CONWAY — Local ski resort officials shared a view that the purchase of Peak Resorts Inc. by Colorado-based Vail Resorts Inc. will be a boon for the Mount Washington Valley’s winter ski economy.
“Cranmore, and I’m sure the Mount Washington Valley, welcomes news that Peak Resorts has been purchased by Vail Resorts,” said Cranmore President and GM Ben Wilcox.
“Cranmore has a unique family niche with a loyal following, and we welcome Vail Resorts to ‘North America’s Best Ski Town,’” said Wilcox.
Shannon Dunfey-Ball, marketing and communications manager for Ski NH, the Conway-based, statewide industry consortium, said: "Vail has an outstanding track record for community investment, environmental stewardship and employee development.
“They have (the marketing muscle) to bring people to the mountains. and I think that will help to draw people to the valley. It definitely has that potential, and I think the valley is ready for this opportunity to bring more winter visitors,” she said.
It remains to be seen whether Vail will join Ski NH.
Dunfey-Ball said New Hampshire has a long tradition of friendly ski industry collaboration and competition. “We at Ski NH are confident that that friendly competition and the spirit of working together will continue,” she said.
Speaking not only as Cranmore’s general manager and president but also as someone who has worked at Attitash and Bretton Woods in the past, and a former Ski NH and MWV Chamber of Commerce president, Wilcox said he expects Vail’s arrival to be a benefit.
“Vail is networked with a lot of skiers, and to all of a sudden to have them networking with Attitash and Wildcat will bring more people to the region, and hopefully that will help everybody,” said Wilcox.
Thomas Prindle, marketing director at King Pine in East Madison, said, "For King Pine Ski Area, I believe we're still in a position to offer a niche and be the affordable family mountain to introduce and feed the sport with new skiers and riders.
"We're a small ski area that consistently provides excellent snow, grooming and incredible ski school. I don't feel our target market is necessarily seeking multi-mountain access or planning ski trips out west."
Prindle added: "I think it's going to be interesting to see what the retail day ticket rates will be at those two ski areas for the 2019/20 season."
Calls placed to Craig Clemmer, marketing director for Bretton Woods, was not returned as of press time.
John Lowell, president and general manager of Attitash and Wildcat, referred questions regarding the pending transaction to Vail and Peak officials.
Concerning repairs to the Summit Triple, Lowell said they are planned for fall.
"We will resume work on the repairs immediately after Labor Day when the summer crowds disperse," Lowell said Monday. "It would be unsafe to have work going on now while we have attractions and families wandering near the work areas. The rebuilt pieces will be delivered the last week of August so we can begin to get organized with heavy equipment to place the pieces back into the motor room and raise the bull wheel.
"Everything is going as planned, and I am confident the summit triple will be ready for the start of the upcoming season. We have also done a near-complete rebuild of the Flying Yankee this spring. We are installing a new drive in the Abenaki lift and have done extensive work on the Flying Bear. Our lift maintenance staff have been working extremely hard this spring and summer and will continue to do whatever prudent to make our lifts reliable and safe for this season and seasons to come."