Fortress Investment Group-owned Intrawest has entered into an agreement to sell its Copper Mountain Resort to Powdr. Intrawest owns 9 other ski resorts in North America including Whistler-Blackcomb, the host site for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Fortress acquired Intrawest in 2006 in a $2.8 billion deal that included $1.7 billion of debt financing, which the company restructured last fall.
Private equity companies have invested over $4.5 billion in 36 snow sports-related companies since 1999, according to the PitchBook Platform. Thirteen of the companies are ski resorts or hotel operators, including Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (Starwood Capital Group), Steamboat Ski & Resorts (Fortress/Intrawest) and the Yellowstone Club (CrossHarbor Capital Partners). There are also a number of well known non-hospitality snow sports-related companies that PE has invested in, such as Spyder Active Sports (Apax Partners), Thule (Nordic Capital Partners), Teton Gravity Research (BlackHawk Capital Management) and Dragon Alliance (Winona Capital Management). Upon closer inspection, there does seem to be a dirth of PE-backed hardgoods companies producing things like skis and snowboards, which may hint that PE prefers 'Apres-ski' to skiing.