Tannersville, PA – Two days after Spirit Realty announced the sale of Camelback Mountain Resort in eastern Pennsylvania for $69.25 million, the ski area’s buyer has identified itself.
Kansas City, Mo.-based EPR Properties confirmed on Friday that the real estate investment trust (REIT) has closed on a transaction to acquire Camelback in Tannersville, near Stroudsburg, Penn. in the Pocono Mountains and about 85 miles west of New York City. EPR owns 13 “metro ski parks,” including Jack Frost/Big Boulder, also in the Poconos.
“I am very pleased to announce this expansion of our Recreation portfolio with Camelback Mountain Resort. Camelback has been a very popular and successful recreation property for over 50 years and importantly, offers year-round attractions and sustainable year-round cash flows,” said David Brain, EPR President and CEO.
The change in ownership should have little, if any effect for visitors at Camelback. As an REIT, EPR’s ownership strategy is to purchase resorts and lease them back to their operators. Camelback is currently leased to CBH2O, which has operated the resort since 2005 and has committed to an additional 20-year term. Ken Ellis and Art Berry, principals of CBH2O, have consistently reinvested in the property to develop additional year-round attractions to the point that along with its CamelBeach summer water park, Camelback attracts approximately 900,000 skier visits annually.
EPR invests in theaters, retail centers, water parks, golf courses and public charter schools as well as ski resorts. Its ski portfolio focuses on resorts that offer “the convenience of a daily accessible ski experience without the expense of air travel. We see an opportunity to make the ski experience more accessible, so we bring the mountain to the skier. Our metropolitan ski parks turn downhill enthusiasm into uphill advantages, creating a sustainable competitive advantage,” its website explains.
Other ski areas in the EPR portfolio include Wisp in Maryland, Mount Snow in Vermont, Crotched Mountain and Attitash in New Hampshire, Indiana’s Paoli Peaks, Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri, and Boston Mills/Brandywine, Alpine Valley, and Mad River Mountain in Ohio. These other resorts, along with Jack Frost/Big Boulder, are operated by Wildwood, Mo.-based Peak Resorts.