A Friend of the Park Rag tipped us off to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune about the parent company of Brighton (and 16 other ski resorts) selling their holdings. Our thoughts quickly jumped to who would buy it. Would it be someone we know like Vail, Deer Valley, or John Cumming? Would it be some random investment trust. If it’s the latter, they are likely thinking they got a great deal, and will hold out for a time when winters are better in Utah.
However, if it’s the former, we think that will tell us a lot about what’s really happening with regard to the future of the Wasatch.
If John Cumming (CEO of Powder Corp and part of of Snowbird) was to buy it, we would look at that similar to an outside investor but with a more personal touch. There is something to be said for owning parts of resorts in both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon.
If Deer Valley bought it, we would see that as a sign that they are going to combine resorts in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Deer Valley recently purchased Solitude which has a connection with Brighton. Because Deer Valley likely wouldn’t want to degrade the “Deer Valley” brand with the combined Solitude/Brighton property, we would think that would put an end to any connection talk between Brighton and PCMR. Likewise, they probably wouldn’t want to help a competitor (Vail). They would concentrate on making their Wasatch Front property a unique and different experience than the one in Park City.
If Vail purchased the resort, we could see a big push behind a connection between PCMR and Brighton. You would likely see a big push for Mountain Accord initially (if they thought they could influence it) and if that didn’t fly, they may fall back to a private connection between the two resorts.
Likewise, if Vail is not the purchaser, that may tell us just as much about the fate of any connection. If Vail, the smartest guys in the room and the ones with ever-deepening pockets, don’t think Brighton is worth it, then that likely means a connection doesn’t make much sense at all.
We’re sure there are probably twenty other takes on what a purchase of Brighton means in the grand scheme of things. It should be interesting to watch as a sale may come before the end of the year.
h/t to Our Friend for making sure we saw the SL Trib article.