The announcement that Grouse Mountain is up for sale follows two recent industry ventures that further signal the ongoing shift in ski-resort management.
On Monday, Sept. 19, Grouse Mountain announced that the family-owned iconic North Vancouver site is up for sale. The McLaughlin family — Stuart, along with sisters Joanne and Julie — has owned the controlling interest in Grouse since 1974. Since 1989, about $55 million in capital investments have been undertaken at Grouse, including the installation of a wind turbine, ziplining and two new quad chairs.
Julie Grant, communications coordinator for Grouse Mountain, said that after "considerable consideration," the current owners decided to list the property, which includes 485 hectares (1,200 acres) of land.
Grant said: "For us, it's business as usual. We'll continue to deliver exceptional customer service. Our focus now is getting ready for the upcoming winter, which is forecast to be a great season." Grouse draws 1.3 million visitors each year and is entering its 90th season.
The owners have hired CBRE Canada, a specialized investment real-estate company, to handle the sale. In a press release, CBRE CEO Tony Quattrin said: "We anticipate a high level of local, national and international interest in acquiring Vancouver's premier year-round outdoor recreation destination."
The Grouse sale will leave Mt. Seymour as the sole family-owned ski hill on the North Shore. Seymour is under the direction of General Manager Eddie Wood, whose family has owned the 81-ha site since 1984.
The Grouse sale offer follows the $1.4-billion purchase offer made last month to Whistler Blackcomb from Colorado-based Vail Resorts, and this month's announcement that the provincial government has approved Valemount Glacier Destinations' $175-million resort development in the B.C. Rockies, where construction is expected to begin in 2017.