Vail Resorts, Inc. and Whistler Blackcomb Holdings, Inc. have reached a deal in which Vail will acquire 100% of the stock of Whistler Blackcomb.
“Combining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts’ portfolio of outstanding resorts provides Whistler Blackcomb with increased financial strength, marketing exposure, guest relationships and broadens the geographic diversity of our company with resorts across the United States, as well as in Australia and Canada,” said Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s chief executive officer. “This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history.”
Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, commented, “Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world with an incredible history, passionate employees and a strong community. With our combined experience and expertise, together we will build upon the guest experience at Whistler Blackcomb while preserving the unique brand and character of the resort as an iconic Canadian destination for guests around the world.”
Brownlie, who will continue leading Whistler Blackcomb as the resort’s chief operating officer, added, “As the number one ranked and most visited resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb has enjoyed tremendous success by delivering an exceptional mountain experience… That’s going to continue as we work with our new colleagues at Vail Resorts as well as our employees, local businesses, community and government stakeholders to make Whistler Blackcomb better than ever. We will also continue our discussions with the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, on whose traditional lands we operate, regarding a business partnership that will benefit our communities, our province and our company for decades to come.”
Whistler Blackcomb will continue to honour the resort’s existing season pass products for the full 2016-17 winter season, with Vail Resorts integrating Whistler Blackcomb into its Epic Season Pass and other season pass products for the 2017-18 season.
The aggregate cash component of the offer is estimated to be $676 million, which Vail Resorts intends to finance through an expansion of its existing credit facility.