Earlier this afternoon, Win Smith, the owner of Sugarbush in Vermont, announced that he is selling the mountain to Alterra Mountain Company. Alterra organizes the Ikon Pass, and they are the second largest ski resort operator in the country. The Ikon Pass currently offers limited days at Sugarbush, but until today the resort was independently owned and operated.
This sale continues the ongoing trend of consolidation in the ski industry. However, this is a landmark sale for the northeast ski community, as Sugarbush was perhaps the largest independently owned ski resort in area. As there are fewer and fewer independent ski resorts left, the sale of Sugarbush to large ski resort operator is a sign of significant change. Of note in Smith’s announcement, he writes
“The multi-resort season pass has changed the landscape. It will be increasingly difficult for ski areas like Sugarbush to compete alone against Vail Resorts, Alterra Mountain Company, and others like POWDR and Boyne Resorts. The recent acquisition of Peak Resorts by Vail was the tipping point in my decision.”
For the time being, Smith will remain on as the GM of the resort. There have been no initial communications about other changes.