Vail Resorts is expanding to Switzerland - its first European ski area
Vail Resorts enters the European ski market with a controlling stake in a Swiss Alps resort.
Vail Resorts has entered into an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the Swiss ski resort Andermatt-Sedrun. Andermatt is a destination ski resort in central Switzerland, located less than 90 minutes from Zurich and Lucerne and about two hours from Milan, Italy.
It will be the first European ski resort that Vail will own and operate. The transaction is expected to close before the 2022-23 winter season begins.
Vail is acquiring a 55-percent ownership stake in Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG, which controls all of the resort’s mountain and ski-related assets, including the chairlifts, most of the restaurants, and a ski school operation. The current owner, Andermatt Swiss Alps, - or ASA - will retain a 40 percent ownership stake, with a group of existing shareholders comprising the remaining 5 percent ownership.
Vail is spending more than $160 million on the acquisition. A majority of the investment will be used for on-mountain investments, including lifts, snowmaking, and dining upgrades. Some of the investment will be used for base area real estate development.
According to a press release, an Egyptian billionaire [Samih Sawiris] has invested nearly $1.4 billion into the surrounding base area in recent years, including high-end lodging and restaurants, a concert hall, and an 18-hole championship golf course.
Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said in a statement the investments that ASA and the Egyptian investor made at the resort have created a high-end experience with capacity for growth.
Subject to the timing of closing, Vail plans to include unlimited access to Andermatt-Sedrun on the 2022-23 Epic Pass. Epic Day Pass holders with All Resorts Access can use their days at the Swiss resort, and Epic Local Pass holders get five days of unrestricted access.
The resort has about 75 miles of skiable terrain and a top elevation of more than 9,800 feet.