It was announced on Monday, 10/25/10, that Vail Resorts was acquiring the Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort on the north side of Lake Tahoe. I actually learned how to ski in Northstar many years ago. Of course it has changed significantly since then. Kim and I visited Northstar several years ago and had a great time. The glade skiing on the back side is excellent.
This acquisition is slightly different from other ski resort acquisitions. Vail Resorts purchased Booth Creek’s “tenant” position with CNL, an REIT, which owns the land the ski resorts sits on. Real estate development in Northstar will be more difficult for Vail Results.
Click here to see the VR press release. Rob Katz, CEO, sent out an email to the employees with some additional comments. Here is an excerpt from that email:
“Today I am excited to announce that Vail Resorts is acquiring Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif. from Booth Creek Resort Properties. With substantial and diverse ski terrain, a completely renovated and modern base village, and a reputation for outstanding guest service, Northstar has been one of the fastest growing mountain resorts over the last few years. In addition, Northstar-at-Tahoe will be a terrific complement to Heavenly Mountain Resort, giving us the ability to provide guests even more choices and more value in Lake Tahoe – a key driver in delivering an experience of a lifetime for our guests.
As many of you have heard me say about acquisitions, while there are many ski resorts around the world, very few of them meet what we are looking for to grow Vail Resorts. There are many conditions that must align with our needs – a perfect storm – in order for an acquisition to be right, and Northstar-at-Tahoe is a great match. Northstar has more than 3,000 acres of terrain, with terrific intermediate and beginner terrain and its terrain park is continually ranked as one of the top in the nation. Northstar has been investing in both on-mountain and base area improvements to help drive the guest experience, and is known for outstanding guest service. The resort is located near a major population center in San Francisco and adjacent to the Reno airport, and Northstar has developed a strong season pass program with terrific guest loyalty. Finally, and most importantly, Northstar has a strong leadership team and a dedicated team of employees on board that have been integral in delivering terrific results for the resort.
In addition, Northstar’s proximity to Heavenly (just over an hour away), gives us an excellent opportunity to offer access to both resorts with our season passes, cross promote the experience each has to offer and give guests a seamless way to experience both the South and North Shore of Lake Tahoe in one trip or throughout a season. As we know from our experience in Colorado, this proximity between resorts allows us to offer our guests the best experience and the best value, all at the same time.”