New owners at Sierra-at-Tahoe, same operation
January 25, 2007
Sierra-at-Tahoe and Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resorts were sold to new owners in a $170 million deal last week, but they don’t expect to notice any changes.
The ski resorts, along with Loon Mountain in New Hampshire and The Summit-at-Snowqualmie in Washington, were acquired by Florida-based CNL Income Properties from Truckee-based Booth Creek Ski Holdings on Jan. 22.
“It doesn’t really have any impact or changes on our day-to-day operations,” said Julie Maurer, vice president of marketing for Booth Creek. “It should remain status quo.”
Additionally, Booth Creek chairman George Gillett, president Chris Ryman, chief financial officer Elizabeth Cole and a fourth person bought out existing Booth Creek shareholders and now own the company.
“The fact that the four key people are knowledgeable in the ski industry is good for each of our resort’s long-term business strategies,” Maurer said.
Gillett, owner of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and the nation’s largest organic meat company, Coleman Natural Foods, is a pioneer in the ski industry. He bought Vail and Beaver Creek resorts in 1985, when Vail then climbed to the pinnacle of U.S. ski resorts. In 1999, Ski Magazine named Gillett one of the top 100 influential skiers of all time.
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Booth Creek will continue to operate the Northstar and Sierra resorts and still owns Cranmore Mountain Resort and Waterville Valley in New Hampshire.
With CNL as a partner, the Tahoe resorts will have more access to capital, Maurer said.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with CNL Income Properties, who is making a long-term commitment to both Booth Creek and the industry,” said Gillett in a release. “The company is one of the most active investors in lifestyle, leisure and recreational real estate in the nation with a reputation for honesty and integrity.”
Northstar remains at the forefront of Booth Creek business plans for development and expansion. The new Village at Northstar includes almost 40 retailers and restaurants, and the mountain itself has made improvements with a high-speed chairlift and snowmaking and terrain park improvements. Northstar Mountain Properties and East West Partners continue to develop about 1,800 new residential units, an on-mountain Ritz Carlton Hotel and more commercial space at the resort.