Vail Resorts sells share of Ritz-Carlton |

Vail Resorts sells share of Ritz-Carlton


BEAVER CREEK ” Vail Resorts Wednesday unloaded its 49 percent interest in the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

One of the three original Ritz-Carlton investors, Gencom BG LLC and Lehman BG LLC, paid Vail Resorts $13 million for the ski company’s share.

Vail Resorts pocketed $12.7 million on the deal, according to a written statement from the company. The Ritz-Carlton is valued at about $90 million, according to Vail Resorts 2004 fiscal report.

Vail Resorts stock had been rising on the strength of stock market analysts’ speculation that the company would sell off parts of its hotel interests.

“The sale of our interest in The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, a hotel that we did not manage, is an expected and logical completion of a very successful investment,” Vail Resorts chief executive Adam Aron said. “Vail Resorts was able to sell its interest in the hotel at a favorable valuation, which will result in our recording an attractive gain.”

Vail Resorts’ share of the original construction costs were partially offset by developing and selling penthouses and condominiums in the hotel, Aron said.

To reduce the amount it had sunk in the Ritz hotel project, the company “quite profitably” sold the land next door to the hotel, where the Ritz-Carlton Club was built, Aron said.

Second, Aron said, the Ritz-Carlton venture contributed financially to the creation of the Red Sky Ranch Golf Club, which Vail Resorts fully owns, and its two golf courses.

Golf Magazine picked Red Sky Ranch as having the first and fourth best golf courses in Colorado, and the 25th and 90th best golf courses in the United States, among its “Top 100 You Can Play.”

“We built The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch to assure our Beaver Creek guests unparalleled luxury lodging,” Aron said. “That objective has certainly been realized.”

Construction of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch began in July 2000 and was completed in November 2002.

The hotel was the first luxury resort to open in the mountains of Colorado in more than a decade, and for the past two years, the hotel has operated under a 50-year management agreement with Ritz-Carlton, Aron said.

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