Intrawest sells to Aspen and KSL

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by SBrown, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Exactly....It will be interesting to see what they do with the eastern resorts. Not something they've been into. But if they are looking at an "epcipass" alternate, then adding the eastern resorts makes sense.

    Add in CMH, Club Intrawest, Sandestin Florida.....those holdings diversify things.
     
  2. coskigirl

    coskigirl Out on the slopes Skier

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    This.

    The list of skiing based holdings will include:
    Aspen
    Snowmass
    Aspen Highlands
    Buttermilk
    Steamboat
    WP (sort of)
    Tremblant
    CMH
    Stratton
    Snowshoe
    Blue
    Squaw
    Alpine Meadows
     
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  3. Bob Barnes

    Bob Barnes Getting off the lift Instructor

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    Official press release:

    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/?u...g8ymz&search=inbox&th=15b5873cd92a2b0c&cvid=1

    Aspen's CEO, Mike Kaplan, has issued a statement in-house to employees. I don't know if it's been made public, so I won't post it here, but I will say that it is encouraging. It's what you'd expect to hear, I guess, but I trust Mr. Kaplan and believe he is genuine. Here's a brief quote, consistent with the famous "Aspen idea" (that pre-existed the ski areas) and the ideals and commitments that have made Aspen so unique for a long time: "It is my hope that we can share our commitment and values-based approach alongside our new partners and continue to grow our business, offer new opportunities to employees and make the company, the sport and the lifestyle sustainable for all of us for many years to come."

    Surely much more to come!

    Best,
    Bob
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  4. Paul Lutes

    Paul Lutes Putting on skis Skier

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    ^^^^^THIS

    Seems that, although comments here and elsewhere appear to be favorable for SKiCo, not so much for KSL, at least when it comes to Squaw/Alpine.
     
  5. Eleeski

    Eleeski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I hope this means that they will go ahead and build the interconnect to Alpine (with a high wind capable design). And a pool in the Village at Squaw. Other than that, will we really feel any difference?

    Eric
     
  6. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Head First Skier

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    So... the Max Pass becomes a bit of an orphan for 18/19, heh.
     
  7. SkiNurse

    SkiNurse Spontaneous Christy Pugski Ski Tester

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    THIS is where Aspen's business model succeeds and others (even outside the skiing world...esp healthcare) fail. I call it the Disney model.

    Many years ago, my dad (who was a Raytheon man for many years), went to a team building meeting where the speaker asked: "Who do you think is your biggest competition?" Of course, the answers from the audience were the other defense industry companies: Lockheed, Martin-Marietta, Northrup. etc The speaker replied, that Disney is businesses biggest competition. That there was a reason Disney has been successful for so many years. Employees that start out as teens working at the parks, want to come back after they graduate from college. They want to make a career at Disney. The reason is, Disney puts their employees first. Happy employees make happy customers.

    More companies could learn a lesson or two from Aspen....and Disney.
     
  8. Ron

    Ron AKA Finndog Pugski Ski Tester

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    YEP! Totally agree. That's my model as well.
     
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  9. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Head First Skier

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    FIFY ;) - and yes it's spooky and implies any number of not-necessarily-pleasant things.
     
  10. Muleski

    Muleski Making fresh tracks Industry Insider

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    My suggestion is to sit back for a bit, and watch to see how this unfolds. At the same time as this is being announced, the CNL portfolio is being sold to Och-Ziff. That deal has just closed.

    KSL has been discussed as a likely buyer for many pieces of both "pies" for some time, as they have had a huge amount of cash ready to deploy. I think the number is roughly $3Bil, though I have also heard $4Bil plus on commitments.

    Aspen Skiing Co is a great operation. I am very curious to see how they become involved. The Crown family are hardly the kind of owner/investors that others are in this business. I had heard a while ago about this potential marriage. I get it....below the ownership level.

    Over the past four weeks, I have heard a lot of speculation about just how fast Och-Ziff will start to sell off various pieces of the CNL portfolio. There is at least some knowledgeable thinking that the sum of the parts may be ultimately worth a lot more than the whole.

    Same thing with the Intrawest group. It's a strange mosaic of areas. It makes little sense to me, and others to see SkiCo really interested in all of it. Steamboat, for sure.

    The KSL CEO has always been a big fan of CMH. I have also heard that the ONLY area in the East that KSL would truly be interested in is Stratton. It's because of the overall year round business, and the big village footprint. Along with the clientele.

    My advice is to not be guessing about how this competes with VR, or the next pass deals.

    Between all of the Intrawest properties and the former CNL holdings, I hear we may see some movement, perhaps a lot. Won't be for some time with Intrawest, as the deal needs to close first. Doesn't mean that conversations have not been going on for some time.

    Disney.....yeah, have visited their operation and hired former Disney people as customer experience consultants. Seemed very smart 15-20 years ago. I do agree that the entire industry undervalues their human capital and what a huge difference they make. And it's different at every one of these properties in my experience.

    Will be interesting to watch......
     
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  11. Ron

    Ron AKA Finndog Pugski Ski Tester

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    Fingers crossed! :golfclap:
     
  12. James

    James Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Well maybe Stratton will get rid of that ghastly parking garage now?
     
  13. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Head First Skier

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    HEY! Having walked over from the lots in subzero F and 30 mph+ winds I LIKE that thing.
     
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  14. fatbob

    fatbob Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yep this makes more sense to me than a play purely about skiing cross-selling or protecting a corner of the market. I'm sure a bit of Aspen fairy dust is useful to almost all other resorts.

    The KSL aspect is most interesting to me given the trails and tribulations at actually running mountain ops to guests and locals satisfaction* at Squalpine this year.

    *Obviously no such thing as a satisfied local at Squaw in forever
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  15. nay

    nay low C turns Skier

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    Aspen would seemingly be harmed by inclusion on RMSP as that would reduce season ticket prices without access to Denver daytrip traffic that would drive the recurring adjacent revenue from food, etc. Steamboat isn't even on RMSP - only six days on "+". I have used zero of those despite having had this pass for six seasons.

    I'm not sure how you use a multi-resort pass to drive traffic at Steamboat or Aspen when the anchors are WP and Copper - so I wonder if this is really it for RMSP. Intrawest is tying to sell more flavors of "route 40" passes that link WP and Steamboat for next season, but you can't day trip Steamboat so those are destination skier passes where WP happens on ingress/egress to Steamboat.

    So this deal, especially if Copper gets dropped, is pretty much entirely about driving destination skier visits, which presumably is where Vail has been hurting Aspen. For a Front Range resident, Copper going solo is the most interesting potential aspect, although I'd say KSL really needs Copper in the mix - WP as the only I-70 asset is a dud compared to Epic.

    Either way, I just finished buying Loveland season passes for my family for $1,400 (5 of us) and my xc runner is going to get a 4-pack for $129 because he is not skiing much at this point. This is going to cut season costs in half and season crowds by 90%.

    So a high seasonal ski day family day tripper like me is already perhaps becoming more price and crowd sensitive. RMSP was going to be $529/ea for 3 of us, $429/ea for two teens, and I'd have a year left of one free child Pass (prices go up $70/pass tomorrow). Who knows what that looks like next season if high season pass price resorts are added - you'd think it will be like Epic with adults at $850 maybe with a more limited "local" version. As a Steamboat or Aspen skier, probably a net financial advantage. Crowds? Not daily based on the weather or people moving to Denver.

    I think this is going to hurt Copper. They may be odd man out with that village Albatross around their neck when what Copper should be is "big A-Basin".
     
  16. Dryheat

    Dryheat Booting up Skier

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    As a former FL Disney CM, that might have been true under the prior to the Eisner days, but I saw plenty of discontent in my time there among the hourly staff as cost of living soared, while wage increases were at the minimum the market would bare. Disney certain didn't pay a "costco premium" on their labor rates. I respect Eisner as a very shareholder friendly CEO but also as a ruthless cost cutter.

    Though I'm sure Disney would have been more than happy to provide your dad pixie dust tinted glasses to evaluate with :)
     
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  17. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Instructor Industry Insider

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    The general ski industry model... Human capital is for burning. There's an unending forest of folks out there for infinite clear cutting. Aspen seems different... I hope.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  18. Jerez

    Jerez Getting off the lift Skier

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    I am not an industry insider nor a high financier but i can speculate!

    Weather patterns seem to have become less consistent. It would seem this would cause owners of ski areas to be more interested in selling season passes to help mitigate the volatility in income. Having a couple of days at their Western properties or even discounted tickets for passholders would make a huge selling point for East Coast skiers to buy passes.

    My guess is that there is a bigger customer base in the East. Being able to sell season passes to all those city dwellers who may take a once a year holiday west and ski a few weekends east should be helpful even if the margin is smaller.
     
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  19. quant

    quant Don't worry, just go down. Skier

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    Well, we now all know where the industry is heading. Vail's EPIC Pass forced a lot of operators to change their business models if they want to grow (if not survive). The Mountain Collective Pass or Rocky Mountain Super Pass or whatever comes along could be interesting going forward. Three things to consider: 1) Colorado is now HQ to the two largest operators in the USA; 2) These two operators now control most of the better properties in the USA, and almost all of the better properties for ski pass purposes; and 3) Competition is usually good for consumers. Without competition, there was no way to compete with Vail's pricing model or to stop Vail from raising prices on the mountain (e.g., $24.75 hamburgers and $20.95 hot dogs). Now there is another option, which could help keep costs lower for skiers.

    IMG_1570 (1).JPG

    Photo taken last week at Cloud Dine (Park City). For the record, I avoided the burger and stuffed sandwiches in my pocket.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  20. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    THIS! Stowe, Stratton, Snowshoe....who knows who's next. Add in 2 of Canada's largest markets - Montreal/Ottawa (Tremblant) and Toronto (Blue Mtn!
     

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