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Waterville Valley, NH up for sale again....

rockisland

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From some good sources over the 4th of July weekend we heard that WV is once again up for sale with potentially two different groups involved in bidding.

Anyone hear anything different or have more info?
 

deadheadskier

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It does. Total speculation here...
1. Buy resort
2. Use political connections to get large expansion approved
3. Don't actually want to pay to build approved expansion
4. Sell high on the back of a strong previous season and with a binder full of permits to build new stuff.

If this is true, then that's a real shame for Waterville skiers. I'd especially be concerned if new ownership is not in place by next season because if the mountain is on the market, how much is current ownership going to be willing to invest operationally regarding snowmaking/grooming etc. for the 2013-14 season?
 

ss20

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Potential buyers?
Boyne? Gives them a large grasp on the northeast-northeast.
Peaks? Expanding there NH market could lead to a "locals only" NH pass and further cement them into the northeast skiing market.
Anyone else that's a contender?
 

deadheadskier

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I maybe wrong, but I wouldn't think Boyne or Peaks would have the resources to "buy" Waterville. Both companies seem to more in the resort operations business these days as opposed to owning it.CNL would seem to make the most sense to me with them leasing the resort operations out.

I'm not sure how attractive WV would be to operate for either Boyne or Peaks with it's current facilities and business levels. There would need to a massive commitment by Peaks to develop Real Estate and terrain to increase skier visits and bring Waterville in line with the competition. Even at that, does owning WV cannibalize Boyne's Loon operation? Would WV cannibalize Peaks' Attitash and Wildcat business? I would think whoever took it over would be looking to siphon skier visits from all of those areas.

Okemo leasing it might make some sense. A combo Sunapee / Waterville pass at a decent price point would be compelling to the family skiing demographic in Metro Boston; then add in a bigger pass including Okemo with discounts available at Crested Butte for a western option. All three mountains seem to be going after that same demographic of groomer loving intermediate level skiers. Might work.
 

thetrailboss

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I maybe wrong, but I wouldn't think Boyne or Peaks would have the resources to "buy" Waterville. Both companies seem to more in the resort operations business these days as opposed to owning it.CNL would seem to make the most sense to me with them leasing the resort operations out.

I'm not sure how attractive WV would be to operate for either Boyne or Peaks with it's current facilities and business levels. There would need to a massive commitment by Peaks to develop Real Estate and terrain to increase skier visits and bring Waterville in line with the competition. Even at that, does owning WV cannibalize Boyne's Loon operation? Would WV cannibalize Peaks' Attitash and Wildcat business? I would think whoever took it over would be looking to siphon skier visits from all of those areas.

Okemo leasing it might make some sense. A combo Sunapee / Waterville pass at a decent price point would be compelling to the family skiing demographic in Metro Boston; then add in a bigger pass including Okemo with discounts available at Crested Butte for a western option. All three mountains seem to be going after that same demographic of groomer loving intermediate level skiers. Might work.

At last check CNL was getting ready to sell some of their properties and shrink their portfolio, so I don't think they are looking to buy. I would not be surprised if it were someone local and someone who we're not even thinking of or is not on the radar.

As to Triple Peaks, I don't think they are in expansion mode considering that they just did a sale/leaseback deal with CNL for Okemo and Crested Butte IIRC.
 
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ss20

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Here's a shot: Vail.

Let the eruption of conversation and debating begin....

I'd say not likely at all. Too small of a mountain for a big corporation like Vail. There are the expansion permits, but only one of those is in place. The other two are 5-10 years away. Too much risk if they don't go through. For Vail to construct those in a new, unfamiliar market is pretty unlikey too. Like becoming a quarterback for the NFL after playing Pop Warner. I can only see Vail purchasing WV to be its test resort for a larger northeast resort kingdom in future years.

As for Triple Peaks, I've heard rumors they aren't doing to well financially. And I don't get this "cannibalization". Let's say Peak buys Waterville. Does it matter if WV steals some of the customer base from Wildcat, because Peak would still be getting those profits from WV skiers.
 

bobbutts

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I think it's an attractive property to buy. Large captive market by NH standards trapped up there in that Valley. Most of the other resorts are:
Farther from Boston
Have a major competitor nearby with the same lodging base

They also are relatively lively 4 seasons and have long established popular youth/school programs.

2 quads already, good snowmaking and water source, approved gondola should increase property value
 

ss20

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Well, Vail did just buy two small ski areas in the mid-West......

Oh yeah. Forget most of my post :flame:
I remember, the "resort" that had more lifts than trails :lol:
Vail entering 2 brand new markets in the same year would be corporately insane. I think the mid-west resorts are step-ups to the East Market.

Anythings up, but I am still very doubtful of this. I say the Killington-Pico Interconnect and Village both happening within this decade are more likely than Vail buying WV.
 
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