It all started at Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, and now Durango-based Mountain Capital Partners is expanding to Chile.
Mountain Capital has agreed to become majority owner of Valle Nevado in Chile with 2,200 skiable inbound acres, 13 lifts, three moving carpets for beginners and on-site heliskiing. The sale for an undisclosed amount is expected to close by the end of March.
Mountain Capital owns Sipapu near Taos and Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos as well as the Brian Head and Purgatory ski resorts.
Mountain Capital managing partner James Coleman has been on a buying spree since 2014, expanding the company from Sipapu to 10 ski resorts and the Spider Mountain Bike Park in Texas.
“I’ve been bringing friends and family to Valle Nevado for years, and I love the incredible beauty, the amazing people and the unparalleled skiing that this resort offers,” Coleman said in a news release.
Valle Nevado leaders approached Mountain Capital to take on the Chilean resort.
In a news release, Valle Nevado said Mountain Capital’s “unique culture” will help grow the property. A spokeswoman said Mountain Capital wants to make skiing “accessible to everyone. We want to remove obstacles. We have a 12-and-under kids ski free pass with no blackout dates.”
Valle Nevado leaders and Coleman have talked for years.
“Our company is made up of authentic skiers who, like me, have a relentless passion for skiing, and we consistently focus on improvements that enhance the skiing experience,” Coleman said in the release. “While we are still getting to know Valle Nevado in this new relationship, there’s no question that we’re committed to maintaining and elevating Valle Nevado’s reputation as the premiere ski resort destination on the continent.”
Coleman took over Sipapu in 2000 as managing partner of Capital of Texas Properties, which became Mountain Capital Partners in 2016. He entered into a strategic partnership with Los Alamos County in 2014 to acquire Pajarito Mountain.
Acquisition of Purgatory Resort in Durango and Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff followed in 2015 with Hesperus Ski Area, also near Durango, and Purgatory Snowcat Adventures added in 2016.
Mountain Capital continued with a variety of other properties in Arizona, Utah and Texas and last year became operator of Willamette Pass Resort near Bend, Ore.
Mountain Capital reports $65 million in improvements at its properties since 2015.
Each of the ski areas is vastly different, head of marketing Stacey Glaser noted, and Valle Nevado falls right in line with being a different ski experience.
“This is very much on pace with our trajectory,” Glaser said about Chile. “It’s just another important piece of what we are doing.”