Owners of Vermont ski area buy Crested Butte | AspenTimes.com

Owners of Vermont ski area buy Crested Butte

Crested Butte Ski Resort went under contract for sale Tuesday evening to the Vermont couple who own Okemo Mountain Resort.

Tim and Diane Mueller, owners of Triple Peaks LLC entered into a purchase agreement with the Callaway and Walton families, the current owners.

The Muellers initially signed a letter of intent in October. The sale is expected to close in early February.

“We’re excited to move one more important step closer to the sale,” said John Norton, president and CEO of Crested Butte Ski Resort. “Everyone here looks forward to the plans, energy and capital the Muellers will bring to Crested Butte.”

In a press release announcing the sale, the Muellers said they intend to place guest services and “the overall quality of the recreational experience” as their top priority.

Norton would not disclose the price agreed on for the resort, which along with the 14-lift, 1,058-acre ski mountain, comes with considerable real estate in the South Village section of the resort town of Mount Crested Butte.

“One of the first things on their plate will be to develop the town center, and they’ll be looking at ski area improvements,” Norton said.

The Muellers beat out The Staubach Co. in the bidding for the resort. Norton said all the real estate that comes with the deal was the likely impetus for the Dallas-based company’s interest in Crested Butte.

“We’ve been talking to the Muellers since last January. It was a competitive bidding process, and they won,” he said.

The Muellers have experience running resorts. Okemo Mountain Resort in southern Vermont has 604,000 skier visits a year, about 40 percent more than Crested Butte. It has 113 trails on 604 acres of terrain, and features two super pipes and 6 terrain parks. Okemo’s vertical drop is 2,200 feet.

The Muellers also run Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, about a 90-minute drive from Boston. It has 10 lifts serving 65 trails with 230 acres of skiing.

Both are golf resorts in the summer.

“Our vision for the future is to build upon the attributes of the mountain and community and reinforce its reputation for excellence,” Dan Mueller said in the press release.

Norton, who until two years ago was a senior vice president at the Aspen Skiing Co., couldn’t say whether he would stay on with the Muellers.

[Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is aharvey@aspentimes.com]

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