Vail Resorts is strengthening its position in the Australian market by entering into an agreement to buy the Falls Creek and Hotham ski resorts in Victoria.

Vail Resorts is buying Falls Creek and Hotham resorts from a subsidiary of Merlin Entertainments for $174 million (subject to certain adjustments related to the timing of closing).

The purchase is expected to have officially gone through by the start of the Australian snow season in June.

ski resorts in Victoria.

The acquisition includes ski school, retail and rental, reservation and property management operations at both resort areas.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts Rob Katz said the Victorian purchase was part of their continued strategy to drive season pass sales and build loyalty with guests from around the world.

“After our success connecting with skiers in Sydney and across New South Wales since acquiring Perisher in 2015, we have a huge opportunity to create a deeper connection with Melbourne and broader Victorian skiers and riders.”

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts Rob Katz

Managing Director of Merlin Entertainments’ Midway division Nick Mackenzie said he was confident guests, employees and the surrounding communities of Hotham and Falls Creek would benefit from Vail Resorts’ “expertise, investment and know-how”.

When the transaction closes, the 2019 Epic Australia Pass and 2018-19 Epic Pass will include unlimited, unrestricted access to Falls Creek and is expected to include unlimited, unrestricted access to Hotham.

It will be business as usual at the two resorts and Vail Resorts plans to retain the majority of each resort’s employees.

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