PARK CITY, Utah, Aug. 2 — American Skiing Company (NYSE: SKI) and Westgate Resorts, a division of privately-held Central Florida Investments, have closed on the sale of land and timeshare development rights at The Canyons near Park City, UT. The sale was announced on April 13.
The land will be used for the construction of the “Westgate at The Canyons” timeshare project in the resort’s village core.
Westgate purchased the land and development rights for $7.4 million. In addition, Westgate separately contracted with American Skiing Company to purchase 150,000 lift tickets at The Canyons over the next five years to support its sales efforts. The ticket contract is expected to yield revenue of approximately $6 million.
“The completion of this transaction is an important milestone for The Canyons,” said American Skiing Company chairman and chief executive officer Leslie B. Otten. “In three years, our lift and trail expansions have transformed The Canyons into one of the five largest ski resorts in the United States. Westgate’s presence at The Canyons is a key component in our 5-year, $500 million master plan, adding bed base to the village and filling a key vacation market niche. Westgate is also proving to be a great marketing partner.”
“This project is part of our plan to steadily expand across the country from our home base in Orlando,” said David Siegel, owner and president of Westgate Resorts. “We expect to add new resorts every year to the Westgate family, and are happy to expand into this exciting Utah area and be involved with American Skiing Company in developing the premier ski resort in America.”
Westgate at The Canyons will feature 270 units and add 2,168 pillows to the resort’s slopeside bed base, bringing the total capacity in the village core to more than 4,000. It will be built adjacent to the resort’s Sundial Lodge and Grand Summit Resort Hotel.
According to Westgate chief development officer Mark Waltrip, facilities at the project will include nearly 23,000 square feet of retail space, a health spa, a restaurant, a heated pool, outdoor hot tubs and a private club for Westgate owners. The project will be sold in one-and two-week intervals.
The Summit County (UT) Board of County Commissioners gave final approval to the proposed development on July 25, clearing the way for the sale. Groundbreaking is expected sometime in the next two to three weeks, and the first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, hosted in nearby Salt Lake City.
For the upcoming season, The Canyons is adding “Dreamland,” its eighth mountain area. The new mountain will add approximately 325 acres of predominately intermediate level terrain, served by a quad chairlift. Since acquiring The Canyons, American Skiing Company has built 11 lifts and more than doubled skiable terrain at the resort.
“The Canyons has the greatest variety of open slopes, cruisers, bowls, trails, tree runs and steeps I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been skiing for 44 years,” said Otten.
Headquartered in Newry, ME, the American Skiing Company is the largest operator of alpine ski, snowboard and golf resorts in the United States. Its resorts include Steamboat in Colorado; Killington, Mount Snow and Sugarbush in Vermont; Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA in Maine; Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire; The Canyons in Utah; and Heavenly in California/Nevada.
Westgate Resorts, headquartered in Orlando, FL, is the largest privately held timeshare developer in the world. It operates eight luxury timeshare resorts, including four in the Orlando area, one in Miami Beach, one in Daytona Beach and the new Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort at Gatlinburg TN. Its parent company, the privately-held Central Florida Investments, Inc., also has interests in publishing, broadcasting, cellular telecommunications and amusements.