It has been the year of major ski resort conglomeration. When Vail Resorts bought Whistler/Blackcomb in August, it set off an arms race. Vail continued its expansion in February by buying Stowe, its first East Coast ski area.

On Monday, Aspen Ski Co. added serious fuel to the Vail/Aspen rivalry. They announced they were joining forces with KSL, which owns Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, to purchase Intrawest. The publicly traded company owns six four-season resorts, including Steamboat, Winter Park, and Stratton. Today, the newly formed Aspen/KSL company announced that it will also acquire Mammoth Resorts, which includes nearly the entire Southern California ski experience: Mammoth, June Mountain, Bear Mountain, and Snow Summit.

"Mammoth has been Southern California's mountain home since 1948," said Rusty Gregory, Chairman and CEO of Mammoth Resorts, in a press release. "After doubling down on our offerings to Southern California with the purchase of Snow Summit and Bear Mountain in 2014, joining this new venture led by Aspen and KSL is the next logical chapter in the story of Mammoth Resorts. This new platform, built around a collective passion for the mountains and our commitment to the people who visit, work and live there, is exactly what the ski resort business needs. I am excited about the future prospects for Mammoth Resorts, our people and this new enterprise."

Details of the transaction are unavailable, but the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. Mammoth will honor all of its 2017-18 passes currently on sale, including the Mountain Collective. Stay tuned to as this story develops.

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