For over a year now, there have been credible rumors from inside sources stating that there was at least one legitimate suitor looking into purchasing our local ski resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Although never acknowledged by Snow Summit Ski Corporation, the overwhelming word on the street was that Vail Resorts Incorporated was the interested buyer.
Just this past week, a press release from investment firm Houlihan Lokey stated that they were helping Snow Summit Ski Corporation market themselves and to help them find a potential buyer.
In Big Bear real estate circles, the buzz has been as to the extent that a bigger establishment, such as Vail Resorts Inc., would help the appreciation of home prices.
Vail has a recent history of purchasing resorts and making vast improvements to their infrastructure. Many locals believe that with the right capital investment, the potential for Big Bear's resorts might finally be realized. Being the economic backbone of the community, it would seem that any improvement in the ski resorts would increase visitorship, which would in turn increase the desirability of real estate in Big Bear.
It is hard to imagine that a purchase of the local resorts could hurt Big Bear real estate prices, particularly if significant money was invested in improvements to the resorts. Personally, I think a purchase would boost interest in Big Bear and likely propel it into a tier of higher quality resorts. With several million people living less than a 3 hour drive away, it seems like the potential for both the resorts to expand and real estate prices to appreciate is real.