Aspen Skiing Company announced Monday from a press release that it was partnering with Denver-based KSL Capital Partners to create a new company and acquire Intrawest Resorts Holdings for about $1.5 billion forming yet another major player in the multi-resort passes competition. If you are someone that owns or will be looking into purchasing a multi-mountain pass for the 2017/18 winter season, there are a number of things you’ll want to think about before making that purchase decision.
In the past few years, Vail Resorts has been a major player in purchasing various mountains around North America. They bought Kirkwood, Park City, Perisher, Whistler, and Stowe. These were some major resorts bought with a lot of money. But, the reason that they can do this is because of the huge success of their Epic Pass. This multi-mountain pass gives pass holders access to all of their mountains. We’ve written in the past that multi-mountain passes has become a very profitable approach for skiing/riding mountain resorts and two big players are the Mountain Collective Pass and the Epic Pass.
Aspen Skiing Company owns and operates Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. KSL is affiliated with Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, the parent company of Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows resort. Intrawest currently owns six mountain resorts (Stratton, Mt. Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Steamboat, Winter Park, and Snowshoe). Based on the acquisition, it is fair to assume that all of these mountains will be combined into one multi-mountain pass in the near future and can be expected to become a new big player in the competition for Multi-Mountain Passes.
What Pass Should I buy?
The company announced that for the full 2017-18 winter season, all resorts involved in the transaction will honor their existing pass products currently on sale, including the Mountain Collective, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass + and the M.A.X. Pass. Therefore, for next season, you should be able to take advantage of early pricing now and not expect mountains to be removed from your pass. The question will be if any of the mountains will be added to passes. Below is a list of all of the mountains that will be owned, operated, and/or affiliated with the new company along with the current pass linked to it. You should expect all of these mountains will eventually fall under one pass in the future (Mountain Collective, Max Pass, or a newly created pass).
Mountains that will be included under newly formed company (current pass):
- Snowmass (Aspen Snowmass Pass + Mountain Collective)
- Aspen Mountain (Aspen Snowmass Pass)
- Aspen Highlands (Aspen Snowmass Pass)
- Buttermilk (Aspen Snowmass Pass)
- Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows (Mountain Collective)
- Stratton (Max Pass)
- Tremblant (Max Pass)
- Blue Mountain (Max Pass)
- Steamboat (Rocky Mountain Super Pass + Max Pass)
- Winter Park (Rocky Mountain Super Pass + Max Pass)
- Snowshoe (Max Pass)