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No sunset just yet: Holdings holding on to Sun Valley

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Future in Focus: Sun Valley
 Sun Valley last winter. Photo by Don Day/BoiseDev.com
Sun Valley last winter. Photo by Don Day/BoiseDev.com

The ski resort industry is going through a wave of consolidation – with two big Colorado players gobbling up the competition. Vail Resorts now owns Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Whistler Blackcomb and more.  Aspen Ski Co. now owns Snowmass, Steamboat, Blue Mountain, Mammoth among others.

Last year, Aspen opened the Limelight Hotel in Downtown Ketchum – setting off a wave of speculation that it was a way to dip its toe into the Sun Valley market – with its eye on a bigger prize.

Industry publication Skift recently looked at consolidation and where the Sun Valley Company fits in – particularly with Aspen on its doorstep.

The move raised some eyebrows, as Ketchum is a mere mile down the road from the privately-held Sun Valley Resort. Could a move into the greater Sun Valley real estate market be a harbinger of things to come?

After Earl Holding’s death in 2013, his family has continued to invest in the Sun Valley Resort – with a complete revamp of the historic lodge complete and a revamp of the Sun Valley Inn under way.

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Skift says neither side is eyeing a deal for now.

Sun Valley is not for sale, nor is Aspen Skiing Company setting its sights on it. Kelli Lusk, Sun Valley’s public relations and communications manager, says the Holding family is holding onto ownership and has no plans to sell. All Alinio Azevedo, chief operating officer for Aspen Skiing Company’s hospitality division, will say is that “we have a great relationship with Sun Valley at corporate levels–and the families are good friends.”

 

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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