Mountain Capital Partners Purchases Lee Canyon from Powdr Corp
The ski area, MCP’s third addition in six months, will join MCP’s Power Pass for the 2023-24 ski season
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Most people fly to Vegas but I’m from the Midwest and so I drove. Or more accurately, I drove to Los Angeles and America’s weirdest city stood en route. I-80 West to 76 to 70. Spectacular through the mountains. Then Grand Junction. Then nothing for hundreds of miles. Red rocks. Barren hills. Desert tumbling away forever. Brutal and spectacular, all of it. I-15, south to Vegas so say the signs. Outrageous that anything at all could exist out there. In America’s great donut hole. But finally you round a bend and it explodes in the valley below. Like some gaudy Silk Road outpost. The most improbable thing ever and the most American thing ever. Las Vegas.
That there is skiing here, in this city with an average February high of 66 degrees, defies logic. But so does Las Vegas, this cartoon kingdom in the desert. The Strip sits at an altitude of approximately 2,000 feet. But just 30 miles due northwest (50 by car, because, mountains), you’re at 8,660 feet, and there sits Lee Canyon ski area. Two quads and a triple get you 860 feet up the mountain. Your legs get you another 1,919. The possibilities scream at you. What this place could be.
We’re about to find out what Lee Canyon can be. Today, Mountain Capital Partners (MCP), the dominant ski area operator in America’s Southwest, announced the purchase of Lee Canyon from Powdr Corp and the Thomas family.
This is MCP’s third portfolio addition in approximately six months, following an October agreement to assume operations at Willamette Pass, Oregon, and a January announcement that the company would take a majority ownership of Valle Nevado, Chile. The addition of Lee Canyon strengthens MCP in its traditional geographic core, and vaults the company into the ranks of U.S. ski area operators with 10 or more active resorts. Here’s a look at MCP’s roster as of today:
Lee Canyon will join MCP’s Power Pass for the 2023-24 ski season. The ski area will live on the same tier as Arizona Snowbowl and Purgatory, with unlimited access only on the most expensive pass. Power Pass Select passholders will have 12 days to share between Lee Canyon, Snowbowl, and Purgatory. Power Pass Core passholders will have four days between those three and Brian Head. Here’s a breakdown of the full pass offering:
The sale of Lee Canyon is the third mountain acquisition by an American-based multi-mountain player in 2023, following MCP’s Valle Nevado announcement and Alterra’s purchase of Snow Valley, California. This is Powdr Corp’s first intentional ski area sale since it shed Alpine Meadows in 2007, and its first overall since Vail yanked Park City out of Powdr’s untended backyard in 2014.
It's been a year since Vail took majority ownership in Andermatt-Sedrun in Switzerland. Boyne last added a resort in October 2021, when the company purchased what is now Pleasant Mountain, Maine. MCP is now the most actively growing ski area operator in America. And they may not be finished – today’s press release noted that “future resort investments are being explored and will be announced at a later date.”
So what is Lee Canyon? And what are MCP’s intentions with it? And when will the rest of the ski world start to notice this Durango-based company that is gobbling up ski areas like Vail and Alterra circa 2018? Here’s a bit more about today’s announcement, and what it means for skiers and the megapass ski scene as a whole:
Below the paid subscriber jump: Lee Canyon 101, massive expansion potential, MCP is now a skiing major, and what’s up with Powdr Corp?