Vail Resorts Agrees to Buy Mount Sunapee, Okemo Mountain Ski Areas

  • Jesse Yates, of Sunapee, middle, Mikey Rousseau, of Manchester, right, and Steven Laustsen, of Newbury, back left, hang out in the rail park on Mount Sunapee in Newbury, N.H., on the mountain's fourth day open this season, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Tim Mueller, who holds the lease on operating the state-owned Mount Sunapee ski resort, answers an interviewer's question in West Lebanon, N.H., on September 7, 2004. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Monday, June 04, 2018

Newbury, N.H. — Vail Resorts Inc. today said it has agreed to buy Mount Sunapee Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort and a Colorado resort from the Mueller family, which has long run the ski areas.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Vail Resorts will pay $82 million for Triple Peaks LLC, the parent company of Sunapee, Okemo and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, according to a news release today from Vail. The deal is expected to close this summer and Vail, through Triple Peaks, would then pay $155 million to pay off leases that all three resorts have with Ski Resort Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Oz Real Estate, the release said.

Vail Resorts also said it is buying Stevens Pass Resort in Washington in a separate transaction from another company, for $67 million.

Both transactions are subject to regulatory approval. Vail Resorts would seek state approval from Vermont and New Hampshire to assume the state land leases for Okemo Mountain Resort and Mount Sunapee Resort. Such land lease transfers in Vermont and New Hampshire are subject to administrative review and consent from each state, the release said.

“Together, the acquisitions of Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte, and Stevens Pass will significantly enhance the Vail Resorts’ network of resort experiences, adding even more variety and choice for all of our pass holders and guests. Okemo and Mount Sunapee are terrific complements to Stowe in the Northeast, as is Crested Butte to our four Colorado resorts, and Stevens Pass for our Whistler Blackcomb and Seattle guests,” Rob Katz, Vail chairman and CEO, said in the release.

“We know our guests and employees will benefit from Vail Resorts’ outstanding track record of resort and community investment, environmental stewardship, and employee development,” Tim Mueller, president of Triple Peaks LLC, said in the release. “We care deeply about the legacy of these resorts, and have absolute confidence in Vail Resorts to celebrate what makes them so special, while also providing long-term stability for the communities.”  

Vail said it plans to invest $35 million over the next two years across the four resorts.

The news release said operations through this summer “will continue in the ordinary course of business, as will future winter seasonal hiring.”

After the deal closes, Vail “plans to retain the vast majority of each resort’s employees and will be working with the local leadership teams in the coming months to determine the right long-term management structure for the resorts,” the release said.

Posted at 11:45 a.m. Monday.