American Skiing Co. closes on Sugarbush sale |

American Skiing Co. closes on Sugarbush sale

— The parent company of the Steamboat Ski Area needed just 20 days to close on the sale of one of its seven other ski areas, Sugarbush in Vermont’s Mad River Valley.

American Skiing Co. announced Monday it has closed on the sale of the Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vt., to summit Ventures NE Inc.

American Skiing announced the acceptance of the offer on Sept. 10. The terms of the sale to a group of local Vermont investors have not been released.

The sale came as an unexpected development as American Skiing sought to sell the larger Steamboat Ski Area as part of its financial reorganization.

The publicly held ASC announced its plans to sell Steamboat in May but has not announced acceptance of any offers to purchase.

ASC’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Miller has consistently said that although Steamboat was the only one of its ski areas the company was actively seeking to sell, it would take a careful look at unsolicited offers for its other resorts. Miller said the proceeds of the sale of Sugarbush will be used to de-lever the company and improve its bottom line.

Sugarbush, about 190 miles from Boston and 140 miles from Montreal, recorded about 359,000 skier days last winter. That compares to Steamboat at just more than 1 million skier days.

Sugarbush is really two ski areas linked by a lift that eliminates the need to get in a car or shuttle bus to visit the other half of the mountain.

Sugarbush is not among the ski areas under ASC’s ownership, Steamboat among them, that has a Grand Summit Hotel.

Former ASC Chairman Les Otten purchased Sugarbush in May 1995 after running the ski area under a management contract for about nine months.

ASC’s stock traded at $1 a share at the closing bell Monday after trading as high as $1.05 last week.

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