It was a busy summer for the ski industry with the major acquisition of Jay Peak and season pass groups scrambling to add more resorts to their quivers. The industry landscape is constantly changing.
Pacific Group Resorts (PGRI), the owner of five North American ski areas, beat out two unknown bidders to win the long-awaited auction for Jay Peak Resort in Vermont. Their final bid was $76 million, according to The Storm Skiing Journal. Other resorts owned by the company are Western Maryland’s Wisp, Colorado’s Powderhorn (1,650’ vertical) (700’ vertical), New Hampshire’s Ragged Mountain, Virginia’s Wintergreen (1,000’vertical) and British Columbia’s Mt. Washington Alpine. (1,657’ (1,250’ vertical) vertical). Jay Peak’s vertical is 2,153’. It is part of the Indy Pass program.
“No major changes are contemplated to the winter operating plan at Jay Peak,” said PGRI President and CEO Vern Greco. “All existing season passes, pass reciprocity, and multi-resort pass arrangements at Jay, including the Indy Pass, will be honored for the 2022-23 winter season.” This will be the third year for Jay on the Indy Pass.
Greco has a long history in the industry with stints at Steamboat, Durgango, and Powdr Corp. While there, he served as president and general manager of Park City Resort during the time of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
Other industry luminaries were quick to praise the sale, including Doug Fish, Indy Pass creator. “PGRI is one of the best ownership groups in the U.S.,” he told The Storm Skiing Journal.
Former Sugarbush owner Win Smith agreed with a similar comment as did Magic Mountain’s president Geoff Hatheway.
Depending on whether the sale is approved and other issues, Stuart Winchested, editor and publisher of The Storm Skiing Journal thinks that the PGRI’s roster would give Indy a boost in several regions, including the Southeast, where Indy is already the leading multi-mountain pass; New England, Indy’s greatest source of business strength; and Colorado and British Columbia, where the pass’ coverage is thinner.
In the meantime, the Indy Pass has added Snowriver, MI, Chestnut, IL and Bluebird Back, CO to its roster. That gives Indy’s 2022-23 lineup 97 downhill ski areas. Passholders get two days at each – 194 ski days total – plus two days each at 14 cross-country ski areas and discounts at 10 more. Bluebird and Chestnut will have no blackouts, while Snowriver will black out a total of six days over the MLK and Presidents’ Day weekends.
Ikon has added Panorama, Canada and Lotte Aria, Japan to its roster.