BROOMFIELD, Colo. (AP) — Vail Resorts Inc. has agreed to buy the Afton Alps ski area in Minnesota and Mount Brighton in Michigan for $20 million cash.
Vail Resorts said Thursday it plans to upgrade each ski area and connect the Midwest ski areas' visitors to the company's seven other resorts in Colorado and the Lake Tahoe area through its season pass and lift ticket products.
CEO Rob Katz says the acquisitions are part of a new strategy to drive season pass sales and build broader customer loyalty by looking at smaller ski areas near major urban markets. Afton Alps is about 33 miles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Mount Brighton is about 45 miles from Detroit.
By contrast, its four Colorado resorts are all at least 70 miles from Denver.