BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Vail Resorts, Inc. announced Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to buy two Pennsylvania ski resorts and the operations of a third.
Vail is set to purchase Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort, along with the operations of Laurel Mountain Ski Area. The purchase price for the ski areas, a hotel, a conference center and other related operations, is approximately $125 million, according to a news release.
“We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to add Seven Springs to our family of resorts along with Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “As a company, we have been focused on acquiring resorts near major metropolitan areas as we know many skiers and riders build their passion for the sport close to home. These great ski areas in Pennsylvania are a perfect complement to our existing resorts, creating a much stronger connection and compelling offering to our current and future guests in Pittsburgh as well as those in other critical markets such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Cleveland.”
Seven Springs is located an hour southeast of Pittsburgh and is among the largest ski resorts in Pennsylvania with 285 skiable acres and 750 vertical feet. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Seven Springs offers a 418-room hotel, conference center, a spa and a tubing park. Hidden Valley offers 110 skiable acres and 470 vertical feet, with 26 slopes and trails and two terrain parks. Laurel Mountain offers 70 skiable acres and 761 vertical feet, officials said.
“The resorts truly are a part of the fabric of this region and a critical community asset. I am extremely proud of our stewardship of Seven Springs and its sister resorts, and even more so of all the people who we have worked with side-by-side to transform them into what they are today,” said Robert Nutting, president and chief executive officer of Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Inc. “It has been an honor to be a part of their incredible growth for more than a decade and leave each resort a much stronger community asset than we found it.”
“Vail Resorts is a perfect successor with a proven track record of honoring the unique character of each of its resorts,” added Nutting. “They are the industry leader in investing in the guest experience, employee development and environmental stewardship. We are thrilled that the resorts will now become part of Vail Resorts’ network and are confident that Vail Resorts will continue to invest in what makes these resorts so special.”
The Nutting Family also owns Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates, along with the Ogden Newspaper chain. Vail Resorts owns ski resorts in California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, Wisconsin, as well as in Australia and Canada.
Vail Resorts will acquire all of the assets related to the mountain operations of the resorts and related base area lodging, conference center and amenities, while Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Inc. is retaining select neighboring operations, including Highlands Market, Sporting Clays at Seven Springs, Seven Springs Golf Course and Hidden Valley Golf Club, Highlands Resort Realty and certain real estate owned and held for potential future development, the news release said.
The transaction is expected to close this winter, however, operations at the three resorts for the 2021-22 winter season will continue in the ordinary course of business, Vail officials said. Vail Resorts plans to add access to the three resorts to select Epic Pass products for the 2022-23 North American ski and ride season.
Vail Resorts will, subject to receipt of consent from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, assume the state land lease for Laurel Mountain. Laurel Mountain is part of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Mountain State Park. Upon closing, Vail Resorts 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.