Killington sale to be finalized in days
By Bruce Edwards
Herald Staff | May 08,2007
KILLINGTON — The $83 million sale of Killington Resort to Powdr Corp. and SP Land Co. is heading down the home stretch with the closing expected to take place within days.
SP Land Co. President Steve Selbo was on his way to Boston on Monday, anticipating to close on the deal by the end of the week.
"Nothing is a sure thing until it's on paper," Selbo said. "My hope is we can do it Thursday."
He said the closing would take place at the Boston law firm that's handling the transaction for American Skiing Co.
"Both sides are doing what they can," American Skiing Co. spokesman David Hirasawa said Monday. "There are a number of steps and regulatory agencies that have to be involved."
American Skiing Co. announced in February it had reached a deal to sell Killington and adjacent Pico Resort for $83.5 million.
The buyers are Powdr Corp. of Park City, Utah, which owns six western ski resorts, and SP Land Co., a real estate development company that already owns several hundred acres of land at the base of Killington. SP Land is affiliated with SKI Partners and E2M Partners, a Texas-based private equity firm.
The sale, which was expected to close at the end of April, took longer to consummate, in part, because Killington is located on state land, requiring a review of the transfer of the lease to the new owners.
The lease transfer of 2,500 acres of land in Calvin Coolidge State Park to Powdr Corp. and SP Land was completed Monday, according to Jonathan Wood, commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.
"We approved the assignment of the lease, pending the sale," Wood said. He said no changes were made to the lease, which runs another 53 years until 2060.
The deal is structured with Powdr Corp. responsible for the ski and snowboard operations while SP Land will focus on real estate development.
Once the closing takes place, Selbo said SP Land will move forward with plans for a ski village, complete with shops, restaurants and other amenities, along with 1,500 or more condominiums built over a 15-to-20-year period.
"It's a very long-term development that will start out with, I would guess, something in the vicinity of 150 to 225 units," Selbo said.
He added that the first 150 units are planned for the village itself with the remaining 75 slope-side units built on the Rams Head side.
He said he expects the rest of this year and the first six months of 2008 to be spent preparing for the Act 250 land use permit process.
"We do have at least one whole summer's worth of work to do just utilities, water, sewer, electricity, moving roads," he said. "So if you do the math that basically gets us into 2009 before construction can start."
Killington, which closed for the season Sunday, is the largest ski resort in the East with 200 trails and 33 lifts spread over seven mountains. Pico has 50 trails and six lifts.
Related to the sale is the future status of Killington President Allen Wilson.
Mark Fischer, a spokesman for Powdr Corp., declined comment Monday when asked about Wilson's future with the new owner. Fischer said, however, that a change at the top would not be unusual. He directed questions about Wilson's status to American Skiing Co.
Wilson is still running Killington, according to Hirasawa, the American Skiing Co. spokesman. He said questions about Wilson's future should be addressed to Powdr Corp.
Messages left for Wilson at his home and office Monday were not immediately returned.
Once the largest ski resort operator in the country, financially troubled American Skiing Company has been selling off its stable of resorts. Earlier this year, the company sold its Mount Snow in West Dover and the Attitash resort in New Hampshire to Peak Resort of Missouri for $73.5 million. The company is also looking at selling its Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA resorts in Maine. Last year, the company sold its Steamboat resort in Colorado to Intrawest for $265 million.
Contact Bruce Edwards at email@example.com.