Vail Resorts Purchases Canadian Ski Resort Whistler Blackcomb
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Two of North America’s largest and most popular ski resorts will be combining into one. Colorado-based ski giant Vail Resorts has agreed to purchase Whistler Blackcomb for $1.05 billion. This is the latest in Vail’s expansion efforts, as the chain of resorts also extends into other popular destinations like Park City and Lake Tahoe.
The reasons for the purchase are obvious—Whistler is a massive ski resort and winter travel destination, drawing in more than two million skiers per year from all over the world. Expanding into Canada also means that Vail Resorts can take advantage of currency fluctuations in the Canadian dollar. In turn, Whistler will see a vast amount of improvements made to its grounds and infrastructure, as Vail will reportedly invest a good deal of time and money into making improvements.
Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, stated:
“Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world with an incredible history, passionate employees and a strong community. With our combined experience and expertise, together we will build upon the guest experience at Whistler Blackcomb while preserving the unique brand and character of the resort as an iconic Canadian destination for guests around the world. We are delighted to add such a renowned resort to Vail Resorts and look forward to expanding our relationships in the Sea-to-Sky community, British Columbia and Canada.”
Dave Brownlie, the CEO of Whistler Blackcomb, added:
“Combining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts’ portfolio of outstanding resorts provides Whistler Blackcomb with increased financial strength, marketing exposure, guest relationships and broadens the geographic diversity of our company with resorts across the United States, as well as in Australia and Canada. This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans.”
While the merger won’t change much in terms of timeshares around Whistler or Vail, timeshare owners in the area should be aware of the change in ownership when purchasing passes to use at the ski areas. Whistler Blackcomb will continue to accept passes for winter 2016-17, but visitors will need to buy Vail’s ski passes to use at Whistler for 2017-18.
In addition to improvements to ski lifts and snowmaking equipment, Vail also intends to increase Whistler Blackcomb’s summertime attractions, including an indoor water park. The deal is currently pending government approval, and is expected to become final sometime this fall.
For more on Vail Resort’s acquisition of Whistler, read their official release.