By Ann Schissler

(March 2015) Grab Your Checkbook. You could be the new owner of these ski resorts as CNL Lifestyle Properties considers getting out of the snow business. The areas involved are:

•  Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte, CO
•  Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, Carrabassett Valley, ME
•  Sunday River Resort, Newry, ME
•  Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, Lake Tahoe, CA
•  Mountain High Resort, Wrightwood, CA
•  Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, Twin Bridges, CA
•  Brighton Ski Resort, Brighton UT
•  Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, VT
•  Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver, BC
•  Gatlinburg Ski Lift, Gatlinburg, TN
•  Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Hancock, MA
•  Mount Sunapee Mountain Resort, Newbury, NH
•  The Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, NH
•  Stevens Pass, Skykomish, WA
•  Summit-at-Snoqualmie Resort, Snoqualmie Pass, WA

If you’re the sole buyer, you would need hundreds of millions of dollars to complete the single largest ski resort transaction in the history of the sport. However, those who are schussing down your slopes probably won’t notice any difference, because the resort operators’ long term leases will remain in place after the deal is done. It’s as if a third party bought your mortgage.

CNL is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that makes money for a variety of properties like shopping malls, hotels, and office buildings, but they are fairly new to the ski industry having become involved in the last 15 years. There’s only one other REIT that is involved in the ski industry and that’s EPR out of Missouri. CNL feels this REIT is nearing the end of its projected lifespan and prepares to have an “exit strategy” in place by Dec. 31.

“Ski resorts, which are at the mercy of weather and the economy, can be good investments as long as the owners have a long investment horizon”, said Michael Krongel from Mirus Resort Capital in Burlington, Massachusetts. They’ve been involved in ski resort development, purchasing and sales for 45 years.
So as you contemplate what to do with those extra Benjamin’s floating around your IRAs, you now have a new option. Put’s a new light on the term “ski mogul”. You could be one instead of skiing one.

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