SALT LAKE CITY — Deer Valley Resort announced Monday it has been purchased by a new company that has brought 13 ski areas from Quebec to California under one umbrella, marking the latest deal in an industry that is becoming more consolidated.
Deer Valley becomes the yet-to-be-named ownership group's first ski area in Utah and joins a collection of resorts that also includes Mammoth and Squaw Valley in California; Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; and Mont Tremblant in Quebec. The new company is run by affiliates of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company.
The acquisition of Deer Valley, considered one of the best in the U.S., sets the company up to challenge Vail Resorts, which last year purchased Canada's Whistler Blackcomb and owns 14 total ski areas.
The purchase price was not disclosed in the Deer Valley deal that is expected to be finalized before ski season. Deer Valley had been owned by the Stern family since it opened in 1981.
Bob Wheaton, the longtime general manager of Deer Valley, called it a great opportunity to join forces with other world-class resorts while maintaining local decision-making power at the resort in Park City. He said the resort will remain the same, including a ban on snowboarding.
Being part of a larger coalition of resorts will help get better deals on purchases of everything from snow cats and chairlifts to lettuce and tooth pics easier, Wheaton said. He said the new company has also discussed different joint ski passes options but that nothing has been decided.
Vail Resorts offers the popular Epic Pass, which allows skiers to buy one pass to ski multiple times at its different resorts.
"The partnership with three other resorts will unlock some doors as far as future possibilities and different products," Wheaton said. "What those are, I don't know yet."
The collection of 13 resorts now owned by the new company doesn't include four Colorado resorts owned by Aspen Skiing Co. — Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk — even though that company is owned by Henry Crown and Company, which forms part of this new joint venture, said Lis de Roziere, of the company Intrawest.
In April, Aspen partnered with Denver-based KSL Capital Partners to acquire Intrawest Resorts Holdings for about $1.5 billion. Intrawest owns six of the resorts that form part of the new company: Steamboat Ski Resort and Winter Park Resort in Colorado, Snowshoe in West Virginia, Stratton Mountain in Vermont, Mont Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario.
The Aspen resorts may still be considered for inclusion in the new company's multi-resort season passes in the future, though, Roziere said.
Utah's Solitude resort, which Deer Valley bought in 2015, was not included in the sale announced Monday.
Deer Valley's sale means all three ski areas in the mountain town of Park City are owned by mega ski companies.
Vail Resorts bought Park City Mountain Resort in 2014 and connected it to neighboring Canyons Resort to create one of the largest ski areas in the country starting in the 2015-16 season.