Courtenay (BC), Canada – A Park City-based company that already owns three ski resorts in the U.S. is expanding its portfolio by purchasing Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island.
Mount Washington Ski Resort, Ltd.’s current owners — a group of private shareholders now in their 70’s, led by George Stuart — have announced its sale to Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., which already owns three ski resorts along the U.S. East Coast: Ragged Mountain, N.H.; Wisp, Md.; and Wintergreen, Va. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
“Over the past 25 years, George Stuart and his ownership group have invested a tremendous amount of money and energy into Mount Washington,” noted Peter Gibson, president and general manager of Mount Washington Alpine Resort. “We are indebted to them for what they have helped us build here. Now it’s their time to retire from the ski business, and we’re pretty pleased with the group they have chosen to sell to.”
Mount Washington has faced two difficult winters in a row in the Pacific Northwest without snowmaking. Pacific Group is already well-versed in snowmaking at its three existing resorts, all of which are snowmaking dependent. Even so, Mount Washington was already on the market before that. It was first listed by commercial realtor CBRE in 2013.
“We’ve been working with George Stuart and Darryl Eddy for a couple years now on the transition of the resort to new ownership,” Pacific Group’s president of resort investments, Mark Fischer, acknowledged. “It finally worked out that this was the right time, and we are very excited to have the opportunity to add Mount Washington to our portfolio.”
Fischer added that he expected the staff and daily operations would remain largely unchanged from previous years.
The current owners will retain two key development parcels at the base of Mount Washington. Just about everything else at the 1,700-acre resort is part of the sale.
In addition to its ski resort holdings, Pacific Group has extensive experience constructing commercial buildings, from ski resort condos and hotels in Mammoth and Whistler, to strip malls and big box retailers.