Booth Creek Restructures Ownership

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SAM Magazine-Vail, Colo., Dec. 8, 2006-CNL Income Properties, a Florida-based company, will soon own four of the six resorts currently part of Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc., as part of a complex deal that will net three current Booth Creek principals ownership of two of the resorts, along with a long-term lease for the other four areas.

The deal: Booth Creek's six mountain resort properties and select real estate holdings are being purchased by company principals George Gillett, chairman; Chris Ryman, president; and Elizabeth Cole, chief financial officer. Jeff Joyce, a long-time business partner of Gillett, is a fourth principal involved in the purchase. Upon closing, Booth Creek will sell Northstar Resort, Sierra Resort, Loon Mountain and The Summit-at-Snoqualmie to CNL, which will then lease the properties back to Booth Creek under long-term agreements. That will leave the Booth Creek group owning Cranmore and Waterville Valley, N.H. outright, and in position to continue managing all six resorts.

Booth Creek anticipates that senior management will remain intact, resort management will continue business as usual, and day-to-day operations will be unaffected. The transaction will not impact any resort products, including multi-resort season passes or lift ticket products. One benefit: "It will allow Booth Creek to accelerate our growth strategies, particularly at Northstar at Tahoe and Loon Mountain," Ryman said.

"We are very pleased to be partnering with CNL Income Properties, who is making a long-term commitment to both Booth Creek and the industry," said Gillett. "The company is one of the most active investors in lifestyle, leisure and recreational real estate in the nation with a reputation for honesty and integrity."

This is not CNL's first foray into the ski business. CNL bought an 80 percent stake in nine Intrawest villages for $160 million in 2004. It also bought Cypress Mountain, B.C., from Boyne Resorts in 2005 (and leased Cypress back to Boyne), and purchased a major share in Bretton Woods earlier this year (currently managed by National Resort Management Group).