Vail Resorts completes purchase of Crans-Montana

It is the second resort in Switzerland owned by the US company. It promises further investment, but some are concerned about US ownership of resorts in the Alps. NEW

Vail Resorts acquired an 84% stake in Remontées Mécaniques Crans Montana Aminona (CMA) SA, which controls and operates all of the resort's lifts and supports mountain operations, including four retail and rental locations.

The company acquired 100% of the previously announced 80% of SportLife AG, which operates one of the resort's ski schools.

Vail Resorts also acquired full ownership of 11 restaurants on and around the mountain.

The valuation for the entire resort operation is CHF 118.5 million (£104 million), including approximately CHF 7 million (£6.15 million) of debt, which remains in place.

Vail Resorts plans to invest approximately CHF30 million (£26.3 million) in one-off capital expenditures over the next five years to enhance the guest experience, subject to the timing of approval and completion of the capital project.

The focus of the investments is on maximizing efficiency in the catering industry as well as improving and expanding snowmaking capacities.

We previously reported on the planned deal on PlanetSKI:

“We are pleased to welcome Crans-Montana Mountain Resort as our second owned and operated ski resort in Switzerland,” said Kirsten Lynch, CEO of Vail Resorts.

“Crans-Montana is a stunning alpine destination known for its breathtaking panoramic views, pristine slopes and vibrant community.

“We are committed to investing in the resort to support its growth and the vitality of the region.

“We also look forward to adding Crans-Montana Mountain Resort to the Epic Pass and welcoming skiers and snowboarders from around the world.”

Crans Montana, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Vail Resorts has already announced plans to expand its European operations through additional purchases and deals.

Concerns have been raised about the “Americanization” of skiing in Europe.

We will update this story based on the response, so check back.

Vail Resorts also owns and operates Andermatt-Sedrun in Switzerland.

After overseeing the successful acquisition and integration of ski operations in Andermatt-Sedrun over the past 18 months, Mike Goar, the current Managing Director of Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG, has been tasked with managing all Vail Resorts activities in Switzerland.

Goar has more than 40 years of experience in the ski industry and has held leadership positions at several of the most prominent mountain resorts in the United States, including the largest resort in the country, Park City Mountain in Utah.

“I am personally committed to operational excellence and continued collaboration with our many passionate partners to ensure the success of both Andermatt-Sedrun and now the incredible Crans-Montana Mountain Resort,” said Goar.

“These resorts each offer a unique experience for skiers and snowboarders visiting the Swiss Alps.

“I look forward to learning more about Crans-Montana and contributing to its future growth and sustainability through a valuable partnership with our employees and community members.”

The day-to-day management of the Crans-Montana Mountain Resort will be managed by Pete Petrovski, who has been appointed managing director of the resort from the 2024/25 winter season and reports to Goar.

Originally from Skopje, North Macedonia, Petrovski has more than 14 years of experience in mountain operations and Vail Resorts.

He is currently the Head of Ski Services at Keystone Resort in Colorado, USA.

Since Vail Resorts' acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun in 2022, and including projects planned for the 2024 calendar year, the resort has made over CHF20 million (£17.5 million) in investments, including upgrades to the snowmaking system, three restaurant updates and Lift planning projects.

Vail Resorts operates Vail, Breckenridge, Park City Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb, Stowe and 32 other resorts throughout North America.

It also operates Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek in Australia.

Vail Resorts Retail operates more than 250 retail and rental locations throughout North America.

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