Vail Resorts, the world-renowned American ski resort giant, has officially acquired the prestigious Crans-Montana Mountain Resort in Switzerland, solidifying its status as a global leader in the ski industry. This acquisition, part of a strategic expansion in Europe, marks Vail Resorts' second significant venture into the European skiing market, following its ownership of Andermatt-Sedrun.
Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Crans-Montana is not just a premier ski destination but also a cultural and lifestyle hub. The resort, celebrated for its panoramic views of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, boasts over 1,400 meters of vertical skiing terrain and about 140 kilometers of trails. This acquisition includes not only the ski lifts and operations but also extends to a ski school and numerous on-mountain restaurants, enhancing the resort's comprehensive offerings.
The deal, valued at 118.5 million, involves Vail Resorts acquiring an 84-percent stake in Remontées Mécaniques Crans Montana Aminona (CMA) SA and a full ownership of eleven mountain restaurants. This move signals a significant shift in the management and future direction of the resort, previously under the ownership of CPI Property Group and led by Radovan Vitek.
Local stakeholders have expressed a mix of hope and relief with the entry of Vail Resorts. The acquisition is seen as a positive development for Crans-Montana, known for its dynamic, innovative approach to tourism and its commitment to sustainable, year-round tourism. The involvement of Vail Resorts is expected to bring new energy and a clear, long-term strategy for the development and marketing of the ski area, positively impacting the region's economic structure.
Vail Resorts' Epic Pass, which revolutionizes access to ski resorts worldwide, will include Crans-Montana in the 2024-25 season. This inclusion is anticipated to attract a broader international clientele, seeking a high-end skiing experience in the Swiss Alps. However, Crans-Montana will not be part of the Epic Pass for the remaining 2023-24 season following the deal's closure.
This acquisition by Vail Resorts is a testament to Crans-Montana's potential as a leading destination in the Swiss Alps. The company's proven track record in ski resort management and its commitment to environmental stewardship align well with the values and aspirations of the Crans-Montana community. The integration into Vail Resorts' network is seen as a definitive asset, especially in enhancing North American market reach.
Vail Resorts' expansion into the European market with the acquisition of Crans-Montana represents a significant milestone in the ski industry, promising a future of growth, sustainability, and enhanced global presence.