Top Five Fridays - September 13, 2019 // Ski Industry News
#1: Multiple Potential Buyers Named For Looming Jay Peak Sale:
As we creep closer to the start of winter, we're starting to receive more and more interesting ski news, particularly in regards to resort acquisitions, and new event announcements. We start Top 5 Fridays off on a similar topic this week, as some new information regarding the long awaited sale of Jay Peak has been made public. As you might recall, Jay Peak has been on the market since early winter of 2019, marking the last step in ending the disastrous EB-5 saga that's been surrounding the resort for years. Somewhat surprisingly though, the resort is still for sale, despite many's belief that the a buyer would be found quickly.
This week, we learned more about why the sale has taken so long, and why it may still be some time before a deal is made. Without diving too deeply into the backstory of this situation (something you can do here if you'd like), the succinct version is this: court-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg has been tasked with selling the resort for as high of a price as possible to recoup money owed to investors who were the victims of fraud. He's also really good at his job. As such, Goldberg is prioritizing the "right" sale over the "first" sale. So, what exactly is taking so long, and are there any interested parties at this point? Well, thanks to an article from VTDigger.org this week, we have answers to both of those questions.
First, the delay: back in January, Goldberg hired Houlihan Lokey Inc., a Los Angeles based investment firm, to assist in the sale of the resort. Once hired, Houlihan Lokey Inc. reached out to 125 potential buyers, and found interest in 26 of them. From this initial round of interest, a number of potential buyers have since toured the resort and explored its financials. Amongst those who have actually visited the resort are investors from FoSun, Pacific Group, SNOW Operating, AWH, and of course, Alterra. Obviously the two most intriguing aspects of that list are that one, Vail is missing, and two, Alterra currently owns Mount Tremblant in nearby Quebec. Still, despite all of the interest, there is no indication that a sale is imminent, or that any of these prospective buyers are more likely than the others. One of the reasons for that is likely the fact that Goldberg would need to land a deal valued at over $200 million to fully recoup defrauded investors, while the resort is currently valued at between $42 million and $124 million.
All told, this week's news still isn't the update we've been waiting to hear from Jay Peak, but it's valuable and interesting information to know about for those following the saga. It's also yet another instance of Michael Goldberg's impressive ability to right what was once an extremely tumultuous situation. To read more about this week's updates, check in with VTDigger.com.
#2: 2020 Winter Dew Tour Heading to Copper Mountain:
For our second update this week, let's turn the page to something a bit more fun: an update regarding the 2020 Dew Tour. Back at the end of January, you may have caught the news that the Dew Tour would be looking to relocate for the 2020 season, ending its 11 year run at Breckenridge resort. We didn't cover that update at the time as there wasn't any additional information regarding the reasoning behind the decision, or potential new locations. This week however, we're able to definitively answer one of those questions: the 2020 Dew Tour is coming to Copper Mountain, CO.
That's the headline, but along with that announcement comes plenty of details regarding this year's event that we shouldn't overlook. First on that list, is a relatively significant change to the dates of the event. Previously occurring in mid-December, which sometimes proved problematic in regards to conditions, the date for the 2020 Dew Tour has been pushed to February 6-9, helping to ensure more favorable snow conditions. In doing so, the Winter Dew Tour will find itself without a 2019 event, but that's ultimately little more than a riddle for future historians to figure out. In addition to the change in dates and location, the event will also feature a new invitational competition, although we'll have to wait to learn more specific details. For now, the long and short of it is that you'll be able to catch the same Dew Tour action, at a new location on a new date this upcoming season. For more details, check out the writeup from Summit Daily.
#3: U.S. Ski & Snowboard Bringing Big Air Event to Atlanta Braves' Stadium:
Keeping up with the exciting event news, we bring you what might be our favorite announcement of the week: U.S. Ski & Snowboard has teamed up with the Atlanta Braves to bring a big air event to SunTrust Park, home of the Braves. For those of us who constantly hope that skiing of all varieties will eventually break into the mainstream sports world, this is amazing news. Originally tested as a concept back in 2016 at Boston's Fenway Park, the combination of Big Air skiing and snowboarding in a packed baseball stadium has already proven wildly entertaining. Now, 3 years later, U.S. Ski & Snowboard has found a way to bring the show to an unlikely, South Eastern location. In doing so, a whole new region of the United States will have the opportunity to witness freestyle skiing and snowboarding in person. This is obviously exciting on a number of levels, but chief amongst which is simply the thought of having an Atlanta crowd's minds collectively blown as skiers like Henrik Harlaut, Nick Goepper, and Maggie Voisin send massive tricks off a scaffolding structure covered in snow. Even for those familiar with the sports, Boston's Fenway event was a scene to witness, and the idea of repeating that atmosphere in Atlanta is more than enough to get us excited to watch the event when it occurs on December 21st and 22nd. To learn more about the details surrounding the event, check out the official press release from U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
#4: North American Peaks Receive First Snowfall of 2019-2020 Season:
Finally, we round out this week with exciting news for skiers across North America: it snowed! For the first time of the 2019-2020 ski season, multiple locations across the U.S. and Canada received their first signs of winter. Now, that's not to say that enough white stuff fell to be useable by reasonable skiers, but at this time of year, even the smallest signs of winter are enough to get us excited. Of course the short list of locations receiving snow mostly consists of your usual suspects. In Colorado, Keystone, Winter Park, and Aspen all received enough snow to document and upload to their social media pages. In Utah, Alta also received a dusting at higher elevations, as did the state's Bald Mountain Pass. Perhaps most exciting for East Coast skiers, is that Murdochville, a location in Nova Scotia, also received a dusting of snow. Admittedly, none of the snowfall resulted in significant accumulations, but still, it's mid-September and any snow news is good news this time of year!
#4.5: The SkiEssentials.com 2020 Ski Test is Now Live!:
#5: And Now, Your Edits of the Week: Salomon Presents The Seven Stages of Blank:
Watch Henrik Harlaut Eat and Extremely Strange Breakfast and Then Win an X-Games Medal:
*** Warning, Moderate Language ***
A Look into Rossignol's 110 Year History:
Finally, Designing Skis with Eric Pollard is... Different: