The real estate investment trust is evaluating the options for its remaining properties, which include Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vt., and Crested Butte (Colo.) Mountain Resort.
CNL Lifestyle Properties is considering getting out of the snow business, and could sell more than a dozen ski resorts from Maine to California that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Boston.com reported.
CNL fully owns 16 resorts, including Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine; Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vt.; Crested Butte in Colorado; Brighton Ski Resort in Utah; and Northstar-at-Tahoe in California, Boston.com reported.
If CNL sells them all to one buyer, industry officials say it would be the largest single ski resort transaction in the history of the sport, Boston.com reported.
CNL will evaluate options for its remaining properties including ski resorts, theme parks and marinas ‘‘in the near future,’’ said Steve Rice, senior managing director of CNL Financial Group. Besides selling them, alternatives include a private buyout or listing on a publicly traded exchange, Boston.com reported.
‘‘We’re taking a studied and careful approach,’’ Rice said.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are an investment vehicle for a variety of properties including hotels, office buildings and malls, but they are new to the ski industry in the last 15 or so years, Boston.com. There’s only one other REIT that’s a big player in the ski industry, Missouri-based EPR, said Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association.
CNL was valued at as much as $3 billion in 2012 with ownership of more than 100 water parks, ski resorts, marinas and senior housing developments before the value dropped in the aftermath of a real estate downturn, Boston.com reported.
The REIT is nearing the end of its projected lifespan and anticipates having an ‘‘exit strategy’’ in place by December 31. In June, CNL agreed to sell 48 golf properties for $320 million. In December, it announced an agreement to sell its senior housing for $790 million, Boston.com reported.
Ideally, the remaining ski properties, theme parks and marinas would be sold, and the company enlisted Jefferies LLC, an investment bank, to evaluate options. Any sale wouldn’t have any significant impact on skiers because the resort operators’ long-term leases will remain in place even if the properties change hands, Boston.com reported.
Ski resorts, which are at the mercy of weather and the economy, can be good investments as long the owners have a long investment horizon, said Michael Krongel from Mirus Resort Capital in Burlington, Mass., who’s been involved in buying, selling and developing ski resorts for 45 years, Boston.com reported.