White Pass Reacts After News of Vote to Sell
White Pass officials issued a press release Thursday after news of a December 21 shareholder vote to sell the ski area. Shareholders first contacted KIT News about concerns they have about the proposed sale.
Some shareholders are concerned the area will be sold to a large company
The shareholders and many others are concerned the ski area could be sold to a larger company and lose the family friendly atmosphere so many enjoy and find attractive about the area.
White Pass officials say they're confident in the local investment group
The White Pass press release says;
The shareholders of the White Pass Ski Area are reviewing a proposed sale of 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 lives in Yakima, have families that have been here for generations, and are regulars at White Pass each weekend skiing with their kids who range in age from one to fifteen. “We started our succession planning process several years ago and have taken a slow, methodical approach to find the right opportunity,” said Kevin McCarthy, President of White Pass. “We could not be more excited about having a young, local group of active and interested skiers take the reins of our ski area. Although there has been significant change in the ski business as of late both locally and nationally, this transaction provides an alternate path 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 to sell the area no big staff changes are expected
While the ownership is likely to change hands, the current management and staff will continue to run the ski area on a day-to-day basis just as they have been doing for years. Kevin McCarthy will continue in his role as President and Rikki Cooper will continue in her role as General Manager.
"We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with and be guided by the team at White Pass. They and so many others in our community over the years have put a lot of effort into making White Pass a truly exceptional place - a tradition we aim to continue,” said David Severn, of the partnership group. “Also, as this is the mountain that each of us grew up skiing with our families as little kids and are now doing the same with our own young kids, we understand the importance of maintaining the family-friendly culture of the ski area.”
The local investors say the goal is to keep the area locally owned for generations
“White Pass is a truly amazing place that is dearly loved by my family, my friends, and the larger community as well,” added partner Andrew Sundquist. “Our goal and motivation to become involved with White Pass is to keep it locally owned and operated, and to ensure that it maintains the skier-friendly, relaxed, home mountain environment we have all come to 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 this founding, the resort has grown significantly and currently comprises 1,402 acres, 8 lifts, over 2,000 feet vertical, and two on-mountain lodges.
If approved by the shareholders on December 21 The transaction is expected to close prior to year-end.