice but the masses they attract aren't my cup of tea...my ski experience is worth more than a cheap pass. I don't view more people movers as an improvement, although peak 6 is much needed and will propbably improve things at breck overall.

Don't get me wrong, I can have a fun day anyday in Summit/Eagle county but honestly there's so many other places I'd rather be in colorado. Kirkwood is still a gem....you would never know they are associated at this point
 

gregnye

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And still no high speed lift in siberia bowl @ Vail! Come on! :-?

That china bowl chair gets so crowded that the traverse to the mongolia poma to mongolia bowl and back to the china chair is waaay too annoying to be practical on a powder day. They should really make a lift that goes up the ridge between siberia bowl and inner mongolia bowl. This would allow people to lap that area without putting pressure on the china chair or the long cat-track out!

Mountain top does need more capacity, I'll give them that. Perhaps they should make it an 8 passenger chair rather than a 6. Its just THAT crowded!!


Oh yah, and they should fix the drive in the Sun Up chair so that they can load every chair rather than every-other chair like they were doing when I was there.
 

ss20

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With 30 something lifts, and the first wave of HSQ's being replaced across the country, I think Vail will be replacing a lift every year for a decade.
I definitely see Vail buying something on the East Coast within the next 5 years. With the purchase of Alpine? Afton? Alps in the mid-west, it seems Vail wants to purchase mountains that are small enough so they don't need new lifts every year, but have a high density of skiers in the area. Hmmmm, where can you find that? My guess, a mountain 2 hours or less from NYC (or maybe even Boston) that has a good reputation. Candidates: Mountain Creek and Stratton are the most probable. I would also throw in Okemo, I've heard they haven't been doing to good over there the last few years. I'm sure it'd sell for a decent price. Greek Peak? Small CT or NJ mountain? It'd be awesome if they bought Killington, but that probably won't happen. Vail would easily pump in enough money to get the season to go till June.
 

ERJ-145CA

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Mountain Creek was sold off by Intrawest a couple of years ago to the owners of the local golf resorts an spas in the area (who also happened to be who Intrawest bought MC from). So the area around MC is one big mega resort with skiing, golf, spas and a waterpark.
 

deadheadskier

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It's not too much of a sceret that Intrawest would also sell of Stratton for a fair price these days. I could see that as a solid fit for Vail, as they've already got both some decent infastructure to start with AND a solid clientele base who would more than likely be interested in some pass reciprocity at their Colorado or Tahoe area properties.

It also wouldn't shock me if Vail Resorts some day took both Mountain Creek and Stratton off of Intrawest's books. My hunch though is that behind the scenes Intrawest is trying to package Snowshoe, Stratton and Mtn Creek together and get out of the Eastern US market and focus on their Western US and Canadian properties (and their debt situation). I doubt that unless Intrawest is about to go belly up, that they'd sell off Tremblant for a reasonable price, as that was really, and shoort of Whistler still is, one of their main, marquis resorts and the one that really got them off the ground

Stratton certainly would make a lot of sense. It's got a high income clientele and a well developed mountain that really doesn't need much investment. Well, except for the Snow bowl Quad needing to be a HSQ and moving the Shooting Star lift over to the Old Kidderbrook liftline. That Shooting Star lift might be the most ill-conceived chairlift in New England.

Expand the mid-mountain lodge and add a small summit lodge and I'd say Stratton would be complete as far as it's ski facilities.
 

ss20

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To add on to deadheadskier, give the gondola some new cabins! Or at least make it a max of 8 people per cabin! 12 just sucks!
 

Conrad

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Considering that when I was out a Vail last week, one of their ambassadors who I was riding up Gondola One with said that they had 14,000 customers on the mountain that day (and it was a THURSDAY!!! and it didn't really even seem that crowded!!), they've got the revenue to spend that kind of $$.

Wow, that's pretty crazy if they get 14,000 people a day. If that just includes day ticket holders and the average person pays $109 (I know it's higher), that translates to $1.5 million in revenue!
 

deadheadskier

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Wow, that's pretty crazy if they get 14,000 people a day. If that just includes day ticket holders and the average person pays $109 (I know it's higher), that translates to $1.5 million in revenue!

14K actually isn't a huge amount of people for a resort Vail's size. I'm pretty sure Sunday River will do close to that on a busier Saturday and it's only about a tenth the size of Vail. I know Okemo hits 14K on busy days and Okemo and Sunday River have pretty comparable skier visit totals.
 

goldsbar

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Possibly Hunter if they ever did sell?

I have no idea what the Hunter real estate situation is like (or how those nearby condos? are doing), but with the amount of money nearby in NYC, one would think it could really take off if they spruced it up a bit and somehow (there have been plans) got more intermediate runs off the top.
 

drjeff

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Wow, that's pretty crazy if they get 14,000 people a day. If that just includes day ticket holders and the average person pays $109 (I know it's higher), that translates to $1.5 million in revenue!

And like I said in my original post, that 14k was on a THURSDAY!!! And historically the week I was at Vail was a slow week!!(after Pres Week but before March spring break weeks!!)

2 days later as my family and I were driving from where we stayed in Beaver Creek on down to Denver International to fly home, there was literally 20 miles of bumper to bumper traffic from the Eisenhower Tunnel on back towards the foothills on the outskirts of Denver of folks trying to get to Summit County to ski!!
 
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