Acquisition of Squaw Valley USA by KSL Capital Partners Completed


OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. and DENVER, Colo. [December 6, 2010] – KSL Capital Partners, LLC announced today that it has closed the previously announced acquisition of substantially all of the shares of The Squaw Valley Development Company, which includes all facets of Squaw Valley USA ski operations, the Village at Squaw Valley and related real estate holdings. 

                “Squaw Valley is the birthplace of the modern mountain resort in the United States with a heritage, history, amenities and perhaps most of all, extraordinary terrain that can never be replicated,” said Eric Resnick, KSL’s Managing Director. 

Recently appointed Squaw Valley President and CEO Andy Wirth will continue in his role.  Wirth came to Squaw Valley in August 2010 after maintaining executive level positions with Intrawest, based out of Vancouver, British Columbia and Steamboat, Colorado, and has 25 years of experience in the resort and hospitality industry. “Squaw Valley has already begun a transformation under his leadership and we look forward to working with him and the Squaw Valley team as we usher in a new era.” said Resnick.  

“The announcement of KSL’s completing the acquisition of Squaw Valley is great news for our guests and our team,” stated Wirth. “The KSL team has already committed more than $50 million in capital improvements over the next three to five years here at Squaw, clearly supporting their commitment to the mountain and guest experience.”

KSL is a private equity firm based in Denver dedicated to investments in travel and leisure businesses. KSL’s current and prior investments include some of the premier properties in travel and leisure, including Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, La Costa Resort and Spa, Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Hotel del Coronado, the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, the San Francisco Bay Club and its sister clubs, as well as ClubCorp, the world’s largest owner of private golf and business clubs. 

KSL has close ties to Vail Resorts (or Vail Associates back in the day).  Both Mike Shannon and Eric Resnick worked for Vail Associates in executive positions.  I’m pleased KSL made this acquisition.  They are known for developing quality resorts and Squaw Valley certainly needs some attention.  They have been hiring a lot of folks from Booth Creek who recently sold Northstar Ski Resort to Vail Resorts so many of their people are available.  Their latest excellent hire was Dee Byrne to be Director of Snowsports School and the Race Department.  Dee most recently was director of business development for the Aspen Ski Schools but prior to that was Director of Snowsports Schools for Vail.  Dee is a wonderful manager, executive, teacher, friend, and skier.  She will do wonders for Squaw Valley.  I’m looking forward to the transformation Squaw Valley will go through over the next few years.

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