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olyclimber

Coming Soon: One Pass - 2 Areas?

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CNL owns Snoqualmie and Stevens now. Boyne manages Snoqualmie for them and also owns Crystal outright. Stevens will be managed by 'The Stevens Pass Mountain Resort Co' this year which is headed by a CNL guy according to the article - maybe they're just keeping the current staff in place since the season is starting imminently.

 

We ought to keep an eye on this. With CNL and Boyne running the show for all available ski options within 2 hours of Seattle, I think there's already some incentive to collaborate (collude?) on pricing and services. Giving management of Stevens over to Boyne next year might be the easiest thing to do for CNL. Running a ski area is a tough business and nothing fixes your financial situation like exercising some pricing power.

 

I'd pay special attention both to the pricing policies and public access. I think all 3 areas still run under a Special Use Permit from the USFS so the major asset they hold - access to great skiing terrain - is really a public asset.

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A local company in my line of work was bought by a national corporation. They kept the original owner around for a few years as a manager. When his contract expired they didn't renew it.

 

Lots of possible reasons. Maybe he hadn't been through their management ranks and school and wasn't greasing the right wheels.

 

In any case if you want locally owned I believe you're down to Baker, White Pass, Hurricane or a few Eastern Washington ski areas.

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I think there's already some incentive to collaborate (collude?) on pricing and services. Giving management of Stevens over to Boyne next year might be the easiest thing to do for CNL

 

I don't think there really is any such think as price collaboration, it is all just collusion in the eyes of the law. And it is probably something that the Fed's in either the DOJ, or even the Dept. of Agriculture may look at, especially if Democrats remain in the Whitehouse.

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I don't think there really is any such think as price collaboration, it is all just collusion in the eyes of the law. And it is probably something that the Fed's in either the DOJ, or even the Dept. of Agriculture may look at, especially if Democrats remain in the Whitehouse.

You're right of course. I guess I was just being optimistic. In practice, collusion is incredibly tough to prove. You usually need a smoking gun (e.g. emails that show the price fixing taking place or a key witness like in the AMD case...). And you have to have a big enough issue, politically, for DOJ or SEC or a state AG to care.

 

Maybe if the new management is cautious they won't attract attention and the real impact will ultimately be pretty limited. It might even work out OK for skiers. Having a few days at Xtal on my Summit Gold pass is sorta cool. But I think it still makes a lot of sense to pay attention to this.

 

There could be other impacts that are less obvious, like more limited access for non-paying customers (skiers and climbers) OR fewer ski school options (all the third party schools got kicked out of Stevens - maybe Central and West are next??). All of those things probably help to raise the value of these properties since they can help revenue, increase development options or just avoid the appearance of third party meddling and CNL and Boyne might have similar incentives.

 

We'll see. It just makes sense to keep an eye on this.

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Whoever the owning corporation is it seems like they are putting a lot into making the areas year round places. Fancy summit restaurant and gondola at Crystal. The web page plugs getting married with great views of Rainier.

 

I understand they are going to build a restaurant on top of Hyak in the near future.

 

I know Stevens already had plans to increase the number of lift accessed runs. They'll probably start adding new features for year round use.

 

More boutique shopping and spas :grlaf:

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I can tell you as a Stevens Employee that these guys already tried to shut down employee transportation that most of us rely on and keeps the parking lots open for the public. Thanks to the dept. managers, that didn't happen. But there are already big cuts happening and I know several people who just moved to the area for a job, that they were promised two weeks ago would be there for them this season, and are now out of work because of these cuts. It'll be interesting to see how high the ticket prices go in the coming seasons.

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What sort of cuts? I don't know anything about ski area operations, so to an outsider it seems like it'd be tough to cut too much on the operations side without it starting a negative feedback loop.

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