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  1. #1 Peaks Resorts are now EPIC? 
    Hardcore Skiboarder Wookie's Avatar
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    So if, like me, you are a skier/rider of a Peaks Resorts property on the East Coast (Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Hunter, Mt Snow, etc.) there was some big news this morning. Vail just announced a deal to acquire Peaks' portfolio and roll it under Vail's Epic Pass. Which, for me, means instead of buying my local Peaks pass and an Epic pass for trips out West I can now get them all with one pass. And to top it off the Local Epic Pass, which would give me unlimited access to my local resorts and limited access to other resorts, would be cheaper than my Peaks pass.

    On the surface this initially appears to be a plus as it lowers my cost and perhaps there is some investment in my local resorts from Vail but I don't know how it will play out. Will my local resort now be overrun with new pass holders? Will Vail just milk my local hills dry and then shutter or sell them when they have been run in the ground? Definitely a "wait and see" situation that will reveal itself in time.

    Story here ---> https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...300888418.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie View Post
    So if, like me, you are a skier/rider of a Peaks Resorts property on the East Coast (Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Hunter, Mt Snow, etc.) there was some big news this morning. Vail just announced a deal to acquire Peaks' portfolio and roll it under Vail's Epic Pass. Which, for me, means instead of buying my local Peaks pass and an Epic pass for trips out West I can now get them all with one pass. And to top it off the Local Epic Pass, which would give me unlimited access to my local resorts and limited access to other resorts, would be cheaper than my Peaks pass.

    On the surface this initially appears to be a plus as it lowers my cost and perhaps there is some investment in my local resorts from Vail but I don't know how it will play out. Will my local resort now be overrun with new pass holders? Will Vail just milk my local hills dry and then shutter or sell them when they have been run in the ground? Definitely a "wait and see" situation that will reveal itself in time.

    Story here ---> https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...300888418.html
    I"m very intrigued to see what happens. I only have my local (Scranton) pass this year, but may end up purchasing this too since I plan on hitting up Mt. Snow and Hunter a few times this year. Also JF/BB is only 25 mins from where I work. I wonder what the price increase will be after the deal completely go thru for the 20/21 season... very intriguing to see.
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  3. #3  
    Hardcore Skiboarder Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie View Post
    Vail just announced a deal to acquire Peaks' portfolio and roll it under Vail's Epic Pass. Which, for me, means instead of buying my local Peaks pass and an Epic pass for trips out West I can now get them all with one pass. And to top it off the Local Epic Pass, which would give me unlimited access to my local resorts and limited access to other resorts, would be cheaper than my Peaks pass.

    On the surface this initially appears to be a plus as it lowers my cost and perhaps there is some investment in my local resorts from Vail but I don't know how it will play out. Will my local resort now be overrun with new pass holders? Will Vail just milk my local hills dry and then shutter or sell them when they have been run in the ground? Definitely a "wait and see" situation that will reveal itself in time.
    Evidently, this sale included Hidden Valley, our modest little resort here in Missouri which is just down the road from me:

    https://www.stltoday.com/business/lo...92b119f.html#6

    Like Wookie, I'm not sure if this will be good or bad. Buying one season pass and being able to use it at certain resorts out west could be a plus or not depending on pricing and other details. Does anyone out there in forum-land have a "Vail Pass"? Is there such a thing?

    For some reason, I don't see our local resort being "overrun with new pass holders", but I suppose anything's possible. Hidden Valley has limitations for sure but it does have certain charms. It's more of the "Carhartt" crowd as opposed to the "Patagonia" set, which is a-okay with me ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Evidently, this sale included Hidden Valley, our modest little resort here in Missouri which is just down the road from me ....
    Yup, Peaks acquired it last season. Peaks Resorts was a collection of small family hills and it actually fit. I guess Vail’s interest is to get those families to travel West and spend some cash on family ski trips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    ... Buying one season pass and being able to use it at certain resorts out west could be a plus or not depending on pricing and other details. Does anyone out there in forum-land have a "Vail Pass"? Is there such a thing? ....
    The Vail Pass is the Epic Pass. For the past few years I have bought both a Peaks Pass for my local hills and an Epic Local Pass for our trips out West. I now only need to buy one pass and the cost of an Epic Local Pass is cheaper than my Peaks Pass. Should save me big bucks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    .... For some reason, I don't see our local resort being "overrun with new pass holders", but I suppose anything's possible. Hidden Valley has limitations for sure but it does have certain charms. It's more of the "Carhartt" crowd as opposed to the "Patagonia" set, which is a-okay with me ;-)
    LOL “Carhartt” crowd. My hill is a mix of the Carhartt/Camo crowd and the Giants/Jets jacket & sweatpants crowd.
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  5. #5  
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    Vail acquired Afton Alps in MN a few years back and for the most part people seem to be pretty pleased with how it has been run. They've built up the park quite a bit and if I recall correctly, added some more amenities on that side of the mountain, including more parking.

    I don't get out to ride much in MN anymore, so it's perfect for me that Afton is included in the Epic Pass. I buy a local pass to cover my trips west and if I make it to Afton I just look at that as an added value.
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    All of the Ohio resorts are Peak Resorts, with how messed up the winters have been over the last few years I'm not sure there's much Epic can do to mess with Ohio's Peak Resorts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisEvans View Post
    All of the Ohio resorts are Peak Resorts, with how messed up the winters have been over the last few years I'm not sure there's much Epic can do to mess with Ohio's Peak Resorts.
    The pattern Vail has followed with many of their legacy and new acquisition resorts is to expand them into year-round destinations primarily due to the unpredictability of the winters in recent years. They have also focused on adding winter amenities like mountain coasters that give visitors options that aren't snow dependent.

    Who knows what they'll do with the Peaks portfolio. They may invest in improvements or just slap Epic stickers on everything. I would suspect one reason they acquired the portfolio is to further capture hotel and guest expenditures when Eastern US skiers head west. Why would I now go to a non-Vail resort if I have an Epic pass back home?
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie View Post
    The pattern Vail has followed with many of their legacy and new acquisition resorts is to expand them into year-round destinations primarily due to the unpredictability of the winters in recent years. They have also focused on adding winter amenities like mountain coasters that give visitors options that aren't snow dependent.

    Who knows what they'll do with the Peaks portfolio. They may invest in improvements or just slap Epic stickers on everything. I would suspect one reason they acquired the portfolio is to further capture hotel and guest expenditures when Eastern US skiers head west. Why would I now go to a non-Vail resort if I have an Epic pass back home?
    All fine and good but they're not wasting the money on 350 vertical feet. They'd be idiots to do so. Not that it matters to me after this weekend.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisEvans View Post
    All fine and good but they're not wasting the money on 350 vertical feet. They'd be idiots to do so. Not that it matters to me after this weekend.
    They might, but it might not be for snow sports. Vail seems to be smart enough to know they can't be a snowsports only company. I just heard from an engineering colleague today that there is an RFP out for land planning services to develop bike trails at the two resorts Vail bought by me (one is only a 475' vertical drop). If they include summer lift served mountain bike access in my local Epic Pass that would be fantastic.

    ... and BTW, good luck on your move out West!!
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie View Post
    They might, but it might not be for snow sports. Vail seems to be smart enough to know they can't be a snowsports only company. I just heard from an engineering colleague today that there is an RFP out for land planning services to develop bike trails at the two resorts Vail bought by me (one is only a 475' vertical drop). If they include summer lift served mountain bike access in my local Epic Pass that would be fantastic.

    ... and BTW, good luck on your move out West!!
    Thanks man, it's gonna go well. Contrary to the last 20 years in Ohio, in the last 2 weeks things have been falling into place just by thinking about them. I've spent my entire adult life struggling to figure out why things aren't working and blowing up after short periods of time when they do work; now I'm making phone calls and getting interviews without even submitting resumes. I've got a few design firms out there that are interested in talking to me, I've gotten my first design gig down and finished and it will actually turn into a long term media project for the owners. It's bizarre really, but I think things are going to go my way in big ways the moment I get settled in out west. Hopefully I'll be setting up a PNW meet either at Sweitzer or Mt Silver and trying to make it to Shredfest. Next year, if it's a big enough year, I'll be trying to make it to Midwest, the PNW meet (again if I can get it started), and Shredfest. If nothing else I'll work myself to the bone just to make some forward momentum.

    I hope to see you on the snow this year in my neck of the woods.

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  11. #11  
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    My local Mountains are now also EPIC, if anyone has a EPIC pass and is visiting Australia next year. Being in the southern hemisphere our season is June to September and I'd err towards late July onwards for good snow cover. I ski at Falls Creek and Mt Hotham regularly and would be happy to show any skiboarders around. Perisher is also an Epic operated mountain, but a bit further away, so I'm yet to visit there.

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    expect some disgruntled employees. I work for a vail resort and although i wasn't there thru the transition some of my coworkers are not too happy about changes. This year in particular they've centralized all of HR to Denver, with no real human contact. If i have an issue with taxes, benefits or anything else I have to fill out an online form and someone in Denver has to deal with it. also the POS vail uses looks like its form the early 90s.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roussel View Post
    expect some disgruntled employees. I work for a vail resort and although i wasn't there thru the transition some of my coworkers are not too happy about changes. This year in particular they've centralized all of HR to Denver, with no real human contact. If i have an issue with taxes, benefits or anything else I have to fill out an online form and someone in Denver has to deal with it....
    This is kinda par for the course with big mergers and acquisitions. The primary way they work is by consolidating and reducing back of house services. For example a single resort might need a dozen people in HR but a centralized 20 person HR department is likely capable of supporting several midsized resorts. In theory the savings goes to the consumer, the remaining employees, or investors. For a big resort like Whistler that likely had a robust local back of house group this is frustrating to lose the local support. For small resorts like the Peaks Portfolio it might be the only way they survive. And keep in mind all the resorts in the Peaks acquisition already went through this type of deal once so, unlike Whistler, the employees are used to working for a faceless corporation hundreds of miles away.

    For the record I know the pains of mergers, just in a different industry. I started working for a 700 person consulting firm 15 years ago. We, after several mergers and acquisitions, are now a 50,000 person international engineering and design monster. Along the way some of the changes were good and some were frustrating but it all averages out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roussel View Post
    ....also the POS vail uses looks like its form the early 90s.
    The POS system at most Peaks resorts looks like it came from the 90s (the 1890s). These resorts are still using basic cash registers and peel & stick lift tickets ... updating them to 1990s tech would be an upgrade .... LOL.
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    Moderator / Hardcore Skiboarder Greco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie View Post
    This is kinda par for the course with big mergers and acquisitions. The primary way they work is by consolidating and reducing back of house services. For example a single resort might need a dozen people in HR but a centralized 20 person HR department is likely capable of supporting several midsized resorts. In theory the savings goes to the consumer, the remaining employees, or investors. For a big resort like Whistler that likely had a robust local back of house group this is frustrating to lose the local support. For small resorts like the Peaks Portfolio it might be the only way they survive. And keep in mind all the resorts in the Peaks acquisition already went through this type of deal once so, unlike Whistler, the employees are used to working for a faceless corporation hundreds of miles away.

    For the record I know the pains of mergers, just in a different industry. I started working for a 700 person consulting firm 15 years ago. We, after several mergers and acquisitions, are now a 50,000 person international engineering and design monster. Along the way some of the changes were good and some were frustrating but it all averages out.




    The POS system at most Peaks resorts looks like it came from the 90s (the 1890s). These resorts are still using basic cash registers and peel & stick lift tickets ... updating them to 1990s tech would be an upgrade .... LOL.

    Wookie knows the deal. My day job company went from 1000 employees to 425,000 employees (in 2001).
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    Hardcore Skiboarder Wookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    Wookie knows the deal. My day job company went from 1000 employees to 425,000 employees (in 2001).
    Day job? You mean you're not rolling around in mountains of skiboard money at the RVL8 Estate?

    (Kidding aside "RVL8 Estate" has a nice ring to it ... )
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