News Search

Owners of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge Purchase China Peak

  • Push to The Latest: No

ChinaPeakSAM Magazine—Lakeshore, Calif., Dec. 9, 2022—China Peak Mountain Resort has been sold to Mountain High Resort and Dodge Ridge, Calif., owners Invision Capital and Karl Kapuscinski, Mountain High president and CEO. Former owner Tim Cohee will remain general manager "for the foreseeable future" and also be involved in shaping the guest experience at the other two resorts. 

"This made a lot of sense after we secured Dodge Ridge," Kapuscinski told SAM. "China Peak fits in between Mountain High and Dodge. When you put the three together, we cover the market from San Diego to South Bay. This makes us the closest resorts to 30 million people. 

"Each area is only 3.5 hours apart, so it's possible to share different activities and events, find synergies in our marketing and best practices, and have staffing accessible across the three ski areas," he said. "Each will remain independent, but share on these fronts."

Invision becomes the third entity to own three or more ski areas in California, joining Vail Resorts’ three (Heavenly, Kirkwood, Northstar), and Alterra Mountain Company’s five (Mammoth, June, Palisades Tahoe, Big Bear, and Snow Summit). Kapuscinski said that the purchase was a direct reaction to the footprint-creep of the Epic and Ikon passes, whose build-up of high-profile resorts—particularly around Lake Tahoe—has rapidly changed the state’s season pass market.

“Skiers are now trained to look for multi-mountain products so it’s difficult as a standalone operator,” Kapuscinski said. “We see a huge advantage in having all three resorts under the same umbrella versus fighting alone.”

"The ability to offer a multi-resort season pass and other products beginning in 2023-24 is very exciting," Cohee added. "And as a life-long marketer, the prospect of having some fun with three resorts across most of the state is enticing."

All three are also existing partners on the Indy Pass and Powder Alliance.

“We may not be finished,” Kapuscinski added, confirming he and Invision would like to add more ski areas to the portfolio.

Cohee and partners bought China Peak, then known as Sierra Summit, in May of 2010, and immediately restored the area's original name. The first season of ownership saw 50 feet of snow, but the following 10 years brought the worst decade of droughts in California skiing history—seven drought years in the first 10—which strained the resort's finances. Boosted by the positive impact Covid had on local, independent resorts, China Peak recovered strongly over the past two seasons, retiring all its debt and completing installation of the area's first quad chair as well as an extensive upgrade to the snowmaking system.