Vail Resorts Announces Purchase of Crans-Montana in Switzerland

Vail Resorts, Inc. has announced its agreement to acquire Crans-Montana Mountain Resort in Switzerland from CPI Property Group (“CPIPG”). Spanning over 1,400 meters (approximately 4,593 ft) of skiable vertical terrain and featuring 140 kilometers (approximately 87 mi) of trails, Crans-Montana Mountain Resort is easily accessible from five airports and by train. Situated in the Valais canton of Switzerland, the resort is located approximately two and a half hours from Geneva, less than four hours from Milan and Zurich, and is also two and a half hours away from the company’s other owned and operated European resort in Andermatt-Sedrun.

Crans-Montana Mountain Resort, nestled in the Swiss Alps, is a premier ski destination known for its stunning views of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. Recognized among Europe’s best ski resorts, it hosts prestigious events like the Ski World Cup and Mountain Bike World Cup. The commune offers gourmet restaurants, luxury retail stores, and upscale accommodations, including the recently developed Six Senses lodge and spa—a 45-room ski-in, ski-out chalet-style property above the main gondola.

Kirsten Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts said that Crans-Montana is an iconic ski destination in the heart of the Swiss Alps. He says, “Our acquisition of the resort aligns to our growth strategy of expanding our resort network in Europe, creating even more value for our Pass Holders and guests around the world.”

Vail Resorts is acquiring an 84% ownership stake in Remontées Mécaniques Crans Montana Aminona (CMA) SA, responsible for operating the resort’s lifts and mountain operations, including retail and rental locations. Additionally, the company is securing an 80% ownership stake in SportLife AG, the ski school operator at the resort. Vail Resorts is also obtaining 100% ownership of 11 mountain-side restaurants.

Vail Resorts offers the industry-leading Epic Pass products, granting skiers and riders unparalleled access to resorts at exceptional value, whether for a single day or multiple days. Starting the 2024-25 ski and ride season, Crans-Montana Mountain Resort will be included in select Epic Pass products. However, for the remaining part of the 2023-24 season after the deal closes, it will not be part of the Epic Pass. The current Epic Pass provides access to Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis and various European partner resorts.

In a statement from its Board of Directors, the Association of the Municipality of Crans-Montana added: “Crans-Montana looks forward to working closely with Vail Resorts, which will undoubtedly have a clear, long-term strategy for development, marketing, and providing top-quality guest experience. 

Vail Resorts anticipates substantial growth for Crans-Montana Mountain Resort, fueled by continued investments and its inclusion on Epic Pass products. This strategic move aims to attract a diverse international audience seeking a premium destination resort experience in the Swiss Alps.

“Vail Resorts commitment to Crans-Montana rewards the Valais destination’s dynamism, innovation, positioning and strategy for high value-added, four-season sustainable tourism,” said Bruno Huggler, CEO of the Crans-Montana Tourism and Congress.

Subject to closing adjustments, the resort operations are valued at approximately CHF 118.5 million, including around CHF 7 million in debt. Vail Resorts anticipates CHF 5 million in EBITDA for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2025, with projected growth from Epic Pass inclusion, network synergy, and guest experience investments. Over the next five years, Vail Resorts plans to invest CHF 30 million to enhance the guest experience, aiming for over CHF 15 million in annual EBITDA post-investments and incremental Epic Pass sales. This growth phase will focus on operational and marketing initiatives, capital investments in gastronomy and snowmaking, with normal annual maintenance capital expenditures of approximately CHF 3 million after closing.

The transaction for Crans-Montana Mountain Resort is set to close in the 2023-24 ski season, pending third-party consents. Normal operations for the resort during the season will proceed as usual. Vail Resorts pledges to keep the majority of employees, maintain existing infrastructure, and leverage its business strategy for improvements, including data analytics, Epic Pass accessibility, and sharing best practices in mountain operations.

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