Northstar California among 16 American resorts that may be sold | SierraSun.com

Northstar California among 16 American resorts that may be sold

Staff and wire reports

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The potential sale of Northstar California would likely have no impacts on the Lake Tahoe-area resort's future operations, a Vail Resorts official said this week.

CNL Lifestyle Properties, a real estate investment trust that owns 16 ski resorts across America, including Northstar California near Truckee and Sierra-at-Tahoe off Lake Tahoe's South Shore, could sell off its resorts, the Associated Press' David Sharp reported on March 15.

According to the AP, 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.

CNL will evaluate options for its remaining properties including ski resorts, theme parks and marinas "in the near future," Steve Rice, senior managing director of CNL Financial Group, told the AP. Besides selling them, alternatives include a private buyout or listing on a publicly traded exchange.

"We're taking a studied and careful approach," Rice said.

Closer to home, Northstar California is operated by a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, while the property itself is leased from its owner, CNL.

Recommended Stories For You

The lease provides Northstar with "significant operating flexibility," said resort spokeswoman Rachael Woods, and CNL largely acts as a passive landlord.

"We can't comment on any financial transactions that CNL may be undertaking," Woods said Monday. "To the extent that CNL chooses to sell all or part of its portfolio, we don't expect any change to how we operate or impact upon Northstar, or any changes to the terms of our long-term lease."

According to the AP, CNL Lifestyle Properties was valued at as much as $3 billion in 2012, with ownership of more than 100 water parks, ski resorts, marinas and senior housing developments before the value dropped in the aftermath of a real estate downturn.

Other ski resorts the trust owns 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 and Brighton in Utah.

CNL is nearing the end of its projected lifespan and anticipates having an "exit strategy" in place by Dec. 31. In June, CNL agreed to sell 48 golf properties for $320 million. In December, it announced an agreement to sell its senior housing for $790 million.

Ideally, the remaining ski properties, theme parks and marinas would be sold, and the company enlisted Jefferies LLC, an investment bank, to evaluate options.