For decades, the image of a winter sports enthusiast was someone who skied every day, purchased expensive equipment, and stayed in the best hotels. But times have changed, and what used to be the definition of a “typical” winter sports vacation is now just a small slice of the market.
Thanks to the rise of all-inclusive vacations and “bucket lists,” the desire to ski has shifted towards more people. The number of people who took up skiing as a sport in the U.S. jumped up by 66% from 2008 to 2018, and the industry has adjusted to meet the demand. Today, not only do we have beginner’s skiing classes and childcare, but there are also snowboarding parks, ski-in/ski-out accommodations, and trails that cater to all levels of expertise.
While the demands of the customer have changed, the essential rules of the game have not. The topography of the United States is mostly mountainous, which means that the majority of the country is covered in snow. It also means that the industry still heavily relies on resort owners to provide the best possible experience for their customers. A common question we get from guests is “who owns the resort?” This blog post will answer that question and more as we take a look at the ownership of the biggest and best resorts in the United States.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located in Wyoming, one of the best places in the country to ski due to its climate. The resort is owned by an investment company called Vail Resorts and features a vibrant community of snowboarders, skiers, and snow sports enthusiasts.
Jackson Hole was built in 1998 and expanded in 2002, resulting in over 135,000ft of ski runs and a Vail Resorts expansion program that continues to this day. Today, the resort attracts visitors from all over the world and features some of the most stunning mountain scenery you can find in any resort. The Vail Resorts ownership at Jackson Hole is responsible for some major advancements in skiing, including the creation of the Backcountry SuperTrail, which is a 40km-long loop connecting various terrains within the resort.
Sun Valley Resort
Located in the beautiful city of Sun Valley, ID, Sun Valley Resort features a magnificent panorama of the surrounding mountains and an exceptional ski run that connects the two iconic chairlift towers. The town of Sun Valley is famous for its beauty contests and film festivals and is surrounded by some of the best ski trails in the country. It is owned by a company called Summit Sports and Entertainment, which also owns Breckenridge and Keystone.
The ski season at Sun Valley kicks off in late October and continues until April, with the most popular ski season running from mid-October to mid-April. The resort also features a resort village with shops, restaurants, and bars. The Village at Sun Valley opened in 2017 and offers guests a relaxed vibe away from the hustle and bustle of the slopes. While the village has dining and shopping options, it also hosts a weekly movie night in the winter and a summer concert series featuring some of the biggest names in music. Summit Sports and Entertainment is responsible for some major advancements in skiing, including the construction of the Vertical Ski Resort, which features the country’s longest ski run, the Summit Straight, with a length of 4km. The ski run even connects to Breckenridge, making it one of the longest runs in North America.
Winter Park Resort
Located in Colorado, Winter Park Resort features the country’s best snow tubing park and one of the longest ski runs in the country, named Supertrail Ski Run. In fact, the run is so long that it actually connects to another ski resort, Arapahoe Resort, making it one of the longest snow tubing runs in North America. The resort is owned by a company called Intrawest Resorts, which purchased it in 2010 for $33 million. The only other asset Intrawest owns is the Stanley Hotel, a mountain destination in Colorado that offers guests a unique experience on Stanley Boilers, a snowmobile riding trip, and a gondola ride to the summit.
Winter Park Resort is one of the country’s largest ski resorts and attracts visitors from all over the world. It was the first U.S. resort to be recognized by the International Ski Federation, and throughout the year there are a variety of festivals, including carnivals, charity events, and fireworks shows. The resort also features nightly music performances by live musicians in the Village lodge bar. The skichat app allows users to order snow equipment and track the status of their orders, and it also has live chat support with a snow shop attendant via text message. This year, Winter Park resort is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a concert series featuring some of the most famous bands in rock music. The concerts will take place in the summer and fall and will feature performances by famous artists, such as Marilyn Monroe, The Rolling Stones, and Jim Morrison.
Mammoth Mountain, located in California, is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world. Its name is synonymous with skiing and snow games in general, and it has been a mecca for skiers and snow sports enthusiasts for decades. The resort features the North Face trail, one of the most classic ski runs in the world and the Sage Bugs bunny run, named after the classic cartoon character. The Sage Bugs bunny run was built in 1972 and is a classic single-track that follows the natural contours of the mountain. It features incredibly steep pitches that allow for plenty of action and is not particularly crowded even in the winter.
It is owned by a company called Mountain Ski Holdings, which purchased it in 2010 for $62 million. Like many other resorts, Mammoth Mountain does not get a lot of snow, which can be problematic for guests who want to have an authentic experience. To solve this problem, the resort’s management offers a snow conditioning program for guests who want to have an unprecedented skiing experience on any given day. This includes ski school for children, snowboard fitting, and rental of sleds and snowmobiles, helping to make the most of the very little snowfall that does occur in the area.
If you thought that the ownership of the biggest and best U.S. ski resorts was difficult to track, you’re right. There are multiple layers of holding companies and investment groups that own these resorts, making it even more complex. But fret not, we have you covered. With this article, we will reveal the definitive list of who owns which resort, as well as information about each resort’s amenities, which should make it much easier for you to choose where to stay and what to do when you get there.