Vail Buys Okemo

On June 4, Vail Resorts announced plans to purchase Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee, and Crested Butte. The conglomerate also purchased Washington’s Stevens Pass.

As of today, unlimited lift access at Okemo Mountain Resort will be included in the 2018-2019 Vail Resorts Epic Pass ($899) and Epic Locals Pass ($699).

On June 4, Vail Resorts announced that it has entered into a purchase agreement with Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort, New Hampshire’s Mount Sunapee Resort and Colorado’s Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The resorts will be included in the 2018-2019 Epic Pass upon the deal’s closing, which is slated to happen this summer.

The sale also includes the Okemo Valley Golf Club in Ludlow, Vt. and Tater Hill Golf Club in Windham, Vt.

Vail Resorts purchased the three resorts for $82 million, and plans to invest $35 million in capital improvements to the properties over the next two years. At closing, Vail Resorts will provide Triple Peaks, LLC with $155 million to pay off leases that all three resorts have with Ski Resort Holdings, LLC.

In a separate transaction, Vail Resorts will also purchase Washington’s Stevens Pass Resort from Ski Resort Holdings, LLC for a total purchase price of $67 million.

The first thing Vail plans to do in Vermont is cut the cost of a season’s pass at Okemo in half. Prior to the acquisition, a Classic Pass, which still offers unlimited season’s access to Okemo and Mount Sunapee, was priced at $1,375 for the 2018-2019 season. This year, locals can get all that plus unrestricted access to Colorado’s Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Crested Butte; Mt. Washington’s Stevens Pass; New Hampshire’s Mount Sunapee; Wisconsin’s Wilmot Mountain, Minnesota’s Afton Alps and Michigan’s Mt. Brighton for a mere $699.

The acquisition adds three resorts to Vail’s Epic Pass, which now includes unlimited and unrestricted skiing at 19 resorts across North America and Australia, plus a few days at 11 more resorts across Asia, Canada and Europe. In total, the Epic Pass now offers passholders skiing at 30 resorts.

The winter of 2017-2018 was the first year that unrestricted skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort was included in the Epic Pass, following Vail Resorts’ purchase of Stowe. Vail Resorts purchased Stowe Mountain Resort from Mt. Mansfield Company, Inc. for $50 million in early 2017. Stowe Mountain Resort was the first East Coast ski area the conglomerate acquired, and until now was the only Vail resort in Vermont. 

The only pass that offers skiing at close to as many resorts as the Epic Pass is Alterra Mountain Company’s Ikon Pass. The Ikon Pass, which was unveiled on January 25, 2018, offers unrestricted season’s lift access to 12 resorts with limited access to 14. The 2018-2019 Ikon Pass is currently on sale for $999. Unlimited access to Vermont’s Stratton Mountain is included in the 2018-2019 Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass ($699), along with limited access to Killington and Sugarbush. The Ikon Pass also offers limited skiing at New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain and Maine’s Sunday River and Sugarloaf.

A children’s Epic Pass (ages five to 12) will cost $469 for the 2018-2019 season, and a children’s Epic Local Pass will cost $359. There will also be a $99 Military Epic Pass for active and retired military personnel and their dependents– and almost 90-percent discount to the regular Epic Pass price.

Already purchased your season’s pass at Okemo? Don’t sweat it. According to a press release from Vail Resorts, the company will “continue to honor previously sold 2018-2019 season pass products for Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte and Stevens Pass.” Okemo Mountain Resort Passes for the 2018-2019 season are currently on sale for $949. Holding out for the Epic Pass will save skiers and riders about $150.

Triple Peaks, LLC is owned by Tim and Diane Mueller and their children Ethan and Erica Mueller.

The Muellers purchased Okemo Mountain in 1982. As they grew the ski area, they expanded their ski resort operations business to acquire Mount Sunapee in 1998, and then Crested Butte Mountain Resort in 2004.

“Diane and I are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished at the three resorts for the last 36 years,” said Tim Mueller on June 4.

The Muellers and existing resort management staff will continue to operate Crested Butte, Okemo and Mount Sunapee until the sale closes this summer.

Abagael Giles

Abagael Giles is the Assistant Editor at Vermont Ski + Ride Magazine. She loves free-heel skiing and exploring her home state of Vermont–one ridgetop at a time. Find her on Twitter at @AbagaelGiles.