EPR Properties (NYSE:EPR) today announced that prior to quarter end it closed on the acquisition of Wisp Resort in McHenry, MD and will partner with Salt Lake City, UT based Everbright Pacific, an affiliate of Pacific Group, as the new operator of the resort. EPR Properties is a specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns, develops, leases and finances properties focused on Entertainment, Recreation and Education. The Company’s total investments exceed $3.1 billion, and it now has 12 metropolitan ski properties in seven states. Pacific Group will bring its operating and development experience from ski and golf resorts in New England, including Ragged Mountain in Danbury, N.H., as well as in Canada and throughout the West.
Everbright Pacific has immediate plans to expand and improve on mountain services along with associated amenities. Wisp Resort General Manager Tim Prather and his team will remain in their current positions as part of the new resort operator; Prather indicated plans for improving the resort are in the works for next summer. In the meantime, one of the first steps toward improvement will be to provide ski and snowboard rentals at the top of the mountain in the building that houses the Pumphouse Café. Food service will also be expanded at that location. Both changes will help relieve congestion on busy holidays and weekends. According to Prather, “By eliminating the shuttle ride back down the mountain to the base for rentals and lessons, our guests will get more time on the snow and have a much better experience.”
Wisp Resort plans improvements and expansion to its existing full offerings in skiing and snowboarding as well as tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and other winter activities. In addition, there are also plans for improvements to existing amenities that expand the four season nature of the property, including activities such as golf, Segway tours, fly-fishing, mountain biking, canopy tours and the mountain coaster.