VAIL, CO – April 1, 2014: Vail Resorts Management Corporation (VRMC), the ski management giant, announced today that it has purchased New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) from the state of New York for $1.2 billion dollars in cash.
The sale includes all land and assets for Whiteface Mountain, in Wilmington, N.Y., Gore Mountain, in North Creek, N.Y., and Belleayre Ski Resort, in Highmount, N.Y.
This is a big deal for VRMC. The three resorts combined deliver 7,000 vertical feet of skiing and riding on eight peaks, 886 acres, 33 glades and 227 trails. The SKI3 pass that allows skiers access to all three New York mountains will still be available next season.
According to an unnamed source at Vail Resorts, in addition to the three New York State mountains, pass holders will also be able to ski at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone in Colorado and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe. These acquisitions are part of a new strategy for Vail Resorts to drive season pass sales and build broader guest loyalty by purchasing premier east-coast ski areas located near major urban markets.
Robert Luegner, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts explained, “We will add the New York ski areas to our network of world-class resorts in Colorado, California and Nevada with new season pass offerings, providing the chance to experience the best skiing and riding both in the East and in the West.”
In addition to the three ski resorts, the purchase includes all other ORDA assets including the luge run and Mt Van Hovenburg. A top executive at the company, who asked to remain nameless, indicated that VRMC was in the skiing business, and all that other stuff “could provide solid family entertainment at office parties.”
Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) was created to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. ORDA currently operates Whiteface, Belleayre and Gore Mountain ski areas; the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg; the Olympic speed skating oval, Olympic jumping complex and Olympic arena. The Authority has brought millions of athletes, spectator and participants to the region, resulting in significant economic development.
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company’s subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.