Vail Resorts, Inc. is set to expand its European footprints after agreeing to acquire Crans-Montana Mountain Resort in Switzerland.
Crans-Montana Mountain Resort spans over 1,400 metres (approximately 4,593 ft) of skiable vertical terrain, and 140 kilometers (approximately 87 mi) of trails. Accessible from five airports and by train, Crans-Montana Mountain Resort is located in the Valais canton of Switzerland, approximately two and a half hours from Geneva and less than four hours from Milan and Zurich.
The resort is two and a half hours away from the company’s other owned and operated European resort in Andermatt-Sedrun.
Crans-Montana Mountain Resort is a top ski destination in the heart of the Swiss Alps, offering views of the Matterhorn and the Mont Blanc, and has been recognized as one of the best ski resorts in Europe. The commune of Crans-Montana has gourmet restaurants and luxury retail stores, as well as stylish five-star hotels, including the recently developed Six Senses lodge and spa, a luxury 45-room ski-in, ski-out chalet-style property situated above the main gondola.
“Crans-Montana is an iconic ski destination in the heart of the Swiss Alps, with a unique heritage, incredible terrain, passionate team, and a community dedicated to the success of the region,” said Kirsten Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts.
“Our acquisition of the resort aligns to our growth strategy of expanding our resort network in Europe, creating even more value for our Pass Holders and guests around the world. Much like Andermatt-Sedrun, we believe Crans-Montana has a unique opportunity for future growth.”
Vail Resorts is acquiring an 84-percent ownership stake in Remontées Mécaniques Crans Montana Aminona (CMA) SA, which controls and operates all the resort’s lifts and supporting mountain operations, including 4 retail and rental locations. The company is acquiring an 80-percent ownership stake in SportLife AG, which operates one of the ski schools located at the resort. Vail Resorts is also acquiring 100% ownership of 11 restaurants located on and around the mountain.
The company’s industry-leading line of Epic Pass products allows skiers and riders to access the company’s resorts at an incredible value, whether they plan to ski one day or every day. Vail Resorts plans to include access to Crans-Montana Mountain Resort on select Epic Pass products for the 2024/25 ski and ride season. Crans-Montana Mountain Resort will not be included on the Epic Pass for any remaining part of the 2023/24 ski and ride season after the deal closes.
The Epic Pass currently provides access to Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis, as well as European partner resorts, including five days at Verbier4Vallées in Switzerland, seven days at Les 3 Vallées in France, seven days at Skirama Dolomiti in Italy and three days at Ski Arlberg in Austria.
Subject to closing adjustments, the valuation for the resort operations is expected to be CHF 118.5 million, including approximately CHF 7 million of debt that will remain in place. Vail Resorts anticipates that the resort will generate approximately CHF 5 million of EBITDA in its fiscal year ending July 31, 2025, the first full year of operations following the expected closing later in fiscal 2024.
The transaction is expected to close during the 2023/24 ski and ride season, subject to certain third-party consents. Operations at Crans-Montana Mountain Resort for the 2023/24 winter season will continue in the ordinary course of business. Vail Resorts is committed to retaining the vast majority of employees, the existing operational infrastructure, and local expertise. Vail Resorts will incorporate areas of expertise from its business strategy, including enhancements to data and analytics capabilities, accessibility with the Epic Pass product lineup, and best practice sharing from its mountain operations.