Vail gets bigger, buys Whistler Blackcomb for $1 billion in a deal that may boost Park City. A deal worth over $1B, The Epic Pass that allows skiers to visit Vail resorts across North America and in Australia could bring more tourists to Utah. Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world, with an incredible history. Once included in the Epic Pass, Park City locals will be able to ski the renowned resorts with the pass from Park City.
In the past five years, Vail was brought into Utah by Talisker Corp. to manage Canyons Resort. After Powdr Corp. failed to renew a lease for Park City Mountain Resort with Talisker and was losing a court battle to overturn that mistake, Vail bought the resort's base facilities for $182 million and combined that resort with Canyons last season.
Vail also has added resorts in Australia, Minnesota and Michigan, creating a mass of Epic Pass holders who can use that relatively cheap season ski pass as justification for visiting other Vail resorts and spending money at their hotels and restaurants. Parkites are particularly optimistic that the Whistler Blackcomb connection could expose Park City to more Asian tourists who have direct flights to Vancouver, 78 miles from Whistler Blackcomb.
"Vail's acquisition of Whistler makes perfect sense," said Rafferty, head marketer for Utah's 14 resorts and its $1.1 billion-a-year ski industry. "Vail is a leader in resort operations, and Whistler is one of the premier mountain destinations in the world. I'm sure this deal will only serve to strengthen North America's winter sports industry."
Sean Matyja - Realtor® / Associate Broker
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