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Sale Of Ski Resorts, Including Vt.'s Mount Snow, Benefits Owners Of Purdue Pharma

Map of a ski mountain.
Howard Weiss-Tisman
/
VPR File
Mount Snow, in Dover, Vt., is one of 17 resorts sold to Vail Resorts last week. The Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, will gain about $60 million from the deal.

Last week, Vail Resorts significantly expanded its reach into the ski industry in the Northeast and Midwest, by closing on a purchase of Peak Resorts. The deal also benefited members of the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma which makes OxyContin.

The Sackler family will gain about $60 million from the sale of 17 ski areas, including Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont. Purdue Pharma has filed for bankruptcy as it seeks to settle a wave of lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis.

The Washington Post's Christopher Rowland recently reported that many of the regions that are home to resorts in the deal have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

"That is causing some consternation in these places where local officials see these massive profits going to the Sacklers from the ski resorts, and then yet they’re still, at the county level, struggling with a lot of fallout from opioid addiction," Rowland told VPR.

Washington Post reporter Christopher Rowland spoke to VPR's Henry Epp. Listen to their conversation above, and read Rowland's article here.

Rowland reported in North Conway, New Hampshire, near Attitash Mountain Resort — one of the ski areas sold last week. There, Rowland said, county officials and those working to treat addiction see a direct connection between the Sacklers' financial gain from this deal and the issues of opioid abuse stemming from prescription painkillers, like OxyContin.

But Rowland said it's unlikely the profits from the Peak Resorts deal could be redirected to help communities hit by opioid addiction. More likely, he said, the Sackler family could contribute $3 billion to a proposed settlement that will go to local governments around the country.

"The other portion of this settlement would be free or at-cost rescue drugs to be distributed, manufactured by Purdue Pharma, and then distributed to local communities," Rowland said.

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