Sunday, June 10, 2012

Colorado's Echo Mountain ski area for sale

Echo Mountain announced that it would be going up for sale in August. The ski hill is located just 35 miles West from downtown Denver. Echo Mountain was founded back in 2006, and is located a short 35 miles out of Denver. In addition to serving as an extremely convenient and family-friendly mountain destination, the north-facing terrain provides skiers and snowboarders with unmatched views of the Continental Divide from elevations ranging from 9,000 to 11,000 feet. The property features a vertical drop of 660 feet that can be expanded to 1500+, 16 named trails; three lifts including a 2000 ft. fixed grip triple chair, a magic carpet surface lift for the learning center and a handle tow for the events area; tested helipad and state-of-the art snowmaking operations with 4 wells and a reservoir. Less than 33% of the 226 acres have been developed and the resort is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service managed property, making its operations expandable through trades or leases.
"We've had six years of steady growth," said owner Jerry Petitt, the Maryland hotelier who bought the 226-acre dormant Squaw Pass ski area at a 2002 auction for $700,000 and has since plowed several million dollars into developing the area. "But to reach the next level, Echo needs investment and expansion. And it's time for new ownership to take it to that next level". Echo Mountain has grown from 12,000 visits in its inaugural 2005-06 season to 32,000 last season. Just about every resort in the country limped through the 2011-12 ski season — the worst in two decades nationally for both snowfall and visitation. But Echo had decent snow and saw strong visitation, with revenue climbing 30 percent and daily ticket sales up 50 percent.The ski area holds a great deal of significance for the region and the Colorado ski industry as a whole due to the fact that it is one of the few resorts to boast being located on completely private land. Echo will be sold sold by Racebrook (a private investment firm) and its auction affiliate, Sheldon Good & Company in a sealed bid auction format, with bids due by August 2, 2012.
"To have a ski resort situated on 100% private land is unheard of in the ski industry, so Echo Mountain provides an extremely rare opportunity for a local or international buyer to purchase the property and continue its evolution into a unique winter and year-round sports destination", said John Cuticelli, CEO of Racebrook. “A savvy buyer will be able to enjoy the benefits and opportunities of owning and branding their own mountain resort while leveraging the property’s solid history.” Unlike land leased from the U.S. Forest Service, private ownership allows unrestricted year-round usage as well as advertising onsite and unique brand exposure.
There are only 26 active, permitted ski areas operating in the state of Colorado and Echo Mountain is easily the closest one to the rapidly growing recreation population along the Front Range of Colorado, making it a possible Winter Olympic event site. Its location allows visitors to minimize time on the heavily congested I-70, which takes drivers hours to reach other resorts and will likely experience massive disruptions as traffic increases as it is rebuilt in the coming years.
Bids are due by 4 PM MDT, August 2, 2012 to Sheldon Good & Company. Anyone interested in owning their very own world class mountain destination should head over to and make sure they don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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