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What's New in Cold Weather Resort Real Estate Development
Recent attention in the cold weather resort space has been focused upon the consolidation of resort and area ownership. What’s happening in the realm of real estate development at ski areas and resorts has fallen off the newswires. The following is a bit of what is going on in the world of cold weather resort real estate development.
Killington, VT. After many years of re-planning, re-permitting, renegotiating with the State of Vermont, SP Land is listing its holdings at Killington for sale. Dubbed Six Peaks, this development opportunity is the second iteration of a development plan that had its origination under American Skiing Company during the late 1990’s. Now comprised of approximately 303 acres of master planned development with an additional 790 acres of future development possibilities, Six Peaks is being offered as a development opportunity for ski in/ski out residential real estate plus retail, commercial and hospitality development potential.
Mount Snow, VT. Taking advantage of the federally sponsored EB-5 immigration/investment program, Mount Snow has focused its recent development upon creating a huge water impoundment to support enhanced snowmaking and in taking down the 1960’s vintage Carinthia base lodge to create a new arrival/guest services center just west of the main Mount Snow Base Area. Carinthia will now support preferred parking, ticketing, food and beverage operations and some retail options for Mount Snow guests. Future residential and hospitality real estate development planning at the Carinthia site is in process.
Catamount, NY. The owners of Berkshire East have acquired Catamount Ski Area and are tearing it apart and rebuilding it. The base lodge is being renovated and added to, the trails are being widened, 90 new snowmaking guns are due for this season and, the new owners purchased some land contiguous to Catamount with an eye toward real estate development. While plans are not complete, initial thoughts are to add hotel rooms to this part of the Berkshire Mountains’ recreation and entertainment area. Catamount is minutes from all the cultural and shopping opportunities that Stockbridge, MA and Great Barrington, MA have to offer. Watch for some residential real estate development to take place at Catamount under its new ownership.
Opportunity Zones. An opportunity zone is a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing into Opportunity Zones designated by the chief executives of each United States state or territory. The benefit to investing into opportunity zones is the investor defers taxes on capital gains for up to 10 years, subject to certain requirements and requlations.
As of late October, 2018, approximately 35 ski areas or resorts have been identified as being located within Opportunity Zones according to the Internal Revenue Service. Of particular interest, the Route 93 corridor of New Hampshire appears to be located in an Opportunity Zone. This means that resorts such as Waterville Valley, Loon, Owl’s Nest Golf Resort and The Balsams may find Opportunity Funds available to supply capital for, in particular, real estate development and growth at these resorts. For CNBC’s take on Opportunity Zones, please see the following:
Big Sky Montana/The Yellowstone Club. The best real estate development success story that I can share is that of Big Sky, Montana and The Yellowstone Club. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the resorts of Big Sky. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-secluded-ski-destination-gets-a-luxury-home-lift-1541088745 .
I include Big Sky as a piece of interest for the following reason: Cross Harbor Capital which is the principal owner and developer of Yellowstone Club and the principal real estate developer at Big Sky has done the nearly unheard of with respect to the development of a flagged hotel, it has gotten a commitment from a major five star flag hotel, to build at Big Sky. Montage will be flying its flag at Big Sky. Given the competition for guests that is taking place within ski related resorts, this is Big Sky’s entre to very high end hospitality to go along with its conference facilities, golf, village, retail and fantastic skiing. Watch for residential real estate development to take place at Spanish Peaks, Moonlight Basin and Big Sky, all interconnected and singularly managed by Boyne Resorts.
This is only some of what is happening on the real estate front at cold weather resorts. It will be interesting (to me) to see what Alterra and Vail do with regard to developing their real estate holdings. Both companies are owners of significant real estate for development. Their plans may be the topic of a future blog. Stay Tuned.
Mirus Resort Advisors is focused upon facilitating the acquisition and disposition of cold weather entertainment opportunities, hospitality and recreational facilities. For information go to www.mirusresortadvisors.com