According to the Wall Street Journal, today, Vail Resorts Inc has 'agreed to acquire Canadian ski-resort operator Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc for roughly $1.06 billion, further diversifying its resort locations as it seeks to make its season pass programs more expansive'.
The move is welcomed by Whistler Blackcomb to secure the future of the resort. Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s chief executive, told the Wall Street Journal that the deal comes as its board has been 'monitoring the unique challenges facing the broader ski industry due to the unpredictability of year-to-year regional weather patterns'.
The only ski resort in North America larger than Vail Mountain is Whistler/Blackcomb, 80 miles north of Vancouver with more skiable area, more average snowfall, more trails, more lifts and a higher vertical drop than any other mountain on the continent.
According to Whister/Blackcomb the two peaks are 'blessed with a historical average of 1,170 cm / 461 inches per year, measured at the Pig Alley Weather Station on Whistler Mountain (Mid-Mountain: elevation 1,660 metres/ 5,445 feet)'.
The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US) is predicting La Nina will be in place by this autumn, 2016. La Nina seasons have historically meant colder than average temperatures and abundant snowfall for Whistler Blackcomb. Looking at historical weather and snow statistics Whistler Blackcomb’s snowiest seasons on record were during La Nina years 1998-1999 and 2010-2011.
Vail Resorts, Inc already runs four ski resorts in Colorado (Vail Ski Resort, Beaver Creek Resort, Keystone Resort, and Breckenridge Ski Resort), three in Lake Tahoe (Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Northstar California), one in Utah (Park City Mountain Resort in Park City), one in Minnesota (Afton Alps), one in Michigan (Mount Brighton), one in Wisconsin (Wilmot Mountain)), one in New South Wales, Australia(Perisher Ski Resort) and a summer resort in Wyoming. They also own luxury resort hotels throughout the world.