The recent purchase of Intrawest by Aspen Skiing Company has set Steamboat Springs abuzz with questions about what changes this will bring to the town and the ski resort. The transaction, which will be not confirmed until the 3rd quarter of 2017, moves Winter Park and Steamboat Ski Resorts into the already impressive portfolio of Aspen Skiing Co. The move by the mighty Aspen Skiing Co. cost $1.5 billion and relieves the struggling Intrawest of a burden under which they’ve been struggling since 2008. The deal is expected to close before the end of the third quarter of the business year. While luxury real estate prices are expected to benefit from this deal, skiers are thinking about other things as well. In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the hopes and fears of skiers and residents of Steamboat Springs.
New ownership of the Steamboat Ski Resort has people wondering about the changes that it will bring to the resort and to the town. Residents hope the unique character of their beloved cowtown ski resort will only be enhanced. At the heart of the economy of Steamboat is the tourist industry. Tourists and second home owners both enjoy and benefit from the economy here in many ways, all year-round. For residents, expanding businesses and an increase in customers will mean good times. When the economy is expanding, there will be new restaurants to enjoy and new shops where visitors and part-time residents can shop.
Few will complain that business is booming, so long as the charming cowtown feel of Steamboat remains untouched. One economic sector that is sure to benefit is the real estate market. More people in Steamboat will certainly bring a boom in real estate prices, especially for luxury real estate. The Porches at Steamboat are particularly situated to benefit from the coming boom. And any increase in real estate values means that your property adds value to your overall personal portfolio. Situated at the base of the mountain, values are sure to go up. If you are interested in whole, half or ⅛ ownership of one of our amazing properties, call us and we can help you get situated to make the most of the coming boom.
Skiers’ Hopes and Concerns
What Steamboat is perhaps most famous for is skiing. Business dealings boil down to one concern for skiers: the price of a season pass. Many hope for a shared season pass that would include Aspen, Steamboat, and Squaw Valley. According to an article in the The Aspen Times, Aspen Skiing Co. CEO Mike Kaplan says it is too late to see this happen for the next ski season, but skiers are keeping their fingers crossed for a pass that would let them access the Mountain Collective slopes, which currently include 16 resorts. Skiers also hope that the pass structure, which has been good under Intrawest and includes 44 resorts, will still be good, or better, under Aspen Skiing Co. Dreams of a superpass are exciting skiers everywhere, and while this is a possibility for the future, next year’s season pass prices are already set. The coming changes to the price of season passes have some holding their breath until they see future season pass prices. They’ll breathe easier when they see prices hovering in the same area, and not rising to the point that it limits their ability to spend every spare moment zipping down a mountain side.
Accentuate the Positive!
What comes with more resorts? More terrain! Avid skiers are hoping to try their hand at new resorts and new slopes. Besides Steamboat Ski Resort, Intrawest also owns Canada’s Tremblant and Blue Mountain ski resorts, Stratton in Vermont, and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. Aspen Skiing Co. owns Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, Squaw Valley, and Winter Park. When you add in the Mountain Collective resorts, you are looking at the ability to ski at over 20 resorts on a single pass. This will mean an influx of people into Steamboat Springs. These people will be wanting to try Steamboat’s famous Champagne Powder®. When they are done, they’ll need to eat and sleep, and this could mean a boom for Steamboat Springs businesses.
When it comes to mountains and corporations, one word that always gets brought up is stewardship. While a resort company is a business, according to their website, they are a “…values-driven company, owned and operated by people who share a common appreciation and respect for the pristine environment in which we live and fully embrace the Aspen idea centered around the renewal of Mind, Body, and Spirit.” The corporation has taken an environmentally friendly stance on several important matters, including their foundation’s work on the High Elk Corridor. This should make many in Steamboat Springs feel better about the transfer of their beloved mountain to the new company.
Despite all the unknowns that lie ahead with the change of ownership of Intrawest, one thing is certain: Steamboat Springs will endure, and surely only become more wonderful to visit. If you are interested in calling Steamboat Springs home, call us to find out more about whole, half, or ⅛ fractional ownership.