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Vail Resorts completes acquisition of Whistler Blackcomb

WB Unlimited season pass holders to receive five days of skiing at any of Vail Resorts' U.S. resorts this winter
Photo by Paul Morrison / Whistler Blackcomb

It's official: Whistler Blackcomb is now wholly owned by Vail Resorts.

The $1.4-billion friendly takeover by the Colorado-based company was subject to the customary closing conditions following Investment Canada Act approval earlier this month. The transaction officially closed Monday, Oct. 17.

"Our mission at Vail Resorts is to deliver an experience of a lifetime to our guests and our employees, and this transaction is a significant milestone in making that experience even more special," said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz in a release. "Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world and we are tremendously excited to welcome the resort and the talented team who work there to the Vail Resorts family."

Under the terms of the deal, Vail Resorts acquired 100 percent of Whistler Blackcomb's stock, with shareholders receiving C$17.50 in cash and 0.097294 shares of Vail Resorts' common stock for each Whistler Blackcomb share held.

Katz has assured that "the vast majority" of WB staff will stay on with the company, and that day-to-day operations will continue largely unchanged.

"(Whistler Blackcomb CEO) Dave Brownlie and the team at Whistler Blackcomb have built an excellent operation that delivers amazing guest experiences, and we intend to continue to support that work while maintaining the resort's unique brand and Canadian identity," Katz added. "We look forward to working with the Whistler Blackcomb team to ensure the long-term success of the resort and the community."

To mark the deal's closing, Vail Resorts announced it would be offering five days of skiing or snowboarding at any of its U.S. resorts to Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited season pass holders. The five complimentary days do not have to be used consecutively, but are restricted on certain holiday dates, including Nov. 25-26, Dec. 26-31, and Jan 14 and Feb. 18-19, 2017. WB is bringing the Unlimited pass back on sale at the early-bird rate until Oct. 30 so buyers can take advantage of this offer.

In addition, all of Vail Resorts' 2016-17 Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders will receive five days of riding at Whistler Blackcomb this season.

Whistler Blackcomb's full season pass lineup for 2017-18 will be announced when those passes go on sale in March 2017.