Peak Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKIS), a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded ski resorts in the U.S., has agreed to acquire Hunter Mountain ski resort in the Catskills, for $35 million in cash, plus the assumption of $1.8 million in two capital leases.
Hunter Mountain, based in Hunter, New York, generates approximately $27 million in annual revenue. The purchase price is slightly more than six times Hunter Mountain’s adjusted EBITDA, which is estimated at approximately $6 million for its fiscal year ended April 30, 2015.
Peak Resorts currently has preliminary lender commitments for a first mortgage of approximately $20 million, which would be secured by Hunter Mountain assets. The remainder of the cash requirement is expected to be funded through an existing line of credit. Peak Resorts expects to complete the acquisition of Hunter Mountain by year-end 2015.
Timothy D. Boyd, president and CEO of Peak Resorts, said, “Hunter Mountain, under the stewardship of the Slutzky families, has become one of the iconic ski resorts in the Northeastern United States. Its reputation as one of the premier snowmaking resorts in the East makes it a perfect fit for our portfolio and strategy. We look forward to continuing the rich tradition the Slutzky families have built.
“Our roadmap for growth calls for a mix of organic growth and resort development as well as acquisitions that will let us build our portfolio of ski resorts in the attractive overnight and day-drive segments of the market. We expect this transaction will be accretive to Peak Resorts’ Reported EBITDA in the third quarter of fiscal 2016 and we will continue to evaluate other potential value-add acquisitions,” Boyd noted. “Over the summer, Hunter Mountain completed a variety of capital improvement projects to enhance the ski experience. Among the projects were a $1.2 million investment in new snow guns and a $500,000 investment in a state-of-the-art compressor to improve snow-making efficiency. In addition, the resort made trail improvements and expanded its Race Foundation facility. Peak Resorts is set to become the preeminent ski operator in the metro New York-area with the addition of Hunter Mountain to our portfolio of resorts in New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania. For this 2015-2016 ski season, we are planning to offer reciprocal programs among the resorts for the season passholders at Hunter Mountain and our current properties.”
The Hunter Mountain resort includes three separate mountains catering to skiers and riders of all ability levels along with several terrain parks and an all-ages tubing park. The Slutzky families founded the resort in the 1950s and have been integral to its success. In addition, the resort offers a full complement of ski school programs, overnight/four-season accommodations, a variety of dining options, a conference and corporate event facilities, a members-only lounge and a retail center. Hunter Mountain offers a variety of summer outdoor activities including a zipline with views of the Catskill Mountains. The resort also hosts festivals and concerts throughout the warmer months. The resort is located just over two hours by car from New York City and four hours by car from Philadelphia. Hunter Mountain has a base elevation of 1,600 ft., summit elevation of 3,200 ft. and a vertical drop of 1,600 ft. There are 240 skiable acres with 58 trails and 12 lifts. The terrain consists of 30% beginner, 30% intermediate, 27% advanced and 13% expert levels.
Headquartered in Missouri, Peak Resorts is a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded ski resorts in the U.S. The company currently operates 13 ski resorts primarily located in the Northeast and Midwest, 12 of which are company owned. The majority of the resorts are located within 100 miles of major metropolitan markets, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and St. Louis, enabling day and overnight drive accessibility. The resorts under the company’s umbrella offer a breadth of activities, services and amenities, including skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, tubing, dining, lodging, equipment rentals and sales, ski and snowboard instruction and mountain biking and other summer activities.