Mountain Capital Partners Takes Majority Ownership of Valle Nevado, Chile
Resort’s future with Ikon, Mountain Collective, Power Passes uncertain
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Colorad-Bro can be an insecure animal. One of his favorite pastimes is telling people from other states that they don’t have real mountains. Just hills in Vermont, he’ll say. We have mountains in Colorado, he says proudly. As though he chiseled them himself from the Earth’s crust.
I wonder what Colorad-Bro does when he meets someone from Chile or Argentina, both of which sprawl from the peak of Aconcagua. At 22,838 feet, it’s 8,399 feet taller than Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado. That’s like stacking Copper and A-Basin and Keystone on top of Elbert – and still looking 140 feet up to the top. This must make Colorad-Bro sad.
But never fear. For, as of today, Colorad-Bro can claim his own hunk of the mighty Andes. Durango-based Mountain Capital Partners (MCP), the rapidly growing owner of Arizona Snowbowl and Purgatory, today announced that it was taking a majority stake in Valle Nevado, Chile. Hanging in the sky just 37 miles from pulsing Santiago, the ski area launches from a base of 9,383 feet, rising 2,658 vertical feet and sprawling over 2,200 lift-served acres. Another 20,000 or so acres of heli-skiing terrain rolls beyond that. Looming in the near-distance is 17,815-foot El Plomo.
Valle Nevado is MCP’s 10th lift-served ski area, its ninth active one, and its first outside of the United States. This is the company’s second new ski area in just three months, following the October addition of Willamette Pass in Oregon. The resort’s purchase makes MCP the fifth U.S.-based ski company to presently own 10 or more ski areas, tying it with Boyne Resorts and placing it behind Powdr Corp (11), Alterra (14), and Vail Resorts (41). With its June-to-October ski season, Valle Nevado injects MCP with the stability of close-to year-round ski operations. Here’s the company’s updated roster:
This is a major resort, more prominent internationally and locally than any of MCP’s existing properties. Valle Nevado is so well regarded that it is the longtime only South American member of the Ikon and Mountain Collective passes, and the only resort on the continent that has joined a U.S.-based multi-mountain pass. This could be a problem – MCP has its own pass, the Power Pass, that delivers unlimited access to all of its mountains. Whether the ski area will flee its current allegiances and join the Power Pass, become a member of all three, or take another track is not yet clear.
MCP will retain Valle Nevado’s leadership team and support staff, “consistent with past acquisitions,” they say.
Here’s a deeper look at MCP’s purchase of Valle Nevado, and what the addition means for the company and the megapass landscape:
Below the paid subscriber jump: a Valle Nevado primer, what does this mean for the Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective, and more.