Sale of Winter Park Resort operator gets finalized; 3 resort companies merge to form new, unnamed entity | SkyHiNews.com

Sale of Winter Park Resort operator gets finalized; 3 resort companies merge to form new, unnamed entity

The sale of Intrawest, Winter Park Resort's now former owner, was completed Monday.

It is now official: The sale of Intrawest, operator of Winter Park Resort, to KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company has been finalized.

Officials from Intrawest issued a statement Monday morning confirming the close of the sale and announcing the joining together of three major resort companies: Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, Intrawest and Mammoth Resorts. The sale of the previously publicly traded Intrawest corporation to KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company, owners of Aspen Skiing Co., was first announced in early April and marks a major shift in the North American ski resort industry.

The sale of Intrawest, for a hefty price tag of $1.5 billion including debt obligations, means stockholders of Intrawest are set to receive $23.74 in cash for each share of Intrawest common stock owned. Because KSL and Henry Crown are privately held entities, Intrawest will no longer be traded on the NYSE and will become privately held.

Along with the announcement of the close of the Intrawest purchase, officials from KSL and Henry Crown also confirmed a previously announced purchase agreement for Mammoth Resorts has become effective today.

"Additionally, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings (SVSH) is being rolled into the new venture," read the statement.

The terms of both Mammoth Resorts and SVSH transactions have not been disclosed.

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The new company formed by the merger has no official name as of yet, according to a spokesperson for the entity. The new company expects to launch a new name and brand prior to the 2017-2018 ski season.

"For all of us at Winter Park Resort, we couldn't be more excited and we're looking forward to an incredibly bright future as part of the great new company," said Steve Hurlbert, spokesman for Winter Park Resort. "There are a lot of world class destinations that are part of this new entity and we're proud to be among them."

After the merger, the combined new company will control a total of 12 four-season mountain resorts in North America with roughly 20,000 acres of skiable terrain accommodating an estimated six million skier visits. The entity's holdings stretch from coast to coast with six resorts in California, two in Canada, one in Vermont, one in West Virginia and two in Colorado – Winter Park and Steamboat Springs.

A series of leadership changes and shuffles are expected moving forward as senior level management is reorganized.

Bryan Traficanti with KSL has been named interim chief executive officer until a formal search for a new chief executive can be completed. Intrawest's Chief Executive Officer Thomas Marano resigned his position. Sky Foulkes, who served as president of Winter Park Resort and Intrawest Chief Operating Officer will now be focusing all of his time on Grand County. Foulkes has been named president and chief operating officer of Winter Park Resort, exclusively.

Other changes include Mammoth Resort's Chief Executive, who is an investor in the new company, serving on the board and becoming the company's senior strategic advisor, while Andy Wirth, president and CEO of SVSH, is set to become president and chief operating officer of SVSH.

"This transaction marks a significant milestone for our company, our guests, and our communities, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as a result of combining Intrawest, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, and Mammoth Resorts," said Traficanti. "We believe that each resort brings something different to the company, and our goal is to preserve the unique character and culture of each while also building something greater."

Supported by affiliates of KSL and HCC, according to Traficanti, the new organization is "well positioned not only for continued growth, but also to bring more value to our guests, more opportunities for our employees, and more investment into our local communities."

Local powder heads will be happy to note there will be no change to the season pass dynamics for the coming ski season, according to the statement issued by Intrawest.

"For the full 2017-18 winter season, the new company will continue to honor the existing pass products that are currently on sale. Including the Rocky Mountain Super Pass +, the M.A.X. Pass, and the Mountain Collective."

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