State to Discuss Sunapee’s Lease

  • You can ski down Mount Sunapee or Ragged Mountain.

Concord Monitor
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Newbury, n.h. —The state will hold a public meeting on Wednesday evening to announce whether it will allow Vail Resorts to buy the lease rights for Mount Sunapee’s ski area, bringing a monthslong review process close to an end.

On June 4, Vail — a national ski resort operator — announced it had reached a deal to acquire the rights to Mount Sunapee, as well as two other ski areas owned by the same family: Okemo in Vermont and Crested Butte in Colorado.

The owners, Tim and Diane Mueller, sold the operating rights to all three for $82 million, plus an additional $155 million to pay off existing subleases.

But Mount Sunapee exists on state-owned land, and lease transfers over the land require approval by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Under the terms of the first lease, created in 1998, approval by the department “shall not be unreasonably withheld.”

The department has been working with the Attorney General’s Office since June to review the terms of the lease and arrive at a decision.

The state and Vail resorts hosted a spirited public information session at the ski area in July; the department has since reported that 82 percent of responses that denoted a clear opinion of the transfer were positive.

Wednesday’s meeting will include a presentation of the decision, the responses from the public, and a question and answer session at 6 p.m. from the public.

It will be held at the Sunapee Lodge in Newbury.