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Three Pennsylvania ski resorts owned by noted horseman sold for $76 million

Skiing at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry, Pa., about an hour north of Baltimore.
Skiing at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry, Pa., about an hour north of Baltimore. (Handout / Baltimore Sun)

The private owner of three of the ski areas closest to Baltimore is being sold.

Peak Resorts Inc., a Missouri-based ski resort operator, said Monday it has agreed to buy Snow Time Inc., the owner of Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort and Whitetail Resort in Pennsylvania, for $76 million.

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Snow Time’s three mountains — within a couple of hours drive for much of the Baltimore-Washington market’s estimated 10 million people — attracted more than 600,000 visitors during the 2017-2018 skiing season, generating about $50 million in revenue.

"The transformative acquisition of Snow Time offers a rare opportunity for Peak Resorts to dramatically grow our company by expanding the number of destinations for our Peak Pass holders in the Northeast while growing our presence in the very attractive and densely populated markets of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.," said Timothy D. Boyd, president and chief executive officer of Peak Resorts.

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In addition to the ski trails, Liberty Mountain Resort includes two golf courses, a hotel and a 22,000-square-foot conference center.

Peak Resorts said it expects to complete the acquisition before the start of the 2018-2019 season. Peak Resorts owns more than a dozen other ski resorts in the Midwest and Northeast, including Mount Snow in Vermont and Attitash, Crotched Mountain and Wildcat Mountain Ski Area in New Hampshire.

It has been nearly 20 years since Irv Naylor fell from his horse during a steeplechase race and broke his neck. He returned to the sport and began corralling many of the 40 horses that have made him a mainstay on the timber circuit.

“For more than 50 years, my team and I have grown these three resorts into the magnificent properties they are today and we are delighted that Peak Resorts will continue to grow their appeal for the next generation and beyond,” said Irvin S. Naylor, chairman and founder of York, Pa.-based Snow Time.

Naylor is a noted former amateur steeplechase rider and owner of race horses. He was partially paralyzed in a 1999 riding accident and now contributes to research into paralysis.

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Peak Resorts is paying $70 million in cash and $6 million in Peak Resorts stock for Snow Time. Peak Resorts shares slipped 15 cents Monday to close at $5.10 each.

Irvin Naylor reflects on his life after he was paralyzed during a steeplechase. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun video)

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