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Okemo, Mt. Sunapee, Crested Butte Sold!!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Fresh news! :

By Angelo Lynn
Vt. Ski & Ride Magazine
LUDLOW, Vt. — Tim and Dianne Mueller, who bought Okemo Mountain in the mid-1980s and rebuilt the floundering ski area into one of the nation’s strongest ski resort operation, have announced the sale of their Triple Peaks operation [Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte] to a Florida-based real-estate investment trust. The transaction is expected to take place on Friday, Dec. 5, 2008.

from: http://www.vtskiandride.com/?q=node/203
Apparently this company owns Sugarloaf, Maine and Mammoth Mountain, California

I thought the state of New Hampshire owned Sunapee and Okemo was running the operations. This may still be the case, not sure.

post #2 of 14
Well, this company that has bought it has been doing a great job with Mammoth and Sugarloaf. I expect great outcomes from this, but less snowmaking I assume at Okemo.
post #3 of 14
Strictly a financing deal. CNL is in the resort financing business. Typically the "seller" retains buy-back rights, all of the development rights, and of course all of the resort operations. With the banking environment, CNL is probably a very attractive financial partner. I've read quite a bit about how both Boyne and CNL are very pleased with their relationship. CNL leases the property to the owners, and is pleased with that revenue stream. The operator shows minimal debt on their balance sheet, there are a number of tax advantages, etc. It's "by me" in terms of details, but friends in the world of commercial real estate think it makes tremendous sense. Should improve the resort operations and resources available, if anything.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info muleski. Apparently there's an article in the Wall St. Journal online but you need a prescription to see it.
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
Thanks for the info muleski. Apparently there's an article in the Wall St. Journal online but you need a prescription to see it.
I'll ask my doctor to write me one
post #6 of 14
I got an email from Crested Butte basically saying what Muleski said above.
post #7 of 14
Sunapee is located on New Hampshire State Park land. Okemo has a 20 year lease to run the operation with the possibility of a 20 year extension. Part of the revenues made by the company are plowed back into the New Hampshire State coffers. The Muellers have made extensive improvements and upgrades to the Mountain. They turned it into one class act.
post #8 of 14
From the horses mouthFrom: "Todd Walton" <twalton@cbmr.com>
Date: December 5, 2008 1:24:03 PM MST

For Immediate Release:

For information contact:

Carolyn Gosselin, APR (407) 540-2505 Scott Clarkson, (802)-228-1949 Todd Walton (970) 349-2303

Chief Communications Officer Vice-president of Marketing, Okemo Communications Director

CNL Triple Peaks, LLC Crested Butte Mountain Resort


Relationship with family-owned Triple Peaks, LLC provides immediate capital and long-term stability for top-ranked ski mountains

(Orlando, FL, Crested Butte, CO) Dec. 5, 2008 – CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on lifestyle properties, announced today its acquisition of the privately held assets of three ski and mountain lifestyle properties: Vermont’s Okemo, Colorado’s Crested Butte and New Hampshire’s Mount Sunapee. CNL Lifestyle Properties is purchasing the resorts from family-owned Triple Peaks, LLC and leasing the properties back to Triple Peaks to manage the ski, golf, hospitality, and conference operations under a long-term lease.

“This transaction provides Triple Peaks the opportunity for immediate enhancement to these popular mountain destinations that will improve the overall skier experience and extend the resorts’ offerings for all four seasons,” said Byron Carlock, president and CEO of CNL Lifestyle Properties. “Tim and Diane Mueller have positioned the properties of Triple Peaks for ongoing success. We are proud to establish a relationship with such seasoned and respected operating partners and enable them to carry out their vision for these properties over the long-term.”

“In this time of economic instability, for CNL to commit sizable dollars to our resorts is a testament to their confidence in us and our entire Team.” said Tim Mueller. “Triple Peaks’ resorts are recognized for operational excellence and success within the ski industry. In today’s environment, there are not a lot of companies able to complete transactions of this nature. This is also indicative of CNL’s financial strength and confidence in our management team and in the ski industry. They are a well capitalized, stable company and we are pleased to be associated with them.” Mueller continued.

“Our focus has been delivering outstanding service and a positive skier experience since we entered this industry with the purchase of Okemo in 1982,” Mueller continues. “We anticipate that this new relationship with CNL Lifestyle Properties will enable us to continue to do what we do best — create a unique and memorable experience at our mountains for our visitors. With the stable capital and long-term focus of this relationship, we are in a stronger position than ever to enhance our resort operations to ensure our long term popularity.”

The new financial structure provides stable long term capital without the short term risk of refinancing every few years. It is referred to as a sale – leaseback. That is, the assets are sold but are leased back to the Muellers for 40 years. The net effect of it is that the Muellers will still be the owners of the operating company, while CNL owns the underlying resort assets, excluding certain primary real estate interests.

Crested Butte, Colorado

Consistently recognized as one of North America’s marquee ski mountains, Crested Butte ranked 20th in the 2008 SKI Magazine readers’ poll of the best North American resorts, based on factors such as snow, grooming and variety of terrain. The resort averages 300 inches of snowfall each season: last season’s total topped 400 inches. Crested Butte is also home to the Adaptive Sports Center, a non-profit organization that provides life-enhancing year-round recreation activities for people with disabilities and their families.

Crested Butte offers 1,167 acres of terrain served by 16 lifts from 121 trails. The mountain is a two-time host of the Winter X Games, the legendary U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships, the U. S. Extreme Freeskiing Telemark Championships, a Randonnee Rally and the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse.

Overall, CNL Lifestyle Properties owns 21 ski and mountain lifestyle properties comprising 13 ski areas and eight village-centered retail developments, along with four additional loans for ski-related enhancements. CNL Lifestyle Properties’ ski and mountain lifestyle portfolio also includes Bretton Woods Mountain Resort (Bretton Woods, N.H.), Mountain High Resort (Wrightwood, Calif.), Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort (Lake Tahoe, Calif.) and Sierra-at-Tahoe® Resort (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.).

About CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc.

CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc., formerly CNL Income Properties, Inc., is a real estate investment trust that owns a portfolio of 115 properties in the United States and Canada in the lifestyle and recreation sectors. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., CNL Lifestyle Properties specializes in the acquisition of ski and mountain lifestyle, attractions, golf and other lifestyle assets. For more information, visit www.CNLLifestyleREIT.com

About Triple Peaks, LLC

Triple Peaks, LLC is one of the leading mountain destination resort companies in the United States. Over the past 25 years Triple Peaks has invested in infrastructure and people while expanding into businesses which complement Resort activities and diversify revenues. Each of three Resorts has maintained their own sense of character and charm while offering a fully integrated spectrum of facilities and services. Triple Peaks is dedicated to creating “The Triple Peaks Difference” for our guests by providing the finest quality resort experiences and friendly guest service in the resort industry at each property.

Crested Butte has been named as Skiing Magazine’s #1 Best Steeps, #8 Best Trees, #10 Best Powder, and Outside Magazine’s Top Places To Live Now, Sunset Magazine’s # 3 Top Dream Towns, SKI Magazine’s #20 Readers Survey Top Resort, and SkiNet’s # 3 Top Ski Town. Crested Butte was also named one of America’s Best Small Ski Towns by Travel + Leisure Magazine.

For more information about Crested Butte's lodging, conference, meeting facilities, and special packages, call Crested Butte Vacations, (800) 600-2803 or visit the web site at www.skicb.com. For information on ski area real estate opportunities call (970) 349-4999 or (877) 805-6109 or visit the website at www.cbliving.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including, among others, statements regarding CNL Lifestyle Properties’ future financial position, business strategy, projected levels of growth, projected success of its tenants projected costs and projected financing needs, are forward-looking statements. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the CNL Lifestyle Properties’ management team, as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based, and generally are identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “seeks,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “should” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Many of these factors are beyond the company’s ability to control or predict. Such factors include, but are not limited to, competition in the company markets, equity raise and the ability to obtain financing for transactions, the impact of the current credit crisis and economic recession, the effect of reduced consumer spending, our tenants abilities to attract a significant number of guests from their target markets, the impact of mineral rights and other reservations on the company’s properties, the company’s ability to develop new resorts or further develop existing resorts on a timely or cost-efficient basis, the company’s abilities to manage growth, potential accidents or injuries at properties, the possibility of future regulatory changes or intervention, our tenants’ abilities to achieve or sustain profitability, downturns in their industry segments and extreme weather conditions, increases in operating costs and other expense items and costs, uninsured losses or losses in excess of the company’s insurance coverage, and the company’s ability to protect its intellectual property and the value of its brands. Management believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to CNL Lifestyle Properties or persons acting on its behalf are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Further, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results over time unless otherwise required by law.


Todd Walton

Communications Director

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

PO Box 5700 (mail) / 12 Snowmass Road (shipping)

Mt. Crested Butte, CO 81225

Direct: 970-349-2303

Fax: 970-349-2250

inspiring your passion for adventure


Fly direct to Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC)

Daily jet service on UNITED, AMERICAN, and DELTA

Call Crested Butte Vacations - 1-800-544-8448

post #9 of 14
Thanks for confirming that, re: Sunapee. I thought that was the case, and it doesn't make sense that it would be included in this "sale" to me, as I'm not sure what the Muellers have to sell...or lease back. More info will be forthcoming, I guess.
post #10 of 14
I noticed the Sunapee printed brochure refers to "owning" Sunapee Mountain Resort, or something similar. I'm guessing that is the name of the business that leases Sunapee, the mountain, from the state of NH.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Snowsport View Post
I'll ask my doctor to write me one
Ah...good one! Totally didn't even see that. I guess I thought it though.
most excellent info there, thanks!

Yeah I don't get what there is to sell either at Sunapee if they're leasing the place from the state. Maybe there's some complicated arrangement about the Lodge and some infrastructure that the Mueller's have improved. No clue.
post #12 of 14
The lease itself is probably a valuable asset.
post #13 of 14
Wall Street Journal December 4, 2008
CNL to Buy Ski Resorts

CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc., a real-estate investment trust based in Orlando, Fla., is expected to announce that it will acquire three U.S. ski resorts for $132 million.

The REIT is expected to close a deal Friday that will add Colorado's Crested Butte Ski Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee Ski Resort in New Hampshire to its portfolio of 112 properties. The company owns several other ski properties, including Sugarloaf in Maine and Mammoth Mountain Village in California, as well as dozens of golf courses and water parks.

Triple Peaks LLC of Ludlow, Vt., which currently owns and operates the ski areas CNL will buy, will continue as operator.

Ski areas across the country are bracing for a challenging season amid a recession-fueled travel slowdown.

This year, several big Western ski resorts are reporting that advance reservations are slower than usual. Aspen Skiing Co. says business could drop between 5% and 15% this season. In addition, lodging and recreation industry transactions have slowed, with bank lending tight.

CNL says it will finance the deal with $82 million in cash and the rest in loans from Triple Peaks.

__________________________________________________ ____________________________
Rutland Herald 12/6/08
By Bruce Edwards
Okemo Mountain Resort, one of Vermont's oldest and largest ski resorts, was sold Friday to CNL Lifestyle Properties of Orlando, Fla.

Triple Peaks owners Tim and Diane Mueller sold the Ludlow resort along with Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado and Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire for $132 million.

The sale was first reported in Friday's Wall Street Journal.

The Muellers will continue to manage the three resorts under a 40-year lease-back arrangement with CNL Lifestyle Properties, with Triple Peaks LLC making lease payments to CNL.

"Although we're selling the assets, we're maintaining obviously all the operations and control of the resort and signed a long-term lease," Tim Mueller said Friday in a phone interview from Florida, where he and his wife closed on the sale. "As I say, we look at it as more of a financing arrangement as much as anything since we'll still be in control of the operations."

He also said Triple Peaks retains ownership of much of the developable land around Okemo.

Mueller said the deal with CNL was the best financing option available.

"We could have continued going on the way we were going but we just thought bringing in long-term, stable capital was a better option for us," Mueller said, "particularly in this economic environment where bank financing is relatively short term, the short-term rates and the instability of the market …"

The acquisition gives the Muellers additional capital to build the Red Lady Lodge at Crested Butte and to move forward with the Okemo conference center. CNL is also expected to=2 0fund improvements at Mount Sunapee.

CNL Lifestyle spokeswoman Carolyn Gosselin said the Muellers' successful management style caught the attention of the company, making the resorts an attractive acquisition. Gosselin also said Okemo in particular is ideally located near major metropolitan areas.

"The second interest is these are affordable drive-to ski resorts that are very popular," she said. "In particular in this economy many skiers are not flying out west … but they're not going to give up their passion for snow skiing."

In the long-term, Gosselin said CNL's capital infusion will enhance Okemo and make it more of a four-season destination.

She said no changes in personnel or employment at the three resorts are anticipated.

At Ludlow's municipal offices, Town Manager Frank Heald, himself an experienced veteran of the Vermont ski industry, said the news of Okemo's sale and lease-back to the Muellers was a good sign of the area's future health.

"I think we will see very little change20as I understand it," said Heald, adding that Okemo executives started calling key people in the Ludlow community Thursday afternoon to tell them of the pending sale.

"When all is said and done, this is a refinancing transaction," said Heald. "Tim and Diane have a total and firm hand on the tiller. Their tenure here in this town, when you add everything up, has been a great thing for Ludlow."

Over at the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, executive director Marji Graf sent an e-mail saying that despite the sale, the Muellers were committed to Okemo.

"Tim and Diane are here to stay," she said.

Parker Riehle of the Vermont Ski Areas Association also views Friday's sale as a positive development.

"It gives Okemo the financial infusion that they need to move ahead with a lot of their strategic on-mountain projects and also other developments such as their conference center which would be a dynamic addition to their resort," said Riehle, the VSAA executive director.

Commissione r Bruce Hyde of the state Department of Tourism and Marketing said the added benefit of the deal is that the Muellers retain management control.

"The Muellers have done a great job of bringing Okemo from really a small skier-day, obscure operation to one of our leading resorts," Hyde said.

Okemo opened in January 1956. The Muellers purchased the ski area in 1982 when it had eight or nine lifts (only three double chair lifts) and 26 trails. Over the last 26 years, the couple has turned the once sleepy ski area into a major ski industry player with 19 lifts and 119 trails and glades. The resort also owns Okemo Valley Golf Club.

"We just had a philosophy of continued but steady, relatively constant growth of building up the product," Mueller said.

He also said CNL has a sound track record in owning ski resorts and golf courses. "They are very good people and we have a lot of confidence in them as well," he said.

The three Triple Peaks resorts had a combined 1.1 million skier visits during the 2007-08 ski season.

CNL Lifestyle Properties is part of CNL Financial Group, one of the nation's largest, privately held real estate investment and development companies. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., CNL has formed or acquired companies with more than $23 billion in assets, including hotel, retail, restaurant, senior citizen housing and lifestyle properties.

CNL Lifestyle is a real estate investment trust that owns 115 properties in the United States and Canada, including 13 ski areas and eight village-centered retail developments. The portfolio includes Bretton Woods Mountain Resort and Loon Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA in Maine, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort in California.
post #14 of 14
CNL owns the village at Mammoth and they are not running it well. Merchants there are in distress due to lack of parking and as yet CNL has not been willing to build more parking or lower lease rates. Many locals hope they sell out to someone who will. But CNL will only get about half what they paid in 2006 if they sell now. CNL does not own the ski area, which in fact is pressuring them to sell the village.
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