The deal looks as if it's done - the closing is scheduled for spring and the final documents are being prepped. A premium of $265 million. How? Why? Steamboat?
Intrawest is paying a premium and matching a multiple (a calculation used to determine value) that real estate mogul Starwood Trust recently paid for Mammoth Mountain in California. Starwood's plans for Mammoth are mammoth, including the transformation of the resort into an elite/luxury destination. And although Intrawest's acquisition has been met with open arms by most in the community, I hope that a local watch group closely monitors what exactly Intrawest is planning.
Intrawest has the experience, money and vision, but what is the vision? For a conglomerate such as Intrawest, Steamboat is a clean slate with huge development potential. As a colossal fan of Steamboat, I appreciate the time my family and I spend there each year. We only visit a couple of times but consider ourselves very lucky when we're back in the 'Boat. Additionally, we relish our experience on the slopes and in town at many of the spots year-rounders adore.
Beware - the Old West charm and local hospitality so alive in Steamboat can and will be lost in a New York minute if the plans of foreign corporations are not monitored. Please protect and preserve the Old West charm of Steamboat that we all want to come back to. The last thing Steamboat needs is to be referenced as an elite/luxury destination.
John E. Ciluzzi and family
Cape Cod, Mass.