New Northstar owner but same operation | SierraSun.com

New Northstar owner but same operation

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun

Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resorts were sold to new owners in a $170 million deal last week, but don’t expect to notice any changes.

The ski resorts, along with Loon Mountain in New Hampshire and The Summit-at-Snowqualmie in Washington, were acquired by Florida-based CNL Income Properties from Truckee-based Booth Creek Ski Holdings on Jan. 22.

“It doesn’t really have any impact or changes on our day-to-day operations,” said Julie Maurer, vice president of marketing for Booth Creek. “It should remain status quo.”

Additionally, Booth Creek chairman George Gillett, president Chris Ryman, chief financial officer Elizabeth Cole and a fourth person bought out existing Booth Creek shareholders and now own the company.

“The fact that the four key people are knowledgeable in the ski industry is good for each of our resort’s long-term business strategies,” Maurer said.

Gillett, owner of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and the nation’s largest organic meat company, Coleman Natural Foods, is a pioneer in the ski industry. He bought Vail and Beaver Creek resorts in 1985, when Vail then climbed to the pinnacle of U.S. ski resorts. In 1999, Ski Magazine named Gillett one of the top 100 influential skiers of all time.

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Booth Creek will continue to operate the Northstar and Sierra resorts and still owns Cranmore Mountain Resort and Waterville Valley in New Hampshire.

With CNL as a partner, the Tahoe resorts will have more access to capital, Maurer said.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with CNL Income Properties, who is making a long-term commitment to both Booth Creek and the industry,” said Gillett in a release. “The company is one of the most active investors in lifestyle, leisure and recreational real estate in the nation with a reputation for honesty and integrity.”

Northstar remains at the forefront of Booth Creek business plans for development and expansion. The new Village at Northstar includes almost 40 retailers and restaurants, and the mountain itself has made improvements with a high-speed chairlift and snowmaking and terrain park improvements. Northstar Mountain Properties and East West Partners continue to develop about 1,800 new residential units, an on-mountain Ritz Carlton Hotel and more commercial space at the resort’s village.

Northstar-at-Tahoe has come a long way, from a piece of land used to farm trees to a world-class resort.

Timeline

1949: The property around Northstar was used as a tree farm

1972: The birth of Northstar-at-Tahoe, when Fibreboard Corporation first cut ski runs on Mount Pluto

Mid-1990’s: Fibreboard Corporation continued to own and operate the resort

1996: Booth Creek buys Northstar

2005: Northstar begins to develop a village

Winter 2006: The Village at Northstar debuts

Now: The first phase of the Village at Northstar wraps up, as do mountain improvements such as the new Tahoe Zephyr Express chairlift and expanded snowmaking capabilities.

Coming soon: Phase Two/Three of the Village at Northstar to include more condos, more retail space, as well as an on-mountain Ritz-Carlton.