Six Major Ski Areas Sold to Hedge Fund
CNL Lifestyle Properties portfolio includes Loon, Okemo, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf
Thursday, November 3, 2016,

After nearly two years of seeking a buyer, CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. has tentatively sold its portfolio of ski areas, including the assets of major ski areas in four New England states. The complex deal includes the sale of 15 ski areas to two different entities for $830 million.

According to a press release issued yesterday, CNL Lifestyle Properties will sell Northstar California Ski Resort, 15 water and amusement parks, and five entertainment centers to EPR Properties for $53 million in cash and $403 million in stock.

In addition to the Northstar transaction, CNL Lifestyle Properties will sell its remaining 14 ski areas to Ski Resort Holdings LLC for $130 million in cash and $244 million in EPR stock. The stock will be considered financing from EPR, for a 5 year term at 8.5% interest. In addition, EPR will provide up to $52 million in cash for improvements at Ski Holdings LLC areas at 8.5% interest.

CNL Lifestyle Properties Timeline
CNL Lifestyle Properties Timeline

The New England ski area holdings to be sold are Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts, Okemo in Vermont, Loon and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, and Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine. The ski areas will remain under long term lease agreements with their existing management companies, such as Boyne USA Resorts and Triple Peaks.

Ski Resorts Holdings LLC is connected to Och-Ziff Real Estate, which in turn is connected to the Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. Och-Ziff was founded in 1994 when Goldman Sachs executive and skier Daniel Och received $100 million from the Ziff brothers, heirs to the Ziff Davis empire. Ziff Davis owned Skiing Magazine for two decades.

EPR Properties currently owns or holds the debt for much of the Peak Resorts chain of ski areas, including Attitash, Crotched, and Mount Snow in New England. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the real estate investment trust was founded in 1997 and has been involved in the ski industry since at least 2005.

CNL Lifestyle Properties was established as CNL Income Properties in 2004, purchasing large assets and then leasing them to operating companies. Bretton Woods and the Mount Washington Grand Hotel was its first New England ski industry acquisition. In subsequent years, CNL Lifestyle Properties acquired some of the largest ski areas in New England, including Jiminy Peak, Loon, Okemo, Sugarloaf, the privately owned assets at Mt. Sunapee, and Sunday River. As the REIT began to wind down, it sold over $1 billion in golf course and nursing home holdings in 2014. Bretton Woods was sold in 2015.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

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