Mount Washington Alpine Resort has sold its ski and recreation operations to a subsidiary of Utah-based Pacific Group Resorts.
The company has built and developed facilities and real estate projects at Whistler and various American locations. Mount Washington will be the company’s fourth resort.
Its other resorts in the eastern U.S. have virtually 100 per cent snowmaking coverage.
“This year we’re a little bit late in the process to get snowmaking put in, but we may see the ability to put some snow guns in to test it this year,” said Don Sharpe, Mount Washington’s director of business operations. “With this group, it’s (snowmaking) top priority.”
The sale includes most of the development land near and around the base of the resort, which has endured hard times the last couple of seasons due to a lack of snow. In previous seasons, however, there were times when the mountain had one of the deepest snow bases in the world.
The current ownership group will retain two prime development parcels.
“Over the past 25 years, George Stuart and his ownership group have invested a tremendous amount of money and energy into Mount Washington,” Peter Gibson, Mount Washington’s president and general manager, said in a news release. “We are indebted to them for what they have helped us build here.”
Campbell River businessmen Henry Norie and Alex Linton opened the resort in 1979. They sold their interests in 1989 to Stuart and a group of shareholders who upgraded lifts, added terrain and base area buildings, and invested in infrastructure and roads.
“We’ve been working with George Stuart and Darryl Eddy for a couple years now on the transition of the resort to new ownership,” said Mark Fischer, Pacific Group’s president of resort investments. He expects staff and daily operations to remain largely unchanged from previous years at Mount Washington.
Hosting about 300,000 visits per year, the resort consists of five chairlifts and five carpet lifts on 1,700-plus acres and 1,657 vertical feet of alpine terrain. It also contains 55 kilometres of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Sumer activities include chairlift rides, disc golf, miniature golf, boardwalk chess and checkers, and dining. The resort hosts at least 30 weddings each year, along with numerous group and corporate events.