Vail Resorts To Buy Stake In Swiss Ski Area Andermatt-Sedrun

Andermatt-Sedrun Resort
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Today Switzerland, tomorrow the world.

It’s what many locals in Utah, California and British Columbia have feared. Vail Resorts isn’t going away any time soon, instead they are expanding their empire. Mega ski industry leader Vail Resorts announced this week that it plans to purchase a majority stake in Swiss ski resort Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG and take over operations. This will be their first European installment.

“The base area and the mountain [investments] have created a high-end experience with significant capacity for growth from guests from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe and around the world. We plan to rely heavily on, and learn from, our partners, community members and the Andermatt-Sedrun team as we gain experience and understanding of the resort, its guests and operations,” said Kirsten Lynch, CEO of Vail Resorts, in a statement.

Andermatt-Sedrun Buy-In Brings Back Memories

This deal sounds similar to the one with Talisker Group in Utah back in 2013, where VR took over all resort operations at Canyons and later Park City in 2014, before purchasing the land under PCM outright. VR summarily replaced all department heads with VR’s own personnel shortly after, despite earlier promises to maintain the status quo. Seven years later, VR is still making more enemies than friends in Park City.

“Vail Resorts is the ideal partner for our goal of developing Andermatt into The Prime Alpine Destination,” said Samih Sawiris, majority owner of ASA, about the largest ski resort in Switzerland. “With Vail Resorts’ additional capital investment in the resort, deep expertise in successful operations of integrated mountain destinations, and the company’s impressive marketing capabilities and destination guest reach, Vail Resorts will provide a significant boost to the development of Andermatt-Sedrun.” (Careful what you wish for, ASA!)

What Andermatt-Sedrun Take Over Means For Epic Passholders

On the plus side, Epic Pass, Epic Day Pass (but save your day pass for the US. It will be cheaper to purchase a ticket there) and Epic Local pass holders (5 days) will be able to scoot over to Switzerland and check things out for themselves in the 2022/23 season. The Epic Pass also provides European access to partner resorts including five days at Verbier4Vallées in Switzerland, seven days at Les 3 Vallées in France, seven days at Skirama Dolomiti in Italy and three days at Ski Arlberg in Austria. Find specific details at www.epicpass.com.

Andermatt-Sedrun is located less than 90 minutes from Zurich, Lucerne and Lugano, and roughly two hours from Milan.

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5 comments

  • BL

    I’ve been getting ready to move back to New England this fall and telling friends and family I don’t mind leaving the west because vail and ikon have destroyed it.
    I’m okay with the small mom and pops and I’ve been saying I’d rather hop a plane to Europe to ski and that will be where I end up.
    This is too sad to hear. I suppose there’s no stopping it. I’ve got fond memories of asking strangers as kid if I could clip their passes in the parking lot so I could ride that night ….or holding back last nights apres consumption from bursting out while unsuspecting skiers carve beneath the chairs 😂
    my kids are gonna grow up thinking skiing means $20 bagels and heated sidewalks with a minimum entry fee of a Bugatti in order to stand your turn for the wifi chairlift to the mid mountain warming pool.

  • Endre

    Honestly I did not see this coming. I was expecting that Vail Resorts first had to get their shit together in North America before expanding. Another EpicFail? Andermatt is one of very few Swiss ski resorts with a foreign ownership the past few years, and possibly the only sizeable resort that Vail could get their hands on in the Alps. Vail will never succeed in Europe. Fragmentet ownership structures, micro-economies in each valley, religion (!), culture and traditions – there are simply too many obstacles for Vail to overcome with just money. The only exception are those very few ski resorts with private ownerships (like Andermatt, which Egyptionan real estate billionaire aquired for peanuts some years ago) which are suffering financially. Those can be counted with one hand. European consumer power is tremendously strong and well-organized, and if Vail Resorts try to implement their US strategy in Europe, they will learn a lesson the hard way. My prediction: Vail will fail!

  • Coop C

    Wow, Kirsten and Barken have an agenda. N.A resorts suffered heavily this season. No support from the #MotherShip. #Destined to crash and burn… #HalClifford rewritten #ASC

  • E Seo

    Ugh. Vail’s just determined to completely ruin skiing across the entire fucking earth.

  • H F

    Quit griping and buy $MTN. (This is a real estate company, btw.) Been a good performer over the last couple decades and off a bit lately. I’ve held it since 1999, having initially bought shares for the right to go to the Annual Meeting and bitch about “working conditions” (some things never change) and continued to acquire it for a few years. This recent deal is great news for the company. The fiduciary duty of a publicly held company is to shareholders. This is likely a good deal for Andermatt and for the post COVID Swiss economy or it wouldn’t have happened! Andermatt is already operating like Vail. It’s a non-issue really. Skiing and tourism ARE about money!

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