Arizona Snowbowl sold to Colorado business owner

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The owners of Arizona Snowbowl have agreed to sell the ski area and adjacent Ski Lift Lodge and Cabins to James Coleman, a Durango, CO-based business owner.

Coleman also owns Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort south of Taos, NM and has an ownership interest in Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, NM. Coleman recently agreed to purchase Durango Mountain Resort, also known as Purgatory, in Durango, CO.

Arizona Snowbowl's owners are proud to have been approached by Coleman and quickly found that his passion for the industry would be a great fit for Flagstaff and all of Arizona, longtime managing partner Eric Borowsky said in announcing the sale Wednesday.

Arizona Snowbowl's projected opening day remains "White Friday," November 28, 2014.

Both the buyer and seller are private enterprises, and terms were not released.

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Durango Mountain Resort agrees to sale

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) -- Durango Mountain Resort, also known as Purgatory, is being sold to a local resident and businessman, its owners announced Wednesday.

The Durango Herald reported that the resort will be sold to James Coleman, who also owns Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort south of Taos, New Mexico, and has an ownership interest in Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The owners also announced Coleman is in the process of acquiring Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff.

Durango Mountain Resort will join the three smaller resorts in a company that has yet to be named, and the resort's management, including CEO Gary Derck, will remain in place.

The owners "very much want to make sure the new owner, the new principal investor in the resort, would be a good fit for Durango and a good fit for Purgatory," Derck said in announcing the sale. He added that Coleman is "a very avid skier - kind of a skier's skier."

The purchase agreement involving Durango Mountain Resort has been signed but has yet to close. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Snowbowl's owners had said their resort was not for sale when Coleman approached them in February. But by April, the two parties were in serious discussions.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported Wednesday that the deal is expected to be finalized the first week of November.

The Arizona Snowbowl Limited Partnership bought the ski resort in 1992 for $4 million. The owners were in talks with leaders on the Navajo Nation to sell the resort in 2009 for $49 million. The tribe was considering the purchase as a way to stop a plan to make artificial snow on a mountain it considers sacred, but the deal never came to fruition.

Terms of the latest deal between Snowbowl and Coleman have not been released.

Snowbowl season-pass holders are expected to receive extended benefits that apply to all of the resorts owned by Coleman.

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Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com

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