A year ago, in the midst of some of the ski industry’s largest mergers and acquisitions, British Columbia’s Red Mountain Resort launched an industry-first $10 million crowdfunding campaign titled, “Fight The Man. Own The Mountain.” This was the first time a for-profit resort had explored equity crowdfunding online and nobody knew what to expect.
During phase 1 of the campaign, which RED called “Test The Waters”, potential investors from across Canada and the U.S. were given the opportunity to pledge an “expression of interest” anywhere between $1,000 and $25,000. With no money changing hands, RED used this 90-day period to judge public interest in the campaign to see if they could raise enough money to fund their independent future.
RED Mountain is an endangered species within the ski resort world. We have the snowfall, vertical drop, world-class terrain and 4-season fun to go boot-to-boot with the big guys, but have consciously maintained our mom’n’pop/weird uncle feel for over 100 years. We’re tired of seeing families priced out of a premier ski vacation by mega resorts. It’s time for a change… RED CEO Howard Katkov
In February of this year, months ahead of target, they achieved their goal of $10 million and are now ready for phase 2, actual investment.
Beginning August 14, Canadian investors can fulfil their pledges, earning themselves a piece of the mountain, as well as a collection of rewards, from free lift tickets to season passes to custom Blizzard skis, depending on their monetary commitment. Because the U.S. regulatory process for equity funding takes approximately 90 days longer than Canada, American investment will open on StartEngine starting November 2. However, RED wants to make clear this staggered start does not offer Canadian investors an undue advantage.
This has been great for our mountain, and great for skiing in general. We planted our flag on this issue just as some of North America’s most famous resorts were amalgamated. The big corporate acquisitions are disenfranchising the skier from the industry. I think we’ve struck a nerve. There are people who are feeling this. We are giving them a forum to express their feelings – Howard Katkov
Come ski season, Katkov said the mountain looks forward to greeting its thousands of new owners, and welcoming them to the Red Mountain family.
People were very passionate about keeping RED out of harm’s way. And, within a month, we had surpassed our wildest dreams on the crowdfunding front. I just hope everyone in Canada will recognize that now is the time to make good on those pledges and invest real dollars, for real equity, in a resort that’s about as real as it gets – Howard Katkov
Red Mountain, located in the Monashee Mountains just north of the U.S. border, is the oldest ski resort in Western Canada, and one of the oldest ski hills in North America, dating back to early 1900’s. The ski area’s base elevation is at 3,888 ft (1,185 m) and has 2,910 ft (887 m) of vertical. Its three main summits, Red Mountain, Granite Mountain, and the newly added Grey Mountain are serviced by five chairlifts, a T-bar, and a magic carpet to access 2,682 acres (10.9 km2) of skiable terrain on 110 named runs.
Red Mountain has been the site of many firsts: First World Cup ski race in Canada, and one of the largest terrain expansions in North America in over 40 years. This campaign marked another first, the opportunity through equity crowdfunding to own a slice of world-class ski resort for as little as $1,000. And in the first day of its FrontFundr campaign, Red Mountain raised over $500,000 from 145 investors, which set a Canadian record for equity crowdfunding campaigns.