White Pass officials issued a press release Thursday after announcing a shareholder vote on December 21 to sell the ski area. Shareholders first contacted KIT News about their concerns about the proposed sale.
Some shareholders fear the area may be sold to a large corporation
Shareholders and many others fear that the ski area will be sold to a bigger company and lose the family friendly atmosphere that many appreciate and find attractive in the area.
White Pass officials say they are confident in the local investment group
The White Pass press release says;
White Pass ski area shareholders are considering a proposal to sell the ski area to a Yakima-based partnership led by Andrew Sundquist, David Severn, Dan Plath, Adam Dolsen and Patrick Smith. Each of the partners live in Yakima, have families who have been here for generations, and are regulars on the White Pass every weekend skiing with their children ages one to fifteen. âWe started our succession planning process several years ago and have taken a slow, methodical approach to finding the right opportunity,â said Kevin McCarthy, president of White Pass. âWe couldn’t be more excited to have a young local group of active and interested skiers take the reins of our ski area. While there have been significant changes in the ski industry in recent times, both locally and nationally, this transaction offers an alternative route where White Pass will continue to be owned and operated locally by the next generation. The response from the majority of our shareholders to this potential sale has been overwhelmingly positive. “
If the vote is successful in selling the area, no significant personnel changes are expected.
Although ownership is subject to change hands, the current management and staff will continue to run the ski area on a day-to-day basis, as they have for years. Kevin McCarthy will continue in his role as President and Rikki Cooper will continue in his role as CEO.
âWe feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with and be guided by the White Pass team. They and so many others in our community over the years have put a lot of effort into making this happen. White Pass a truly exceptional place – a tradition we aim to continue, âsaid David Severn, of the partnership group. “Also, as this is the mountain that each of us grew up skiing with our families as little children and now doing the same with our own young children, we understand the importance of maintaining the family culture of the ski area. .
Local investors say the goal is to keep the area locally owned for generations
âWhite Pass is a truly amazing place that is greatly appreciated by my family, friends and the community at large,â added Andrew Sundquist, Partner. “Our goal and motivation to get involved with White Pass is to keep it locally owned and operated, and to ensure that it maintains the friendly and relaxed mountain environment for the skiers that we all love and appreciate.”
White Pass is located on Highway 12 in Washington State between Naches and Packwood. It was originally founded in 1955 by a group of local Yakima citizens who had a passion for the outdoors and the relatively new sport of skiing. Since that founding, the resort has grown considerably and currently includes 1,402 acres, 8 ski lifts, over 2,000 feet of vertical drop and two mountain lodges.
If approved by shareholders on December 21, the transaction is expected to be finalized before the end of the year.
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