Vt. ski resort Stowe under new ownership | SummitDaily.com
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Vt. ski resort Stowe under new ownership

STOWE, Vt. – Troubled insurance giant American International Group has sold Stowe Mountain Resort to a subsidiary, ending more than a year of uncertainty about the future of the Vermont ski area.

Chartis, formed last summer by AIG, acquired the resort Dec. 31. Terms weren’t disclosed.

AIG, which received about $182 billion in federal bailout money last year after nearly collapsing, said in May that it was taking offers on Stowe in a bid to divest itself of non-core assets. Two months later, AIG spun off its property casualty and general insurance business to the new subsidiary.

“We believe this investment is beneficial to the resort’s employees and the Stowe community at large, as it provides stability and clarity on the ownership of one of the finest resorts in the U.S.,” Chartis said in a prepared statement, referring to the ski resort as “an attractive investment.”

Stowe Mountain Resort spokesman Michael Colbourn said Thursday that skiers, riders and other customers won’t see any difference under the new ownership. But the sale brought relief to many people, he said.

“In the 18 to 20 months since there were the issues with parent company AIG, there has been speculation and rumor in regard to ‘Is the resort being sold?'” he said. “To have closure, from that perspective, is a relief if only from shutting down the rumor mill.”

About 1,500 people work at the hugely popular resort, where skiers and snowboard riders Thursday seemed unfazed by the news.

Smoking a cigarette in the cold outside a chalet, 20-year-old snowboarder Nathan Canan-Zucker said he didn’t know the resort had been for sale – or that it sold.

“It could be good,” he said. “They could do better with some of the (snowboard) parks, and it’d be nice to have some more runs in the woods.”

Ed Hackett, 67, of Stowe, who’s been skiing the mountain since he was a child, said he didn’t expect any changes at the resort , but he welcomed its change of ownership.

“I think it’ll be good to be out from under the cloud,” said Hackett, unpacking his skis in a parking lot in preparation for an afternoon run. “Everybody’s been worried about what was going to happen. This is good, rather than having some other buyer come in and cut, cut, cut.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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