Thursday, March 19, 2015

Huge Sale of Multiple Ski Resorts, Including Brighton, Utah, A Possibility

Click here for the latest Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics for the past six months, including Number of Units Sold, Median Sales Price, % of Original Listing Price, Median Price Per Square Foot, and Median Days on the Market. This data is organized by ski resort area.

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THE NEWS 16 Ski Resorts owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties, including Brighton in Utah, may soon go on the sales block. 

In an Associated Press article written by David Sharp, it is reported that the real estate investment trust (a REIT) that owns the resorts is considering leaving the snow sports business and trying to put together a sale of all the properties to a single buyer or entity.  The resorts include Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine, Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, Crested Butte in Colorado, Sierra-at-Tahoe in California, and Brighton in Utah.

According the Sharp's article, "if CNL sells them all to one buyer, industry officials say it would be the largest single ski resort transaction in the history of the sport - though skiers might not notice the sale at all."

Sharp reports that CNL Lifestyle Properties was valued as high as $3 billion in 2012, when they owned more than 100 water parks, ski resorts, marinas and senior housing developments, before the value dropped in the aftermath of a real estate downturn.  The REIT is nearing the end of its projected lifespan and anticipates having an "exit strategy" in place by the end of the year.  Last June, CNL agreed to sell 48 golf properties for $320 million and in December announced an agreement to sell its senior housing for $790 million.

The resort operators long-term leases will remain in place if the properties change ownership, so any sale should not have a significant impact on skiers and boarders at those resorts.

There is a dynamic that could emerge from the numerous, significant mergers and purchases affecting so many of Utah's iconic resorts that would have a noticeable effect on property sales.  With almost all resorts now offering multiple free ski days at multiple resorts with their season pass, prospective property owners may well buy close to a resort that offers the best season pass alliances for their preferences at the best price.

Property sales and median prices still remain strong at Deer Valley, Park City and the Canyons, although the torrid pace has slowed a bit.  Activity continues to heat up around the Ogden Valley resorts of Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley, but the low prices have been slow to move upward, and there are still plenty of great deals available.  Comparisons of median prices, units sold, and numerous other statistics are available on this blog at Utah Ski Country Real Estate Comparative Statistics.