ASC to sell two more resorts |

ASC to sell two more resorts

Company announces deals for Killington, Pico Mountain

— American Skiing Co. continues to unload its ski resorts.

Company officials announced Tuesday the sale of Vermont ski resorts Killington and Pico Mountain to SP Land Company for $83.5 million. The announcement came less than a week after ASC announced a deal to sell the Mount Snow and Attitash ski resorts to Peak Resorts for $73.5 million.

ASC reached an agreement with Intrawest in December 2006 to sell the Steamboat Ski Area for $265 million. That deal is scheduled to close sometime next month.

“With the recently announced sales of Steamboat, Mount Snow, Attitash and now Killington and Pico, American Skiing Co. is clearly in transition,” ASC president and CEO B.J. Fair said in a news release. “We will be reviewing our organizational needs and adjusting accordingly.

“As a result of these transactions, the company expects to repay all bank debt, junior subordinated debt and have substantial resources to address the needs of our Sunday River and Sugarloaf resorts in Maine and The Canyons in Utah.”

ASC has been debt-saddled for years. According to its 2006 fiscal report, the company had $588.6 million in total outstanding indebtedness. The sum included $220.7 million of secured debt that requires regular payments on principal and interest, and $367.9 million in redeemable preferred stock, which someday will be redeemed for cash but does not require regular payments.

ASC is controlled by Texas equity investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, which owns a majority of the company’s preferred shares.

Killington, one of the most popular ski resorts in the Northeastern U.S., has 200 trails, 1,209 skiable acres and a vertical gain of 3,050 feet. The smaller Pico Mountain resort has 50 trails, 214 skiable acres and a vertical gain of 1,967 feet.

Included in the sale of Kil-lington and Pico are all resort-owned operations and real estate assets. SP Land Co. will assume about $5 million in debt. The sale is expected to close by the end of April.

ASC officials said the sales of Mount Snow, Attitash, Killington and Pico have no effect on the pending deal for the Steamboat Ski Area.

“Everything’s very much on track for the closing of the (Steamboat) transaction,” said Andy Wirth, vice president of marketing for ASC’s Western resorts.

In 2002, ASC officials walked away from an agreement to sell the Steamboat Ski Area to Tim and Diane Mueller, who later bought the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. ASC instead sold Heavenly Mountain Resort in California to Vail Resorts.

Wirth also said skiers and riders can expect the same level of service they always have received at the Steamboat Ski Area.

“Our management team has been and remains very focused on the effective operation of Steamboat,” he said. “There’s no impact whatsoever on our management of the mountain.”

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