Could this California site once again host Olympic events? (photo: The Village at Squaw Valley)

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Announce Merger

Squaw Valley, CA - In a deal long rumored on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resort announced today that the two ski areas have agreed to combine operations under common ownership and offer season passes and lift tickets that will allow guests to enjoy skiing and riding on both mountains.  The transaction is expected to close prior to the beginning of the 2011-12 ski and snowboard season.

There are obvious synergies between the two ski resorts, separated only by a narrow privately owned valley. Combined, the two resorts represent over 6,000 skiable acres of terrain spread across eight Sierra Nevada mountain peaks.  Located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, California, the two resorts are less than a ten minute drive from each other but could easily be combined if the land separating the two could be acquired or an easement obtained.

(photo: The Village at Squaw Valley)

(photo: The Village at Squaw Valley)

“Combining Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley will provide our guests something truly remarkable – a mountain experience unmatched in California, inclusive of expansive and family friendly terrain,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley.  “In today’s economic environment, skiers and snowboarders are looking for more – more terrain and value. The all new Tahoe Super Pass and Tahoe Super Six which allow guests, with one pass, access to both of these incredible mountains provides unmatched value,” said Wirth, who will take the helm as the president and CEO of the new combined entity of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

“As a long-time skier with a family dedicated to Tahoe, I’m excited to bring these two remarkable resorts together and we agree that a key element of success is maintaining each resort’s character,” said Todd Chapman, president and CEO of JMA Ventures (JMA), owner of Alpine Meadows. “While both resorts are unique, this partnership is a natural fit, as what unites our brands and the spirit of our mountains is our guests’ desire for exploration and adventure.”

The companies also announced an all new dual mountain season pass and six-day card.  The all new Tahoe Super Pass will be available starting at $439 for adults, with the unrestricted adult pass available for $799, providing unlimited skiing and riding at both resorts for winter 2011-12. Also, the all new Tahoe Super Six is available for $399 for adults and provides six unrestricted days of skiing and riding for the 2011-12 season. Both the Tahoe Super Pass and the Tahoe Super Six are already available for sale.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are also offering value for all of their existing pass holders (Gold, Silver and Bronze passes at Squaw, and Unfiltered, Slightly Filtered and Filtered passes at Alpine Meadows) for winter 2011-12.  All of these passes previously purchased at Squaw or Alpine for winter 2011-12 will become valid for skiing and riding at both mountain resorts.  Respective day of week and date restrictions will apply for previously purchased season passes.

As part of the transaction, an investment affiliate of JMA Ventures (JMA), will convert its ownership of Alpine Meadows into partial ownership of the combined company.  Colorado-based investment firm KSL Capital Partners, LLC (KSL), the owner of Squaw Valley since last year when it was acquired from the Cushing family that founded the resort, will be the majority owner of the combined company.  The closing of the transaction is subject to U.S. Forest Service and the California Tahoe Conservancy approval. JMA will continue to independently own and operate nearby Homewood Mountain Resort south of Tahoe City.

The deal marks an increase in the consolidation of ownership of the ski resorts surrounding Lake Tahoe. Prior to last winter, Vail Resorts, the Broomfield, Colo.-based company that owns Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe, acquired Northstar-at-Tahoe in Truckee, Calif., on the lake’s North Shore.

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