Sugarbush Resort To Be Sold To Alterra, Stratton's Parent Company

Nov 13, 2019

Another Vermont ski resort is set to be acquired by a large ski conglomerate: Sugarbush Resort in Warren will be bought by Alterra Mountain Company, the companies announced Wednesday. Alterra already owns Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont.

Sugarbush would become Alterra's 15th property — the company also owns Tremblant in Québec, as well as ski areas in Colorado, Washington, California, Utah, West Virginia, Ontario and British Columbia.

According to Sugarbush CEO Win Smith, climate change is among the factors that led him to sell the resort. Smith said as climate change continues, the resort will need to make more snow.

"We're going to have to continue to make investments, especially in upgrading our snowmaking and other elements, to remain competitive and sustainable," Smith told VPR. "And while, you know, we could clearly do that on our own, some of the bills will be big and I think we could do it faster and better with a better capitalized parent."

Smith said other factors that led to the sale include competition from other Vermont resorts that have been purchased by larger parent companies in recent years, and the "costs of doing business in Vermont."

VPR's Henry Epp spoke to Win Smith on Wednesday. Listen to that conversation above.

The amount of the Sugarbush sale was not disclosed, and it's expected to be finalized in early 2020.

Smith, who will stay on as president at Sugarbush, said he doesn't anticipate patrons to notice immediate changes as a result of the impending sale to Alterra.

"They're not going to micro-manage us. You know, they're buying a company they feel is doing well, it's well-run. They appreciate our mission, our values, our culture, our brand," Smith said. "They're not going to change our products this year. They're not changing any employees — you know, [the] entire team is staying on."

However, Smith said, one change is that next year Sugarbush would offer Alterra's Ikon Pass in lieu of many of its own season passes. The Ikon Pass allows the holder to ski at Alterra resorts and multiple partners around the world.

Disclosure: Sugarbush is a VPR underwriter.