5 Reasons Why You Should Be Psyched Vail is Buying Stowe
After months of speculation, the rumor mill in Stowe, Vermont was officially put to rest by a short and concise announcement from Vail Resorts and Stowe Mountain Resort.
Directly from Vail Resorts: Vail Resorts NewsRoom
February 21, 2017
“Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that on Feb. 17, 2017, it entered an agreement to acquire Stowe Mountain Resort from Mt. Mansfield Company, Inc. (MMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), for a purchase price of $50 million, subject to certain adjustments.”
5 Reasons You Should be Excited Vail is Buying Stowe Mountain Resort:
Vail is huge. Yes, Vail Resort is huge, but the company Vail Resorts manages ski resorts around North America. Some of the bigger names include Whistler Blackcomb, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Heavenly, Kirkwood and Mount Brighton in Wisconsin…Just to name a few. This list does not include all the “partner” resorts that participate in lift ticket deals with Vail Resorts. What am I getting at? Stowe becomes EPIC and suddenly we have the option to ski all the others on the same pass! Big time score for skiers and riders.
Infrastructure Upgrades?! (This one is Hypothetical)
If you’ve skied Stowe you may have noticed that aside from the Four Runner Quad, Gondola and lifts at Spruce Peak, there are several lifts and areas of the ski resort that are completely under-utilized. The Tollhouse area of the resort, for example, consists of a large base area, a handful of beginner-oriented trails and a multitude of condominiums. This terrain is served by a fixed-grip double chair. The addition of a snowmaking pond and a high-speed lift, along with an increase in parking would bring this area of the resort back up to snuff, decrease beginner skier and rider traffic from other areas of the resort and increase the amount of terrain available on a day to day basis. Will this happen? We feel it is inevitable…and with an influx of cash from Vail Resorts even possible in the near future?
Mountain Biking?! (Again, Hypothetical)
Oh, the small town rumor mill, it’s no secret that Stowe is a mountain biking powerhouse; but without lift accessed downhill mountain biking, there has been something lacking for the true adrenaline junkies. Rumors have been swirling for years that lift accessed mountain biking was coming to Stowe, and with world class singletrack riding throughout the rest of the town why not? It seems inevitable for Stowe to compete with Burke and the Kingdom Trails as well as Killington and the trails surrounding the resort in Southern Vermont. With Stowe’s ability to link the Von Trapp mountain bike trails with the Stowe Mountain Bike Club trails through the Nordic Center and into Adams Camp it only makes sense. What is standing in the way is a new chairlift to shuttle the bikes, and an influx of capital to build said trails….Did I mention that Vail, Whistler and other Vail Resorts holdings have some of the best downhill mountain bike parks in the world? Perhaps the time has come for Stowe…
Parking (We Hope So!)
Have you visited Stowe Mountain Resort on a Saturday this year? With record numbers of people flocking to the resort on the weekends, parking has been a major issue. The resort has been overflowing their lots to the point of parking patrons in employee designated lots. This has created traffic jams up and down the mountain road at certain times of the day. Now, at Vail and other resorts, the resort creates additional satellite lots and provides shuttles to and from. Is a new, revamped town shuttle and parking system in the works? We certainly hope so.
Cost (Hypothetical, but We are REALLY Optimistic About This One.)
This may be bad news for those who purchase their passes one day at a time at the ticket window…but for the die-hard skiers and riders, the costs associated with their passes are almost certainly not going to rise. The Early Season rate for the EPIC pass was $809 for the 2016-2017 ski season. Relative to the $1,860 Stowe pass. Wow, seems like you get a lot more bang for your buck with the EPIC pass. How will the other resorts in New England react? Will a pass at that price point effectively price out the competition? Or will Stowe release several variations of the EPIC pass to keep it relatively competitive in New England? Will other resorts jump on and partner with Vail Resorts and join the EPIC pass or The Mountain Collective? Only time will tell… Net takeaway – skiing will probably get cheaper, or at least offer more options for traveling to sister resorts.
What do you think about the buyout? Let us know!