Merger of Major Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

Situated on the north shore of Lake Tahoe in California, the popular Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts are set to join forces from the start of the 2011-12 snow sport season. Combining operations with a common ownership, new season passes and lift tickets will see patrons skiing and snowboarding on both mountains.

The ideally located ski resorts are only separated by a narrow piece of privately owned property, with a less than ten minute drive between the two. Combined, the resorts will offer more than 6,000 skiable acres that span across eight peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Both Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley are known for their high average snowfall and extended ski seasons.

CEO of Squaw Valley, Andy Wirth, described the venture as providing guests with an unmatched mountain experience in California, and with the economic climate such as it is, the transaction will offer more terrain and more value. President and CEO of JMA Venture (JMA), which owns Alpine Meadows, Todd Chapman, also commented on his excitement over the merger and that efforts would be made to maintain the individual character of each resort.

A new duel mountain season pass and six-day card will be offered to skiers and snowboarders. The new passes available for the 2011-12 season will range in price from $399 to $799 and are already up for sale. Existing pass holders for the season will be able to use the pass on both mountains, with certain restrictions in place. Be sure to find out more about the passes available as well as restrictions before heading off to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

The nature of the transaction will see KSL Capital Partners LLC (owners of Squaw Valley USA), acquiring and managing Alpine Meadows in a joint venture, while JMA will convert its ownership to partial ownership with affiliation to the resort. The new company will be called Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC. The transaction is subject to approval by the U.S. Forest Service and the California Tahoe Conservancy.

Interestingly, it was less than a year ago that KSL purchased Squaw Valley. They have already set aside $50 million for upgrades and improvements at Squaw Valley for the next three to five years. Skiers and boarders will likely also see investment in Alpine Meadows’ facilities. With Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows coming together in this fantastic venture, skiers and snowboarders can look forward to an adventure-filled 2011-12 season.