Wintergreen Sold to EPR Properties
Last year about this time we told you that the Wintergreen Resort was for sale. The sale, to EPR Properties, was reported this morning.
While there is no way to predict long-term impact of the sale, it is certain that the resort is in good financial shape and remains one of the most attractive facilities in the Middle Atlantic States. The last change of ownership brought positive results; we are optimistic that this change will do so as well. Consider this: no other resort in the Mid-Atlantic States has the same combination of closeness to metro areas, world-class amenities, a spectacular setting, and a stable financial condition. We were high on Wintergreen when we helped found it, 36 years ago, and remain so.
Here are some excerpts from the press release:
EPR PROPERTIES ACQUIRES ASSETS OF WINTERGREEN RESORT
Pacific Group Resorts to lease and operate Wintergreen
EPR Properties (EPR: NYSE,) a real estate investment trust (REIT) purchased the assets of Wintergreen Resort in conjunction with its operator for the property, Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. Wintergreen is about 45 minutes southwest of Charlottesville, Virginia. Pacific Group Resorts will lease the property from EPR and manage the resort.
Hank Thiess, General Manager of Wintergreen Resort and a longtime industry veteran, expressed his enthusiasm for the transaction, “I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years and I’ve known the leadership of Pacific Group Resorts for over 20 years. They have tons of experience in this industry at some of the most iconic resorts in the West. My management team and I are excited for the possibilities this partnership could bring to our members and guests.”
“Wintergreen has great facilities,” noted Mark K. Fischer, speaking on behalf of Pacific Group Resorts. “Between ski, golf, tennis, land meeting space, Wintergreen is an active year round playground, and it is right next to the Shenandoah National Forest, so it is one of the most beautiful resorts in the eastern U.S. We are very much looking forward to helping the staff deliver the best possible guest experiences.”
Pacific Group Resorts also owns Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire, and worked in concert with EPR to acquire Wisp Resort in Western Maryland in 2012. EPR Properties’ total investment portfolio exceeds $3.9 billion and the company adheres to rigorous underwriting and investing criteria centered on key industry and property level cash flow standards.
In commenting about potential changes and opportunities at Wintergreen, Fischer remarked, “The executive team at PGRI has! a broad base of experience in mountain resort operations and in the master planning and development of ski resorts. We hope to work with the management team at Wintergreen to maximize the customer experience through a combination of meticulous planning and operating enhancements and efficiencies. The people at Wintergreen are top notch, and we are delighted to be working with them on the possibilities for growth here.”
The new buyers purchased Wintergreen from James C. Justice of West Virginia. Justice had acquired the resort in the summer of 2012 and had injected capital into the property to make improvements and to stabilize the operations. Pacific Group Resorts intends to work with the staff and with property owners in the area to see how they can make it an even more enjoyable place to visit.
You can find out more about EPR Properties on their website: www.eprkc.com. Pacific Group Resorts, the new operators of Wintergreen also have a website: www.pgri.us. We will of course keep you up to date on any significant new announcements.