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Boyne USA Resorts Announces Expansion: Crystal Group to buy Loon & Snoqualmie




Boyne USA Resorts Announces Coast-to-Coast Expansion

Acquisitions Expected to Increase Company Skier Days to 3.6 Million



Boyne Falls, Mich., September 19, 2007 – Backed by nearly 60 years of family run resort experience, Boyne USA Resorts is excited to announce its nationwide expansion reinforcing the Michigan-based corporation’s position as the largest family owned four-season resort company in North America and owner/operator of more ski resorts than any other in the United States. Aided by a partnership with CNL Income Properties, Inc., Boyne USA’s ski resort portfolio will become the third largest in North America and boasts 10 resort locations operating in Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, Washington and British Columbia with a combined skier count of approximately 3.6 million.


The expansion allows Boyne USA to further its existing geographic and economic diversity in the winter sports industry, starting in the ’50s when the company built the Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee and in earnest with the 1976 purchase of Big Sky Resort in Montana.


With today’s announcement of the pending addition of Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc.’s (“Booth Creek”) Loon Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie resorts to its network, Boyne USA Resorts is building upon its inaugural entry into the long contemplated New England market that began last month with the addition of American Skiing Company’s Sunday River and Sugarloaf resorts in Maine. Boyne USA has signed a contract with Booth Creek which at closing will transfer the management of Loon Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie to Boyne USA. In addition to furthering entry into the New England market, this transaction will reinforce Boyne USA’s commitment in the Pacific Northwest, with three resorts in that region.


The Boyne USA Resorts team, headed by the Kircher family, is proud of its record as longest running management within the mountain resort industry and believes that with its experienced team of over 7,000 passionate individuals, the organization is in a strong position to take on these new properties.


“By bringing almost 60 years of experience in resort and ski area management and building upon the best of American Skiing Company’s and Booth Creek’s accomplishments, we are confident that we will continue to be a very positive force in this industry,” said Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne USA Resorts’ eastern operations. “These are exciting times to be part of this team.”


Boyne USA executives and their resort-based management teams have already begun mapping the endless possibilities related to resort facility and amenity improvements as well as value creation programs for the many loyal customers of these resorts.


“Boyne USA’s history of innovation as well as making continuous improvements at our resorts will continue with these newly acquired facilities,” said John Kircher, president of Boyne USA Resorts’ western operations and based in the Seattle area since 1996. “Our experience has proven that a long-term vision and financial commitment to a resort is needed, which we are confident CNL and Boyne USA provide. Our understanding and love of the sport, which in our case, goes back to 1947, is one significant factor that drives us to make the facilities we own or manage even better. Keeping our customers happy means reinvesting in the property and creating the expectation of something new each season,” added John Kircher.


“From our proprietary Boyne low-e snowmaking technologies, commitment to superior guest satisfaction, passion to build innovative new facilities and amenities, offerings like our BoyneRewards loyalty program, and our unique coast-to-coast season passes, we anticipate making a very positive impact on the entire resort network, its customers and its communities,” said Stephen Kircher. “These additions are a continuation of our strategy reinforcing Boyne USA’s overall goal of becoming the best four-season resort company in the world by 2015.”


About Boyne USA Resorts:

Boyne USA Resorts is the largest family owned four-season resort company in North America; founded by Everett Kircher in 1947. A Michigan-based corporation, Boyne USA Resorts owns and/or operates award-winning mountain and golf resorts and attractions throughout the United States and Canada including Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia, a host venue of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Big Sky Resort in Montana, Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, The Inn at Bay Harbor – A Renaissance Golf Resort and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark in Michigan, Brighton in Utah, Crystal Mountain in Washington, Sugarloaf/USA and Sunday River Resort in Maine and Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee. For more information on Boyne USA Resorts, please visit www.boyneusaresorts.com .

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Been interesting to follow the Booth Creek --->CNL Income Properties ---> Boyne Mountain baton passage this year.


Booth Creek/CNL-Income-Holdings doubled the price of season passes for Loon/Waterville this year, and it'll be interesting to see whether or not Boyne follows their lead on this one. Could be that selling half the season passes for twice the price will make them break even in season-pass-revenue terms, but I have to think that concession and other visitation based revenue will take a bit of a hit.


Also wondering if the $14mil Kenny Salvini judgment has anything to do with CNL-Income's decision to sell. Rumor on the parkrat board was that all Boyne Mountain resorts would be killing off their parks except for rails/boxes. Doubt that one - but that would be kind of funny since I think that rails are much more inherently dangerous than jumps, and are much more likely to injure non park-rat types that give them a shot...


It would be interesting to see what would happen to visitation at resorts that have have a weak-to-nonexistent natural snowpack, weak terrain, icy-conditions, and expensive tickets. Maybe ski-ballet will have a resurgence and fill the void if that state of affairs ever comes to pass.

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Examples? Not terribly familiar with what sets them apart from Intrawest, American Ski Company, etc.


Intrawest and ASC are well into the suck category too ;) Intrawest in particular is a master of the planned extractionary resort experience - down to the windowdisplay level.


The biggest negative I see is reduced competition amongst Seattle ski-areas

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