Vail Resorts recently announced that it will acquire Kirkwood Mountain Resort based in Lake Tahoe, California. According to the terms of the acquisition agreement, the purchase price for the northern California resort is approximately $18 million.
Kirkwood boasts 2,300 acres of terrain, including 2,000 feet of vertical drop, bowls, glades and wide-open skiing. Kirkwood claims to get the most snow of any of the surrounding California ski resorts, which most likely contributed to its value.
With the acquisition of Kirkwood, Vail Resorts is certainly hoping to do for Lake Tahoe what it has accomplished in Colorado and with its eight other ski resorts. They are hoping that with their expertise in ski resort management, they will be able to develop the Lake Tahoe resort into a national and international destination.
The fact that Vail is already in this business should help to coordinate future sales and marketing. Vail is certainly hoping to capitalize on its marketing expertise, and thereby increase ticket sales at Kirkwood.
Vail is also excited about future development opportunities, as the Kirkwood acquisition includes undeveloped parcels at the base of the mountain. These expansion possibilities made Kirkwood a desirable acquisition target for Vail Resorts' and its hope for future expansion into the Lake Tahoe region.
One unique feature of the Vail Resorts conglomerate is that certain pass holders are eligible to ski any of Vail Resort ski areas. Now, with the pending acquisition of Kirkwood, those skiers will already be able to take advantage of the sale of Kirkwood to Vail Resorts this season.
Source: Vail Daily, "Vail Resorts to buy Kirkwood in California," Lauren Glendenning, Feb. 22, 2012
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