Mountain Capital Partners, owner of Purgatory Resort, announced Tuesday an agreement to manage and operate Brian Head Resort, a ski area in southwest Utah about a three-hour drive from Las Vegas.
James Coleman, MCP managing partner, said in a news release: “We’re proud to welcome Brian Head Resort and its employees to the MCP family. Utah has some of the best powder skiing on Earth.”
Coleman said several factors made Brian Head attractive to MCP, including its proximity to Las Vegas, the bountiful snowfall and a high level of investments and upgrades made recently
“It averages 360 inches of snow, but even in its worst years, it still gets 200 inches,” Coleman said.
MCP’s acquisition of Brian Head Resort must be approved by the U.S. Forest Service, and Coleman said that makes it difficult to give a firm date on when the sale will be final.
The acquisition price of Brian Head was not disclosed by MCP.
Situated at 9,600 feet in elevation, Brian Head has the highest-base elevation of any ski area in Utah. It has a reputation as one of Utah’s most affordable, family-friendly resorts, a news release by MCP said.
Brian Head, on 650 acres, features two connected mountains – Giant Steps and Navajo – and offers 71 runs, eight chairlifts and three surface lifts. It is located three hours from Las Vegas, 3½ hours from Salt Lake City and about seven hours from Los Angeles and Phoenix.
The area features a ski and snowboard school, terrain parks and tubing.
MCP currently owns and operates seven ski and bike resorts in five states throughout the Southwest. Brian Head is the second Utah-based ski resort to join MCP, alongside Nordic Valley Ski Resort in northern Utah.
Recent upgrades at Brian Head Resort, which opened in 1964, by its current ownership was a factor leading MCP to acquire the ski area.
Brian Head Resort’s current ownership, led by president and majority owner John Grissinger, purchased the resort in 2012 and has since invested nearly $16.5 million in capital improvements, including new high-speed quad chairlifts, improved day lodge facilities, dining, nightlife, night skiing and more, according to MCP’s news release.
“We’re incredibly grateful to John Grissinger and his entire team for their hard work, vision and dedication to the development and success of Brian Head Resort,” Coleman said.
In 2014, the resort completed millions of dollars of facility upgrades, including its first high-speed quad chairlift, servicing the Giant Steps area. So far in 2019, Brian Head has completed $5.5 million of capital improvements, including adding a second high-speed detachable quad chairlift to the Navajo side of the mountain. Both main areas at the resort will now be served by high-speed lifts.
In the summer, Brian Head Resort offers chairlift rides, lift-served mountain biking, hiking, disc golf and other activities.
It is near several national parks and national monuments, including Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park, and offers views of Utah’s red rock country from the ski lifts and runs.
Grissinger said in the news release, “Passing the torch to MCP was the logical decision to ensure the future viability and growth of the resort and town of Brian Head. They are passionate about the ski industry, share our core values that employees and guests are family and not just numbers, and have improved the skier experience at all of their resorts.”
Holders of MCP’s Power Pass, which offers access to all of the firm’s resorts, will gain unlimited access to Brian Head for the 2019-20 ski season.
MCP owns and manages Purgatory Resort, Arizona Snowbowl, Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, Nordic Valley Ski Resort, Pajarito Mountain and Hesperus Ski Area. It also owns Purgatory Snowcat Adventures. This year, MCP also acquired Spider Mountain Bike Park in Texas, a year-round, lift-served mountain bike park.
MCP has invested more than $45 million at its seven resorts since 2014, including new chairlifts, trails, snowmaking and other capital improvements.