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.
“Wisp is an excellent fit for us, and we are delighted to be working with EPR Properties on this outstanding year round resort,” noted Douglas Anderson, President and CEO of Pacific Group. “Wisp is ideally located near Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, and our partnership with EPR will allow us to put in the capital investment and operating effort to make this the top mountain resort in the Mid-Atlantic region.”EPR Properties President and CEO David Brain stated, “We are very pleased to be partnering with Pacific Group at Wisp Resort. This acquisition expands our operator relationships and enhances our ski portfolio with a high quality strategic asset.” ABOUT WISP RESORT Wisp is a four-season mountain resort by the shores of Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. Wisp offers skiing, snowboarding, golf, lift-served mountain biking, and a variety of other mountain recreation activities. The ski resort has 10 lifts and 32 trails on 132 acres, more than 90% of which is lit for night skiing. Wisp has a state-of-the-art snowmaking system which is generally acknowledged as the most advanced in North America capable of covering virtually all trails with as much as a foot of snow in 24 hours under ideal snowmaking conditions. www.wispresort.com ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP Over the past 25 years, Salt Lake City-based Pacific Group and its affiliates have been instrumental in the operations, sales, development, and construction of numerous resort properties, including ski and golf projects such as Wisp. Additionally, Pacific Group has been very active in real estate acquisition, development, and construction with over 1,000 successfully completed projects. These projects include some of the top resort properties in North America plus multi-family urban condominium properties, and master planned resort communities. Pacific Group has established itself as a seasoned operations and development company with completed projects in 26 U.S. states and Canada. www.pgc.us ABOUT EPR PROPERTIES EPR Properties is a specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in properties in select market segments which require unique industry knowledge, while offering the potential for stable and attractive returns. Our total investments exceed $3.1 billion and our primary investment segments are Entertainment, Recreation and Education. We adhere to rigorous underwriting and investing criteria centered on key industry and property level cash flow standards. We believe our focused niche approach provides a competitive advantage, and the potential for higher growth and better yields. Further information is available at www.eprkc.com.