Deer Valley acquires Solitude
Deer Valley Resort said on Friday afternoon it has acquired Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon, the third deal this year that has reshaped the state’s ski industry.
Terms were not made public. Solitude had been owned by the DeSeelhorst family. Deer Valley will take full ownership and assume the operations at Solitude on May 1, 2015. A prepared statement released by Deer Valley indicated Solitude during the 2014-2015 ski season will operate as it has traditionally. Some Deer Valley staffers, though, will shadow their Solitude counterparts "to evaluate resort operations and gain knowledge about the Solitude brand and culture," the prepared statement says. Solitude staffers will do the same at Deer Valley.
"Solitude is an incredible resort and provided a huge opportunity for us to expand our offerings right here in Utah," Bob Wheaton, the president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort said in the prepared statement. "Solitude is in a unique position with their widely varied terrain that attracts both local and destination skiers. We are ecstatic to be able to add the resort to the Deer Valley family."
The acquisition was unexpected and continues an extraordinary shake-up in the state’s ski industry since the spring. Vail Resorts recently acquired Park City Mountain Resort and intends to link PCMR and Canyons Resort under the Park City Mountain Resort moniker. The Cumming family, the owner of Powdr Corp., meanwhile, acquired a majority interest in Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in May.
Some of the details of the Solitude acquisition released by Deer Valley on Friday include:
- snowboarding will continue at Solitude
- the Brighton connection will remain
- that Deer Valley "could make a small adjustment to the name to let current guests and potential visitors know the resort is now part of the Deer Valley family." Deer Valley, though, does not "plan to rebrand Solitude as another Deer Valley."
- prices for lift tickets and season passes will not change for the upcoming ski season. Deer Valley says it will analyze Solitude before setting prices in the future.
- plans by Deer Valley to spend six months analyzing Solitude before finalizing plans for upgrades.
- a statement that the acquisition was not a response to the other recent deals in the state’s ski industry
"Deer Valley has entertained many opportunities to purchase resorts over the years and in the end, those opportunities did not make good business sense. Solitude came to us at the right time and for the right reasons including: the location in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah; past business practice and performance; and great awareness in the local market," the statement says.
There will be reciprocal benefits between the two resorts for season-pass holders in the 2014-2015 ski season.
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