Vail Resorts has entered into an agreement to acquire Crans-Montana Mountain Resort in Switzerland from CPI Property Group (CPIPG), the majority owner of Remontées Mécaniques (French for “ski lifts”) Crans Montana Aminona (CMA) SA, which controls and operates all the resort’s lifts and supporting mountain operations, including four retail and rental locations.
VR is acquiring an 84-percent stake in CMA, as well as an 80-percent ownership stake in SportLife AG, which operates one of the ski schools located at the resort, and is also acquiring 100 percent ownership of 11 restaurants located on and around the mountain.
Subject to closing adjustments, the valuation for the resort operations is expected to be CHF 118.5 million ($135.55 million), including approximately CHF 7 million (about $8 million) of debt that will remain in place.
The transaction is expected to close during the 2023-24 winter season, subject to certain third-party consents.
Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said the acquisition “aligns to our growth strategy of expanding our resort network in Europe,” which currently includes Andermatt-Sedrun, roughly two-and-a-half hours from Crans-Montana. “Much like Andermatt-Sedrun, we believe Crans-Montana has a unique opportunity for future growth.”
“We share many values with the Crans-Montana community, including a commitment to environmental responsibility and reducing our net-operating footprint,” added Lynch.
The sprawling Crans-Montana offers about 87 miles of trails and roughly 4,593 feet of vertical with a max elevation of over 9,600 feet served by more than 20 lifts.
Crans-Montana will not be included on the Epic Pass for the 2023-24 season, but it will be included for the 2024-25 season.
The company plans to invest approximately CHF 30 million ($34.4 million) over the next five years in one-time capital spending, including investments “focused on maximizing gastronomy efficiencies,” i.e., food and beverage improvements, and snowmaking expansion. VR said it plans to retain a vast majority of employees. Operations will remain status quo for this winter season.
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