Will Vail Combine Park City Ski Resort & The Canyons to Make Biggest Ski Resort in USA?

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Map showing how close together Park City and The Canyons ski resorts really are.  They'd be easy to connect.
Map showing how close together Park City and The Canyons ski resorts really are. They’d be easy to connect.

Quick Update:  Vail Resorts just acquired Park City ski resort by suing Park City ski resort for Talisker, the owner of the land that Park City operates on.  Park City did a silly thing and let their super cheap lease expire and Vail dropped in hard.  So, Vail will now be running Park City ski resort.

Since Vail took over, Wall Street has approved the maneuver and thinks that Vail will combine two adjacent resorts (both are run by Vail now) creating the largest ski resort in the USA.

All this may be premature, however.  Powdr Corp, the guys who used to run Park City, have appealed the court’s ruling.  They also own the base of the mountain and they’re threatening to not cooperate.  The court has ruled that Powdr Corp is not allowed to impede progress.  Powdr Corp may still have a chance at at least causing Vail some delay, but that might be just about it.  It’s not looking good for Powdr Corp.  Not renewing that lease was a hugely enormous faux pas.

The Canyons Trail Map
The Canyons Trail Map

As soon as the news that Vail was going to take over Park City, Talisker’s stock went up 5%.  Wells Fargo thinks Vail Resorts’ stock is going to jump as a result of this move, as well.

“Resolution was faster than expected, we felt a ruling might still be months away. We expect a favorable reaction to the stock [Vail Resorts’ stock] although we think some of this outcome was already priced in.” – Wells Fargo report

The Canyons Pow
The Canyons Pow

Credit Suisse is bank and financial analyst that covers Vail Resorts.  Credit Suisse thinks that Vail will try to combine Park City and The Canyons now that it runs both of them.

“The ability to combine Canyons and PCMR . . . has the potential to create a world-class destination, helping MTN [Vail’s ticker symbol] to ‘create’ another Vail Mountain with more terrain, phenomenal accessibility (30m drive from SLC), and a terrific mountain town that has all the amenities high-end guests want.” – Credit Suisse

Park City trail map
Park City trail map

They might be right…  The Canyons and Park City ski resort are both on private land.  Both on Talisker’s private land.  Connecting them would be easy for Vail both financially and physically.  The two ski resorts are right next to each other.

“This [both ski resorts being on private land] is a key difference and should allow MTN [Vail Resorts’ stock name] to ultimately upgrade these resorts more quickly (lifts, terrain, ancillary amenities) and find partnership opportunities to develop real estate.” – Credit Suisse

Park City dreaminess.
Park City dreaminess.

The Canyons has 4,000 skiable acres.  Park City has 3,300 skiable acres.  Combined, they’d have over 7,400 skiable acres making it the biggest ski resort in the USA and the 2nd largest ski resort in North America behind Whislter Blackcomb’s 8,000 acres.

So, what do you think.  Is Vail’s taking over a good thing?  Is combining the two resorts a good thing?

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6 thoughts on “Will Vail Combine Park City Ski Resort & The Canyons to Make Biggest Ski Resort in USA?

  1. Your article omits an important fact. Powdr Corp still owns the base of Park City’s lower lifts and the parking, and they are appealing the ruling. Pretty challenging to “run” a ski area with no parking, and no ability to ride lower mountain lifts. Talks of combining two (marginal, let’s be honest) ski areas is still premature. These two parties HATE each other, and Powdr has threatened to tear out the lower lifts they own… stay tuned.

    1. It’s true. I’ll throw that in. Wall Street has spoken, regardless. Wall St. thinks it’s a done deal. It’ll be very interesting to see what happens now.

    2. You are right….and guess who joust purchased Snowbird? PCMR owners. That’s right! PCMR is not out of business by any means.

  2. You’ll never guess who Vail Resorts is planning on buy next… Insiders say: Squaw and Alpine. But you didn’t hear that here.
    Shut your dirty mouth!

  3. I seem to remember that Park City own the waters rights for snowmaking–no small thing in the dessert.

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