The latest on the ski resort expansion beat, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, which owns Mammoth and June Mountain in California’s Eastern Sierra, announced this morning that they signed a deal to acquire Big Bear Mountain Resorts in Southern California. According to the LA Times, the price tag for Bear Mountain and Snow Summit came in at $38 million. (For comparison’s sake, Vail bought Park City earlier this month for $182.5 million, cash.)
The owners of Big Bear and Snow Summit had been looking for a buyer since June 2013. The acquisition comes at a time when California ski resorts are struggling due to one of the worst droughts in the state’s history, with 2013 being the driest year on record since meteorologists began keeping track in 1850. And skier visits have suffered. According to that article in the LA Times, skier visits for the 2013-14 season dropped statewide by as much as 45 percent compared to the previous season.
Not surprisingly, development and expansion were two key words in the press release issued by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, which has built out the base area around Mammoth extensively with a village, commerce, and lodging.
“This acquisition represents the beginning of a renaissance for both Mammoth and Big Bear and is the first step in the next era of skiing and riding in California,” Rusty Gregory, Chairman and CEO of Mammoth Mountain, said in the press release. “In the coming months we will be announcing exciting new development and expansion plans for each of our four resorts designed to attract visitors from down the street, across the country, and around the world.”
For skiers, this transaction gives passholders access to four major California resorts spanning almost 6,000 total skiable acres—Mammoth and June mountains in the Eastern Sierra and Bear Mountain and Snow Summit in the San Bernardino Mountains. “This is all about providing the best value we can to California skiers and snowboarders,” says Gregory. The Cali4nia Pass will go on sale Saturday, September 27 for a preseason price of $689 for a limited time. Mammoth MVP passholders will automatically upgrade. Current Bear and Snow Summit passholders will have an opportunity to upgrade to the new Cali4nia Pass.
Another story you might be interested in: The summer of 2013, June Mountain had just come out of its worst nightmare when its owners at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area shut it down completely for the prior winter. Read more here.