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Vail Resorts will acquire owner of 17 ski resorts, including three closest to Baltimore, for $264 million

Vail Resorts will acquire owner of 17 ski resorts, including three closest to Baltimore, for $264 million
Skiing at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry, Pa. (Handout / Baltimore Sun)

Less than a year after they changed hands, three of the ski areas closest to Baltimore could have another new owner soon as Colorado-based Vail Resorts acquires Peak Resorts in a deal valued at $264 million.

The companies announced the sale Monday.

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Peak, a Missouri-based operator of 17 ski resorts in states such as New York, Vermont and New Hampshire, had acquired Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort and Whitetail Resort in Pennsylvania last fall. It bought the locally owned Snow Time Inc. for $76 million. Those three mountains lie within a couple of hours’ drive for skiers in the Baltimore-Washington market.

Most of Peak’s resorts are within 100 miles of major metropolitan markets, including Baltimore, Washington, New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. Peak had success with its season passes offering unlimited access to its Northeast resorts, and the company also had recently upgraded snowmaking capabilities.

The agreement with Vail “creates substantial value for our shareholders and new opportunities for our guests,” Timothy D. Boyd, Peak’s president and CEO, said in an announcement. “During my time in the industry, I’ve come to know and respect Vail Resorts.”

Vail, which runs 17 mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, will acquire all outstanding shares of Peak’s common stock for $11 each in cash, a 116% premium to Peak’s closing price on Friday. The deal is expected to close in the fall and is subject to antitrust clearance and approval by Peak’s shareholders.

Vail CEO Rob Katz called Peak’s Northeast ski areas “a perfect complement to our existing resorts. ... We’re also able to make a much stronger connection to guests in critical cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest."

Snow Time, which had been based in York, Pa., was founded and headed by Irvin S. Naylor, a former amateur steeplechase rider and owner of racehorses who was partially paralyzed in a 1999 riding accident and now contributes to research into paralysis.

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