Aspen Skiing Co., Private Firm Buys Steamboat Parent Company In $1.5B Deal

Photo: Steamboat Springs gondola (Flickr/CC)
The iconic gondola at Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Aspen Skiing Co. and Denver private equity firm KSL Capital Partners have acquired Intrawest Resorts, which controls the Steamboat and Winter Park ski areas in Colorado.

The $1..5 billion deal was announced early Monday.

“This transaction creates significant opportunity for Intrawest and delivers tremendous value to our current shareholders,” Thomas Marano, Intrawest’s chief executive officer, said in a press release.

Intrawest investors will receive $23.75 in cash for each share they hold of common stock. The stock was trading at just $17 per share in early January, before a Reuters news story reported that the company was exploring a sale.

Intrawest's best-known properties are the Steamboat Springs Ski Area, as well as Stratton Mountain in Vermont and Mont Tremblant in Quebec. It also operates the Winter Park Ski Area, which is owned by the city of Denver.

KSL CEO Eric Resnick said the new ownership group is "committed to honoring the deep traditions of each resort."

Each Intrawest resort will honor 2017-18 lift tickets that are currently on sale, the press release said, including the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+ and the M.A.X. Pass.

The deal boosts Aspen's portfolio as it competes against another Colorado-based ski giant: Vail Resorts. That company purchased Whistler in Canada last year and Park City in Utah in 2014. It now owns more than 10 resorts across the country and even one in Australia.

Across Colorado, there are still a handful of family-run resorts. Most, though, are run by corporations and investment groups.

Colorado Ski Resorts: Who Owns What?

Aspen Skiing Co.Vail ResortsPowdr CorporationOther
Aspen HighlandsBreckenridgeCopper MountainArapahoe Basin (Dream Unlimited)
Aspen MountainBeaver CreekEldoraCrested Butte (Och-Ziff Real Estate)
ButtermilkKeystone Echo Mountain (Burwell Enterprises)
SnowmassVail Granby Ranch (Cipriani Family)
Steamboat   Hesperus (James Coleman)
   Howelsen Hill (Town of Steamboat Springs)
   Loveland (Upham Family)
   Monarch (Private investors)
   Powderhorn (Gart Companies)
   Purgatory (James Coleman)
   Silverton (Jen and Aaron Brill)
   Ski Cooper (Lake County)
   Sunlight (Private investors)
   Telluride (Chuck Horning)
   Winter Park (City of Denver)
   Wolf Creek (Pitcher Family)