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alan


Posts: 10768
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 19:43
29th Feb 2024
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Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 15.38hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
Yesterday Hell froze over, almost. Vail Resorts acquired Kirkwood Mountain Resort, California.

Earlier this week Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) put a for sale sign up on CairnGorm Mountain.

The redevelopment of the Aviemore Highland Resort appears have hit something of a hiatus at present and with the championship Spey Valley Golf Course and plans on the board for a five star resort hotel at Macdonald's Dalfaber resort at the Northern end of the village - could these together be an opportunity for a major international resort operator?

And if hell really did freeze over, what would be the implications, the good, the bad if such a company did come to Highland Scotland.

Looks like we don't have anything else to do the next few days but speculate, discuss, argue about corporate giants in snowsports etc (unless the forecast wind drops).

cammyammy


Posts: 1362
Joined: Jul 2010
Last Visited: 21:43
8th Dec 2014
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 16.27hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
The pros are that it would be that it would be more financially stable. And theres possibility for a big investment. Although it would need someone with experience and power to manage the ski area for it to work successfully.

However the implications on the Scottish skiing market as a whole would be worth worrying about. It would have the potential to be seriously bad news for the other ski centres on an already uneven market.

In another respect Cairngorm could get bought by almost anyone. Id hate to see it get bought by someone who dinnae kens what their doing and run Cairngorm to the ground.

Cairngorm's personality has suffered a bit I think since they have become more about business. Cant really put my finger on what it is that makes the difference. Perhaps its that you know they have "Ops Meetings".

Why not have them all run by a business giant?
Well something thats of big concern to me is that if a ski area is run by a business giant. Then the people in charge base themselves in an office and look at statistics all day and wouldnt dream of getting their hands dirty. Thats when the business starts to lose its personality and becomes just another business looking for your money rather than simply wanting to offer good sport.

I know I praise Glenshee allot. But the fact is that the management there have been in the sh*t with that place. But have held on through thick & thin to make sure snowsports continue there. Most of what they earn gets reinvested (and for a while what they earnt was barely enough for wages), they have pride in what they do. Its similar stories all round. Not saying CML isnt in a similar boat but if it was owned by a business giant Id have concerns for them bailing when the going gets tough.


JUN


Posts: 76
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 11:42
23rd Oct 2013
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 17.24hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
If it meant I'd have Vail on my doorstep, I'd let them run the country ;-)
timstirling


Posts: 520
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 01:20
12th Sep 2016
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 17.32hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
For cairngorm it would undoubtedly be a good thing but would probably only take customers away form the other centres.

If Vail did buy cairngorm then I doubt anyone would care about them trying to renovate aviomore with some faux-chalet style boutques and cougar lounges with log-fires and over-priced drinks. They would undoubtedly invest in a lot of snow making and high-speed quad chairlifts for their clientele.

I would expect one or 2 of the other centres would end up closing down eventually, or becoming club fields run mianly by volanteers.


harley


Posts: 202
Joined: Mar 2010
Last Visited: 18:52
13th Jun 2019
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 17.41hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
I would welcome any resort with f**king snow.
Andy


Posts: 1406
Joined: Jan 2003
Last Visited: 08:47
2nd May 2019
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 18.09hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
have to agree with you on that!....maybe they could build a dubai style dome at the hayfield!
andytb


Posts: 358
Joined: Nov 2008
Last Visited: 10:36
4th May 2018
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 18.57hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
cammyammy Wrote:
Cairngorm's personality has suffered a bit I think since they have become more about business. Cant really put my finger on what it is that makes the difference. Perhaps its that you know they have "Ops Meetings".


The operations meetings are the ones you don't have to worry about. You think runs close themselves overnight because of ice? That's the sort of decision that will be taken as a result of ski patrol having a meeting - whatever you call it - at the start of the day. Ops are the good guys.

The base station area is very public-sectory, a bit like Hillend. A lot of staff you don't quite know what they do. For example the number of staff that seem to be mandated to marshal the train area. They're not lifties in the conventional sense and I wouldn't be surprised if their terms of employment are a lot more secure.

I would hope that should an established ski area operator buy CML and bring with them experience of commercial operation - something that when you have the Government drip in your arm seems to be forgotten very quickly.
flexyfeet


Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 2012
Last Visited: 18:23
7th Mar 2012
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 19.11hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
I haven't been doing snowsports that long. So in 2009/2010 when there were huge depths of snow I thought that was normal for Scotland, along with all the Range Rover sets that were at Glenshee. Until, several locals had commented that they (RR set) don't support Scottish snowsports (too busy going abroad) but because of spectacular snow thought they'd visit.

Therefore, does anyone think if CML was 'fancied' up that maybe there would be some kind of social divide of whom goes where? As opposed to other centres losing custom and maybe closing? Would CML ticket prices be increased a fair bit thus putting certain people off going there?



Edited 3 times. Last edit at 19.14hrs Thu 23 Feb 12 by flexyfeet.
SCG


Posts: 102
Joined: Feb 2010
Last Visited: 13:04
2nd May 2016
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 20.55hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
Vail Resorts, Intrawest etc are all real estate developers (using their own terminology). They increase the value of their building plots and rental properties by making sites ski-in/ski-out.

Many of the actual ski areas they operate actually don't make money.

I don't know Kirkwood, but assume there is space to do something with property, otherwise Vail would not e interested.

They can't build at CGM, so it would not work.

The best thing that could happen to CGM is bankruptcy. Then the assets are all sold to a new owner with no debts and a fresh start. Many of the staff could stay on. The only way it's sustainable is to drop the fixed overhead sharply. It might be slightly higher to deal with summer business etc, but there need to be way less salaried staff . I've encountered more staff at CGM before I reach the ticket office than the Lecht use to run the whole ski area.

I can't see how a truly commercial company could invest in CGM.

Instead it needs a de facto non-profit company the same way the other resorts have, with a low overhead and any profits being reinvested. That only comes from slightly crazy (in a good way) fanatics, not big companies and especially not the public sector.

Maybe the WH community should offer to run it as a non-profit private company.
cammyammy


Posts: 1362
Joined: Jul 2010
Last Visited: 21:43
8th Dec 2014
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 21.02hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
SCG Wrote:
Maybe the WH community should offer to run it as a non-profit private company.


Wouldnt work, noone would agree on anything smiling smiley
alan


Posts: 10768
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 19:43
29th Feb 2024
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Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 21.17hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
I don't know Kirkwood, but assume there is space to do something with property, otherwise Vail would not e interested.


Space is limited and Kirkwood Mountain Resort's involvement in the remaining real estate is quite limited, most lies with Kirkwood Mountain Reality - a separate company spun off in 2005/06 as part of a long term development plan and not affected by the buyout. Vail Resorts will have real estate to play with - but not on a major scale, which makes this an even more curious acquisition by Vail Resorts standards.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 21.19hrs Thu 23 Feb 12 by alan.
remote_patrol


Posts: 1013
Joined: Apr 2007
Last Visited: 22:53
20th Apr 2021
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 21.34hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
as glenshee's facebook says:

"run by skiers and boarders, for skiers and boarders"

it's the only way smiling smiley

maybe all of us on WH could take it season about, see who's right once and for all!
PeterS


Posts: 980
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 12:21
13th Mar 2021
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Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 22.19hrs on Thu 23 Feb 12
There's plenty of development opportunity nearby. What about An Camas Mor ?

[www.ancamasmor.com]
tvrolet


Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2009
Last Visited: 22:30
5th Jan 2019
Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 10.09hrs on Sat 25 Feb 12
I'd be welcoming them with open arms. Year on year the Vail resorts get better and better (I've skied them all, and Kirkwood too). Year on year Cairngorm gets worse and worse (IMHO). Off to Tahoe in a couple of weeks again smiling smiley and haven't skied at CG now for a couple of years. In fairness Glenshee does get my business if there is snow but I've only managed 1 day this year sad smiley

What the Vail resorts seem to manage is to be open on the opening day with complete runs, and stay open until closing day. And this isn't because there's guranteed snow on these dates - if there's not enough natural snow they make it and open and close on time. I gather it also means they rely pretty much exclusively on permanent workers for the fixed duration of the season as apart from closures due to high winds ther'll be skiable snow and uplift running every day.

The uplift gets serious investment (and hopefully some of the older lifts at Kirkwood will get replaced, although there's quite a new lift that isn't 'high speed'), as does the supporting infrastructure of restautants, accomodation, retail etc. I know (from starting skiing in Scotland nearly 45 years ago) that the Scottish conditions are way more challenging than the resorts in the US with wicked termperature fluctuations and high winds, but it's always struck me that with serious, really serious, investment there is a vaible year-round business there. I've always been to Heavenly in the winter and it seems busy enough, but I'm told by the locals it's nothing compared to the summer trade focussed on the mountains and the lake. There's Loch Morlich winking smiley

I can't see it ever happening though - but a nice pipe-dream.
flugeryl


Posts: 2307
Joined: Oct 2004
Last Visited: 12:40
11th Mar 2021
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Re: Would you welcome Vail Resorts to Scotland?
Date Posted: 20.27hrs on Sat 25 Feb 12
vail resorts would come for the real estate and summer tourism, mountain biking, golf and the walking opportunities as this is where the money is in scotland, they would see the winter side as an added all season option but pin there buisness plan to the other 3 seasons

they would therefore need to twin purchase nevis range also....every man has their price

maybe they fancy competing with trump

the RSPB may buy it and turn the whole area into a bird sancturay

Be Nice to Skiers, they have it hard enough already
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