Mount Snow Makes Big Statement with New Lift
March 11, 2011
Mount Snow has announced that it has accepted a bid to replace the Summit Local triple chair lift with a new Leitner Poma high-speed detachable six-passenger bubble chairlift. The “six pack” chairlift will be the first of its kind on the East coast and demonstrates Mount Snow’s commitment to providing the best experience possible for their guests.
“Our goal at Mount Snow is to provide the best possible product for our guests. We are continuously making upgrades to our infrastructure to ensure a quality experience for our guests. We feel that installing this state-of-the-art chairlift in order to increase our high speed capacity out of the main base area is in line with this commitment,” said Jesse Boyd, VP of Operations for Peak Resorts.
The six pack lift will have a ride time of just seven minutes, reducing the ride time of the current lift by nearly half. The new lift’s bubble chairs look like conventional chairlifts but have a plastic shield, or bubble, that encloses the chair. Bubble chairs provide shelter from inclement weather and the convenience of ski-on, ski-off loading and unloading. Unlike a gondola, skiers and snowboarders keep their equipment on, get on the chair as they would a conventional chairlift, and then pull the bubble down around them.
“Let’s face it, Vermont has its cold days. After review of several lifts, I believe this six pack lift best meets our needs. Its bubble chairs will provide protection on cold days without slowing down the loading process” said Mount Snow General Manager Kelly Pawlak.
With this lift, Mount Snow will have three high-speed lifts in its main base area with a total uphill capacity of 8100 skiers per hour. This will greatly increase the time Mount Snow guests spend on the ski trails instead of waiting in lift lines.
Every night the chairs will be run off the line and stored in a heated storage barn, which has its advantages. First, the barn’s steady temperature helps to prevent fogging and ice build up on the bubbles. Second, should the mountain receive icing overnight, the lift line can be quickly de-iced, and the lift will be able to operate as soon as the chairs are deployed.
Along with the new six pack lift comes upgrades to the Grand Summit Express high speed quad. The upgrades include enclosing the terminal at the base of the mountain to shield guests from weather elements and replacing all 172 of the chairs with new chairs that feature safety bars and footrests.
With the purchase of the new six pack lift, Peak Resorts will have invested over $18 million in capital improvements to Mount Snow, including the installation of state-of-the-art snowmaking technology featuring 254 fan guns.
Peak Resorts Signs Purchase & Sales Agreement to Acquire Wildcat Mountain. Two Of Mount Washington Valley’s Largest Ski Resorts Will Offer Combination Ticket & Season Pass Products
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wildwood, MO – Peak Resorts announced today that it has entered in to a purchase agreement with Pat Franchi to acquire all Wildcat Mountain Ski Area assets and attractions in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. Parties involved expect to finalize the purchase pending approval by the U.S. Forest Service. Adding to its portfolio of resorts located in six U.S. states, including Attitash and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire and Mount Snow in Vermont, Wildcat Mountain becomes the 12th ski resort currently owned and operated by Peak Resorts.
“Wildcat Mountain is a legendary ski resort known to many in the industry and it has a lot of history,” said Peak Resorts CEO Tim Boyd. “I am pleased to add Wildcat Mountain to Peak Resorts because it offers a unique, year-round experience in a one-of-a-kind location and there are opportunities for growth and improvement over the long-term that we can consider and are familiar with delivering at all of our resorts.”
In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps started clearing the Wildcat trail, one of the first ski racing trails built in the United States. Twenty-five years later, on January 25th 1958, Wildcat Mountain opened for lift-serviced skiing with The Wildcat Gondola and a single T-bar surface lift. Wildcat's trademark for many years, the Wildcat Gondola was the first lift of this type in the U.S. to be built. Pat Franchi and his family purchased Wildcat Mountain from original developers in 1986 and made significant capital investments to day lodge facilities, snowmaking, summer attractions, and lifts. In 1997, Pat replaced the original gondola with the Wildcat Express: a high-speed detachable quad chairlift that accesses the greater than 4,000’ summit in just over 6 minutes providing visitors over 2,100 vertical feet of skiing and riding in the winter and is converted in the summer and fall with 4-person enclosed gondola cabins to be the state’s highest scenic gondola. The legacy of Pat Franchi’s stewardship will be that he made improvements to and enabled the ski area to continue operating for more than two decades and support to many charitable foundations including the continued annual Yahoo weekends hosting children and their families from Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Attitash opened as a single mountain resort originally for the 1964-65 ski season and was known then as the “red carpet ski area” because of its reservation requirements and attention to guest service. In the mid-1990s, Attitash dramatically increased the available skiing & riding acreage by developing the Bear Peak area that included the installation of a high-speed summit quad chairlift as well as adding open glades, wider intermediate terrain, some of the state’s most sought after alpine race trails including Illusion, and the slopeside Attitash Grand Summit Hotel. Acquired by Peak Resorts in 2007 and having invested over $5,000,000 in capital improvements and resort enhancements including state-of-the-art snowmaking and New England’s longest mountain coaster, Attitash Mountain Resort continues to offer a high-end experience both on and off the slopes.
The two resorts are already considering the marketing opportunities and potential value offered in ticket and season pass products valid at both resorts for the approaching 2010/2011 season. “Being two of New Hampshire’s larger resorts and located in relative close proximity to one another, there is much to be gained in ticket and season pass products that are valid at both Attitash Mountain Resort and Wildcat Mountain,” said Peak Resorts Vice-President Kent Graham. “Visitors to our valley and locals alike will now be able to gain greater value and access to the best of each resort’s defining attributes and distinctive qualities.” Graham also stated that Peak Resorts will be replacing old snow gun technology at Wildcat Mountain with more productive and energy efficient snowmaking equipment as well as upgrading and expanding the snow grooming fleet this season.
Wildcat Mountain operates on the White Mountain National Forest under a Special Use Permit issued by the US Forest Service. The sale of Wildcat Mountain is contingent upon, among other things, a decision by the Forest Service to issue Peak Resorts a new 40-year Special Use Permit to provide alpine skiing opportunities on federal lands. The Forest Service is reviewing Peak Resorts' financial and operational plans to ensure that Wildcat Mountain will continue to operate successfully under Peak's ownership and management. The review process may take up to 30 days; if approved the new Permit will be issued to Peak Resorts at the time of the sale closing.
Peak Resorts is a leader and innovator in the ski industry committed to building an enhanced resort experience. It currently owns and operates several U.S. ski resorts including: Attitash (NH), Boston Mills (OH), Brandywine (OH), Crotched Mountain (NH), Hidden Valley (MO), Jack Frost (PA), Big Boulder (PA), Mad River Mountain (OH), Mount Snow (VT), Paoli Peaks (IN), and Snow Creek (MO). Peak Resorts is defined by the passion, determination, and commitment of each of its resorts to family recreation, improvements in technology, and service. For further information, please visit www.peakresorts.com.
Wildcat Mountain, located 100% within the White Mountain National Forest in Pinkham Notch, is home to New Hampshire’s most powerful quad summit chair lift and is renowned for its high summit elevation over 4,000 feet; greater than 2,100 vertical feet of skiing & riding; longest novice trail in the state at just under 3 miles; & proximity to Mt. Washington that contributes to 200 inches of snow and a long winter/spring season annually. Wildcat Mountain has consistently been rated #1 Scenery and Top Ten in the East for Terrain, Challenge, Value, and Overall Satisfaction by readers of SKI Magazine. For further information, please visit www.skiwildcat.com or call 1-888- SKI WILD.
Attitash Mountain Resort, located in the Mount Washington Valley and considered New Hampshire’s premier year-round vacation area, has been ranked amongst the East’s top ten ski resorts for snow, grooming, weather, dining, après ski, off-hill activities and family programs by readers of SKI Magazine. Offering two distinct mountains, Attitash and Bear Peak, and one of New England’s most advanced snow making systems, Attitash is known for its signature terrain parks, ski school & children’s programs, open-glade terrain, après entertainment, family value, the new mountain coaster attraction, and quality slopeside accommodations featuring the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel. For further information, please visit www.attitash.com or call 1-800- 223 SNOW.
Mirus Resort Capital, an investment banking firm located in Burlington, Massachusetts, advised the seller in this transaction. Mirus Resort Capital focuses on mid-market mergers, acquisitions, and debt & equity placement in resort, recreation, & hospitality industries. For further information, please visit www.mirusresortcapital.com.