Winter Park ski operator Intrawest boldly goes where Vail Resorts has gone before |

Winter Park ski operator Intrawest boldly goes where Vail Resorts has gone before

Kelsey Fowler
Julia Mancuso competes during the women's giant slalom skiing event at the U.S. Alpine Championships Saturday, in Winter Park. Intrawest Resorts Holdings, which owns and operates the resort, is once again filing to go public.
File Photo / Jim Urquhart, AP Photo |

Intrawest Resorts Holdings, which operates Winter Park Resort and Steamboat Ski Resort, registered for an initial public offering Tuesday, Nov. 12, to raise up to $100 million.

Intrawest was once a publicly held company with stock available, until New York-based Fortress Investment group bought it in 2006.

Now, Intrawest once again intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, though the company has yet to disclose a proposed symbol.

The filing did not reveal how many shares Intrawest planned to sell, or the expected price. The amount of money a company reports it plans to raise in its first IPO filing is used to calculate the registration fees, and so the final size of the IPO could vary.

Vail Resorts is one of the only other large public resort companies in the country. American Skiing, which owned Steamboat and others, was also public but it dissolved in 2008.

Currently, the stock price for Vail Resorts (MTN) is listed at almost $74 per share. The company is valued at around $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. Vail Resorts owns Keystone Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort in Summit County, and Beaver Creek and Vail Mountain in Eagle County.

Other ski resorts in the area, including Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Aspen Snowmass are private companies and do not offer public shares. Intrawest sold Copper Mountain to the private company Powdr in 2009.

In its filing, Intrawest said the North American ski industry is currently “highly fragmented.”

“With approximately 753 ski areas in North America … fewer than 10 percent are owned by multi-resort operators who operate four or more ski resorts,” Intrawest said. “The adventure travel industry is similarly fragmented.”

The company has called Denver home since 2011, after relocating its headquarters from Canada. Intrawest said it intends to use the proceeds from the offering “for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include potential investments in, and acquisitions of, ski and adventure travel businesses and assets.”

In addition to Winter Park and Steamboat, the company operates Mount Tremblant Resort in Quebec, Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont, Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia and part of Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario.

“We intend to evaluate acquisition opportunities where the opportunity would provide a strategic fit within our existing portfolio of businesses,” the company said. “We believe that opportunistically acquiring additional mountain resorts that are proximate to our existing resorts will enable us to enhance product and operational synergies.”

According to the Denver Business Journal, Intrawest had 3.15 million skier visits during the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30, up from 2.76 million the year before.

The company lost $19.3 million on revenue of $513.4 million in 2012, but rebounded with a $3.4 million profit on revenue of $524.4 million the next year. Total long-term debt was $1.95 billion as of June 30, according to the IPO filing.

Intrawest CEO William Jensen was president of the Mountain Division of Vail Resorts for two years, beginning in February 2006.

He joined Intrawest as chief executive in June 2008. A representative from Intrawest could not be reached for comment.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.