It's official, Whistler Blackcomb is now Epic! From the biggest ski resort in the U.S. to the biggest in North America, Vail Resorts answered the question of who will be next to join its epic lineup by entering into an agreement to acquire Whistler Blackcomb resort in British Columbia, Canada. The transaction gives Vail 100 percent ownership of Whistler Blackcomb’s stock. According to a press release, the aggregate cash component of the offer is estimated to be C$676 million (USD$513 million) which Vail Resorts intends to finance through an expansion of its existing credit facility. The aggregate stock component of the offer is estimated to be C$715 million (USD$543 million), based on closing stock prices and exchange rates as of August 5, 2016.
The acquisition adds another arrow in Vail’s quiver of resort offerings, further diversifying the resort operator’s network and pass options. According to Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb sees more than 2 million visitors per year and offers skiers and riders a combined 8,171 skiable acres and 5,280 feet of vertical.
Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, said, "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."
Whistler Blackcomb will continue to honor their season pass products (including the Mountain Collective Pass) for the 2016-2017 season. Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders will receive five complimentary days at Whistler Blackcomb for the 2016-2017 season (with holiday restrictions). On the flip side, Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited season pass holders will get five days of riding at any of Vail Resorts’ U.S. resorts. The full season pass line-up for the 2017-2018 winter season will be announced in March 2017.
Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb's chief executive officer, said, "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.”
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