Aspen’s David Perry named president, COO of new ski firm after purchases completed

A company affiliated with Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL Capital Partners completed the purchases Monday of Intrawest Resort Holdings and Mammoth Resorts.

Former Aspen Skiing Co. executive David Perry was named president and chief operating officer of the new ski-industry giant, which will oversee 12 resorts that combined for about 6 million skier visits last season.

Aspen Skiing Co. will remain separately owned by the Crown family of Chicago.

The Crowns’ firm, Henry Crown and Co., is a minority investor in the new joint venture that acquired the holdings of Intrawest and Mammoth. KSL, the majority investor, is a private equity firm that specializes in travel and leisure enterprises. It already owned Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and folded them into the new company.

Perry said the new company won’t be officially named for a couple more months, but the name and branding will start prior to the 2017-18 ski season.

Skico officials have repeatedly said there will not be an opportunity this season to offer any new, consolidated ski pass among the affiliated resorts. They are locked into prior commitments, and there wasn’t enough time to market new products. Aspen’s season pass prices will be released later this month.

Perry said he is working with the new firm’s interim CEO, Bryan Traficanti, to select the senior executives. They are creating a position of vice president of sustainability and energy, which will work with the resorts on environmental issues.

Thomas Marano resigned as Intrawest’s CEO upon the closing of the deal. A search is underway for the new CEO. In addition, Intrawest went from a publicly traded company to privately held.

Most of the top officials at the resorts were retained, including Rob Perlman at Steamboat and Andy Wirth at Squaw Valley Ski Holdings.

Perry said the top officials at each of the resorts and Canadian Mountain Holidays, a heli-ski firm, will report to him. He will oversee all types of operations — from the ski schools to mountain food and beverage.

While he will be based in Denver, Perry said he will visit the resorts as often as possible. That’s going to require a lot of traveling. The new conglomerate owns Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain in California; Steamboat Ski & Resort and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario; Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec; Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia.

Perry and Skico President and CEO Mike Kaplan have said they will look for opportunities to work together.

Kaplan told an audience in Snowmass Village last week that he was “excited” to have Perry helping run the new affiliate.

“He’s going to bring what we call our DNA and our approach into that new company and allow us to stay here and focus on what we’re doing,” Kaplan said.

The new firm took on Intrawest’s debt, pushing the amount of the acquisition to $1.5 billion. The terms of the Mammoth Resorts and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings transactions weren’t disclosed.