BROOMFIELD, Colo. – May 28, 2010 – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that the Company has acquired Mountain News Corporation (MNC), which operates the world’s most visited online snow sports portal, OnTheSnow.com. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Following the acquisition, Chad Dyer will remain with MNC, continuing to oversee the operations as global managing director. Craig Altschul will continue as global editor-in-chief of the site. After a 30-year career with MNC, Publisher Rob Brown will be retiring from his position, but will be assisting Vail Resorts and MNC through the transition.
“Mountain News Corporation has a long and rich tradition in the snow sports media business with a dominant share in snow sports web traffic through OnTheSnow.com. Our acquisition of MNC is a reflection of our commitment to the importance of emerging digital mediums for the entire snow sports industry and our desire for the industry to be a leader in that effort,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “We intend to invest in the development of new content and digital applications, building on the great strength and talent of everyone at MNC.” “I am very excited by the opportunity to join Vail Resorts and for the increased level of investment and development that the future will bring,” said Dyer. “I believe this acquisition is recognition of the great accomplishments and effort of our entire team over a 42-year history. In particular, I want to express my gratitude to Rob Brown. I will greatly miss his counsel and support, but also completely understand and respect his decision.” Mountain News Corporation is based in Orinda, Calif., where its offices and staff will remain.
The operations of MNC, including editorial content, will be maintained separate and independent from Vail Resorts’ five mountain resorts and lodging and real estate businesses. OnTheSnow.com features snow reports for more than 2,000 ski and snowboard resorts around the world, along with live resort web cams, video, resort information and news, vacation packages and deals, user-generated resort reviews and a comprehensive ski and snowboard gear guide. Through their global platform, they reach skiers and snowboarders in five markets around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe (U.K., Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, France, Sweden, Italy and Benelux) and the South Pacific (Australia & New Zealand). MNC is the top provider of snow reports to more than 1,200 web sites throughout the world, including approximately 400 news media websites. The Company’s pre-produced radio snow reports are delivered to affiliate stations in 17 radio networks and 800 stations across the country. In addition to their snow reports and website, OnTheSnow.com publishes and delivers a weekly e-mail newsletter to its database of more than 250,000 subscribers worldwide.
MNC also operates MountainGetaway.com, the year-round headquarters for information regarding popular mountain resort communities and regions in the summer months. The site’s content features regional resort guides prepared by professional mountain travel writers that include local events and activities, mountain resort profiles and statistics, travel deals, mountain news and feature stories, five-day weather forecasts, mountain cams, vacation lodging, travel packages and more. MountainGetaway.com’s weekly e-mail newsletter reaches 145,000 subscribers worldwide with information, news and special travel offers. According to the Nielsen Audit & Demographic Study in January 2010, OnTheSnow.com is used by more snow sports enthusiasts to research and plan their ski and ride vacation than any other online source with more than 2.2 million unique visits per month during peak periods. The website logged more than 2.8 million user sessions and over 12.5 million page impressions, with 4.44 average page impressions per user session. OnTheSnow.com was the most visited snow sports web site as measured by Experian Hitwise in January 2010.
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