NEWRY, Maine, Nov. 17 — Recent votes and agreements at three American Skiing Company (NYSE: SKI) resorts have cleared the way for major resort development projects.
At The Canyons in Utah, the company has received final approval for all phases of the resort’s proposed resort village.
Voters in Killington, Vermont, approved a zoning change in the Killington Basin area, clearing the way for a resort village at the East’s largest ski resort.
Heavenly Ski Resort and town officials in South Lake Tahoe, California, have signed a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA), which is the final step leading to the construction of a gondola and two resort hotels.
“At each resort, the approval represents a substantial step in bringing these projects to reality,” said American Skiing Company Chairman and CEO Leslie B. Otten. “These are green lights for all three projects. Each individually would be significant, but all three together is unprecedented in our industry.”
Facts Related to the Canyons Approval
On November 15, the Summit County (UT) Board of County Commissioners granted The Canyons approval for its 15-year master plan. The approval comes in the form of a Specially Planned Area (SPA) established among the resort, the County and more than 30 landowners at The Canyons.
What it does:
The SPA and master plan approval means that The Canyon’s long term master plan is now approved, and gives the resort a green light to continue resort development beyond the Phase One projects — the Sundial Lodge and Grand Summit Hotel — which will open this winter. The Sundial Lodge sold out in one day, and the Grand Summit Resort hotel has presold $61 million in resort property.
What it means:
Pursuant to project-specific financing, resort village development can now occur in three areas at The Canyons – in the base village, mid-mountain in the Red Pine Canyon area, and in a Lower Village along The Canyons’ access road. Resort amenities include a golf course, skating rivers, an amphitheater, a people mover, restaurants and entertainment venues. These facilities will receive significant funding support from a SPA-wide village management association. Additional lifts and trails are also approved, which at buildout will make The Canyons the largest ski resort in the United States.
Facts Related to the Heavenly Agreement
On October 29, American Skiing Company and Heavenly Ski Resort, along with other private developers, signed a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with the Lake Tahoe Regional Development Authority, as part of South Lake Tahoe’s Park Avenue Redevelopment project.
What it does:
The DDA authorized the sale of municipal bonds to purchase 17 acres in downtown South Lake Tahoe, 9.25 acres of which will be transferred to Heavenly for the development of a gondola lift and two hotel projects. The Park Avenue Redevelopment Project aims to simultaneously revitalize the downtown area, adding economic strength to the community, and improve the environment.
What it means:
The land transfer gives Heavenly the go-ahead to build a new 8-passenger gondola lift directly from downtown South Lake Tahoe to the upper reaches of the mountain. It also provides adjacent land on which to build its two proposed condominium hotels. Units worth more than $38 million have been reserved since Heavenly began taking reservations this Spring. In addition to directly serving the new Heavenly hotels, the gondola will be within walking distance of much of the remainder of the Stateline, NV/South Lake Tahoe, CA downtown area, which is noted for its casinos, restaurants and world-class entertainment. The new lift will provide easy access to the largest section of the resort’s bed base help to reduce vehicle traffic in the downtown area.
Facts Related To The Killington Approval
Voters in the Town of Killington, VT, gave overwhelming approval to new zoniing regulations on Tuesday, November 9, clearing the way for Killington resort’s proposed year-round resort village. The zoning change drew support from 76 percent of the town’s voters in near-record turnout.
What it does:
The vote clears the way for the creation of a new resort village at the base of Killington as a Planned Unit Development (PUD). Once the new PUD is formed, Killington town planners will be able to review site plans and issue zoning permits for specific projects in the village. Killington received Master Plan Act 250 approval for the project from the State of Vermont District Commission in April.
What it means:
Pursuant to project-specific permitting and financing, Killington can move ahead with its proposed resort village, which will include hotels, condominiums, retail space and public assembly space in the Killington Basin, along with approved lift and trail construction at Killington and Pico.
Headquartered in Newry, Maine, 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.
Statements in this press release, other than statements of historical information, are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date hereof. Please refer to the ‘Risk Factors’ included in the form 10-K dated October 22, 1999, on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.