Vail Resorts May Acquire Vermont's Stowe Mountain

Vail Resorts (MTN) is considering purchasing Stowe Mountain Resort, a ski destination in northern Vermont comprised of two mountains, Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, according to people familiar with the situation.

Stowe is for sale and directors from Vail visited the resort about a week ago but "nothing has been written or signed" as yet, the sources said.

Vail spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga told TheStreet the company had no comment. Stowe did not return a request for comment.

A Stowe acquisition would come on the heels of  several recent deals by Vail.

In October, the Broomfield, Colo.-based lodging company closed on its acquisition of Canada's Whistler Blackcomb for $1.06 billion, and in the summer of 2015, Vail bought Australia's Perisher for $136 million. Vail also purchased Wisconsin's Wilmot Mountain for $20 million last January.

Although MKM Partners analyst Christopher Agnew said he had not personally heard anything about the possible acquisition, he thinks it would make sense.

"I certainly think (Vail) would like an east coast presence in order to strengthen their season pass network and help bolster ticket sales," Agnew said. "They had success with the recent Wilmot acquisition which is very close to Chicago."

Wilmot, located in Kenosha County, Wis., is located just north of the state's border with Illinois.

Stowe is owned by a subsidiary of American International Group (AIG) . The resort, named after its hometown of Stowe, operates on the fourth-largest vertical drop in Vermont, the 2,360-foot slope of Mount Mansfield. Stowe runs 116 trails on Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak and recently constructed a gondola that transports guests between the two mountains.

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