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Vail Resorts to acquire Crans-Montana Mountain Resort

Vail Resorts has entered into an agreement to acquire Crans-Montana Mountain Resort in Switzerland from CPI Property Group (“CPIPG”).

Crans-Montana Mountain Resort spans over 1,400 meters (approximately 4,593 ft) of skiable vertical terrain, and 140 kilometres (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 breathtaking views of the Matterhorn and the Mont Blanc, and has been recognized as one of the best ski resorts in Europe. Crans-Montana has a legacy of being a renowned outdoor sports destination, with signature events such as the Ski World Cup, Mountain Bike World Cup, Omega European Masters, and other championships, the Caprices Festival and more. 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 percent 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, with specific details available at www.epicpass.com.

“CPIPG is proud to have contributed significantly to the positive development of Crans-Montana over the past 10 years,” said David Greenbaum, CEO of CPIPG. “Vail Resorts is a talented ski resort operator, and we are certain that Crans-Montana will thrive under their ownership.”

In a statement from its Board of Directors, the Association of the Municipality of Crans-Montana added: “Crans-Montana looks forward to working closely with Vail Resorts, which will undoubtedly have a clear, long-term strategy for development, marketing, and providing top-quality guest experience. Vail Resorts will bring new energy to the ski area, positively impacting the entire economic structure of the region of Crans-Montana. Vail Resorts as new owner of the ski area will also have a positive impact on the organization of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2027 at Crans-Montana.”

“We look forward to investing to support the growth, sustainability and vitality of the resort and region,” continued Lynch. “We care deeply about the guest experience and are committed to working with the community, listening and learning from local partners and the resort’s dedicated teams. We share many values with the Crans-Montana community, including a commitment to environmental responsibility and reducing our net-operating footprint.”

Vail Resorts expects to drive significant growth for Crans-Montana Mountain Resort through ongoing investments in the resort and inclusion of the resort on Epic Pass products, attracting a broader population of international guests to the resort who are seeking a high-end destination resort experience in the Swiss Alps.
“Vail Resorts commitment to Crans-Montana rewards the Valais destination’s dynamism, innovation, positioning and strategy for high value-added, four-season sustainable tourism,” said Bruno Huggler, CEO of the Crans-Montana Tourism and Congress. “Vail Resorts’ in-depth analyses confirmed Crans-Montana’s potential as a leading destination in the Swiss Alps. Every possible effort will be made to foster synergies with all players from Crans-Montana in developing tourism offers, marketing, and sales. Vail Resorts’ network will be a definite asset, especially in North America.”

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. Vail Resorts anticipates EBITDA growth over time from the inclusion of the resort on the Epic Pass products, network synergy, and investments in the guest experience. Subject to the timing of capital project approvals and completion, Vail Resorts is planning to invest approximately CHF 30 million over the next five years in one-time capital spending to elevate the guest experience, and the resort is expected to generate over CHF 15 million of annual EBITDA following these investments and including the impact from incremental Epic Pass sales. This initial phase of growth of the resort is expected to be primarily driven by operating and marketing initiatives along with capital investments focused on maximizing gastronomy efficiencies and improving and expanding snowmaking capabilities. After closing the transaction, normal annual maintenance capital expenditures for Crans-Montana Mountain Resort are expected to be approximately CHF 3 million.

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 line-up, and best practice sharing from its mountain operations.

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