The rumours of a Vail acquisition of Falls Creek and Hotham have been circling all week. If we’ve had one phone call we’ve had a thousand from frantic ski industry types desperate to get the word out before Vail does.
They all say one thing. Vail are buying Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia to add to their Perisher purchase and Epic Australia Pass.
We have reached out to Vail Resorts all week and one spokesperson said it was the first they’d heard of it. The other said they do not comment on or speculate about acquisition rumours.
The calls I have received have anything from ‘a group of Americans ate at The General recently’ as proof of Vail purchase to ‘I have been told from someone in upper management’ and then a bunch of details about what the sale entails.
SnowsBest has chosen not to speculate or publish the rumour this week, until now. Because the respected Australian Financial Review masthead has today announced “Vail Resorts is planning to buy Victoria’s Mount Hotham and Falls Creek ski resorts for about $120 million to expand its global offering of resorts and widen the pool of customers to whom it can cross-sell.”
Though the piece goes on to say that they, too, have not had any official announcement. No one has gone on the record for them, either. That didn’t stop Unofficial Networks from picking up the rumour and running with it.
But one thing we do know from experience. Vail Resorts never reveal a purchase before the papers are signed and then when they do they have a strict publicly listed company code of reveal that must be announced outside of stock exchange trading hours. No one gets a scoop on Vail, for good reason. They have shareholders and everything goes by the book.
Few people within the company know of any acquisition until it is publicly announced, confidentiality is vital. If the rumours are true, then no one told the mole at Merlin Entertainment.
Clearly (should Vail have actually bought the resorts) there’s a leak at the top of Hotham and Falls Creek, though we suspect they only started murmurs once the papers are (almost) signed as we have been led to believe, again by the rumour mill of Chinese Whisper phone calls, that an announcement ‘will be’ made Friday Denver time.
Watch this space.