View of Wisp Resort facilities from across a lake on an autumn day.

PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS NEWS

Read the latest press releases and general news from Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. below.

Wisp Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wisp Hires Ski Industry Veteran as New General Manager
Background includes experience from Vermont to South America

DEEP CREEK LAKE, MARYLAND Wisp Resort has hired ski industry veteran Ron Hawkes as its new general manager replacing Jerry Geisler who is retiring after 45 years at the western Maryland resort. Hawkes is intimately familiar with the Mid-Atlantic ski market having served as President and General Manager at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania for eleven years, and he brings wide ranging experience to the job having worked at ski resorts in Vermont, New York, Colorado, and even Chile in South America.

Hawkes comes to Wisp from Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania which, like Wisp, has both summer and winter resort activities. Prior to that he was the general manager at Montage Mountain Resort near Scranton, Pennsylvania and was previously the GM of the Wyndham Garden York hotel in York, Pennsylvania.

Vern Greco, CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. which operates Wisp, indicated Hawkes rose to the top of a strong pool of candidates which included applicants from ski areas as far away as New Mexico and China and as close as Virginia. Greco noted the experience Hawkes has accumulated in the non-ski related aspects of the business were equally important for a place like Wisp which includes a conference hotel, large event venues, and active summer operations.

“When you are looking to replace a guy like Jerry who has been at Wisp for more than four decades, it helps to bring in strong and relevant expertise which is what Ron provides,” Greco explained. “Experience alone wasn’t enough, however. Since we introduce so many new people to skiing and snowboarding, we were looking for someone who loves the sport and could spread that enthusiasm to our guests. Ron is an avid skier and ski instructor who enjoys the sport so much he even spent time teaching at Winter Park Resort in Colorado this past spring after Camelback finished its ski season.”

Hawkes’ affinity for skiing led to his entree into the ski business which included nine seasons teaching skiing in Chile in the South American winter months. During that time, he ran the ski school at Whitetail Resort in Pennsylvania in the early 90’s and was the Ski School Training Director at Mt. Snow in Vermont in the mid 90’s. He then spent ten years at Hunter Mountain in New York as the Director of Skiing and Snowboarding. While he was the assistant general manager at Camelback, he also took on the position as the staff trainer for the ski school because of the importance of a beginner’s first experience on the slopes.

As a year round destination, Wisp features 36 holes of golf, and Hawkes has experience on the links as well, both as a recreational and tournament player and working at Jack Frost National Golf Club in Pennsylvania. “Being the General Manager at Wisp Resort is a perfect crescendo for my career in this business. It’s an exact culmination of the experiences I’ve gained from skiing to lodging to golf, and even to the water sports at Wisp which in many respects are equivalent to my experience overseeing the waterpark at Camelback. I’m very much looking forward to helping the Wisp guests enjoy all the adventure the resort and the Deep Creek Lake area have to offer.”

ABOUT WISP
Wisp Resort, Maryland’s only all-season ski, golf and recreation resort, overlooks Deep Creek Lake from Marsh Mountain in the heart of Garrett County. With more than 65 miles of shoreline, Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. In winter, Wisp offers 172 acres of skiable terrain along with a Mountain Park with snow tubing and a mountain coaster plus a Nordic Center for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Spring, summer and fall feature three canopy tour zip lines, Segway tours, archery, orienteering, chairlift rides, the mountain coaster, paddleboard and kayak rentals, downhill mountain biking, gem mining, disc golf, and the popular Escape Room Game. Groups gather in Wisp Resort’s 40,000 sq ft of function space for meetings, conferences, retreats, reunions and weddings. For more information about Wisp Resort, call 844.259.0267 or visit the website at www.wispresort.com.

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Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS, INC. JOINS NSAA CLIMATE CHALLENGE
All five PGRI resorts have signed on for the industry effort to promote sustainable slopes

PARK CITY, UTAH – When the National Ski Areas Association put out the call for member resorts to join the NSAA Climate Challenge this year, the five ski areas in the Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. portfolio answered with a resounding, “Yes.” NSAA’s Climate Challenge initiative has been around for several years, and more regional destination resorts are starting to be in a position to join industry stalwarts such as Deer Valley Resort, Alta, and Snowbird in the efforts to reduce energy usage and thus carbon emissions.

Vern Greco, CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., indicated in his letter of notice to the Director of Public Policy for NSAA, Geraldine Link, that each of the PGRI properties had named a “sustainability champion” who would be leading the efforts at the resorts and a steering committee to help guide the directives on the ground. He also indicated each committee had drafted the initial list of actions to be executed over the next several years to reduce waste and energy usage with the objective of eventually getting to a carbon neutral footprint. Ms. Link’s emailed response was enthusiastic, “NSAA is excited to see all these ski areas enter the Climate Challenge. It is awesome!”

Mark K. Fischer, Executive Vice President of Pacific Group Resorts noted the PGRI properties are approaching the NSAA Climate Challenge as a collaborative effort involving guests as well as resort operations. “We can reduce idling time for our groomers and buses, and we can buy carbon credits and plant trees and recycle and compost. We can even ask our suppliers to reduce the amount of cardboard used when they ship items to us, but those efforts won’t get us all the way to our goal. As part of our sustainability effort, we will be communicating with our guests and educating them in how they can help by respecting the no idling zones in our drop off areas and making sure they participate in the recycling programs and use refillable water bottles instead of single use plastic containers. Our pitch to them is pretty simple – we’re all in this together, so let’s all pitch in.”

Greco is an established supporter of environmentally sustainable programs in the ski industry in Utah and Colorado. “The health of the environment is something I have been sensitive to for a long time going back to my time on NSAA’s Board of Directors a couple decades ago when I served on the environmental committee. I’m very pleased we’ve been able to bring the five Pacific Group Resorts properties to the point where they can collectively be a meaningful contributor to NSAA’s Climate Challenge efforts.”

ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS
Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI) is a Park City, Utah based owner/operator of ski and mountain resorts. PGRI owns/operates Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa of western Colorado, Mt. Washington Alpine Resort on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island in western Canada, Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Wisp Resort in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland, and Ragged Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Among the five ski resorts in the PGRI portfolio, there are also 81 holes of championship golf, 19 clay tennis courts, three indoor courts, four pools, a private lake, a whitewater course that hosted the 2014 Whitewater World Championships, two mountain adventure parks, more than 30 snow-tubing lanes, three lift served mountain bike parks, a spa, 17 retail outlets, 24 food & beverage establishments, and 450 lodging units. A major peak-to-peak-to-base ZipTour will open this July at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. More information on Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. and their portfolio of properties is available at www.pgri.us.

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Wisp Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ski Industry Veteran Announces His Retirement
Wisp General Manager to retire this summer after 45 years at the resort

DEEP CREEK LAKE, MARYLAND Wisp Resort announced today that General Manager Jerry Geisler will be retiring this summer after more than four decades at Maryland’s only four season resort. Geisler has been the resort’s General Manager for the past six years and has served as an executive at the resort since 1982 when he became Operations Manager. His career at the ski area commenced in 1974 as a bartender at night and a ski instructor during the day shortly after he graduated from West Virginia University, and he has become a fixture at Wisp Resort over the ensuing 45 years.

“My attachment to Wisp started even before I began working here,” noted Geisler. “I’ve been a season pass holder since 1968, so Wisp has been a big part of my life for 51 years. I met my wife, Nancy, here, and we raised our two daughters on these slopes, so Wisp has been home for us for both work and play for a very long time.”

Artie Speicher, Director of Mountain Operations for Wisp, noted all that time at the mountain resort had its benefits, “Jerry has worked in almost every department at the ski area: bartender, waiter, ski instructor, marketing and advertising manager, race director, facilities manager, director of golf operations, transportation director, rental shop manager, manager of human resources, hotel manager, and I don’t even know what else, plus he has deep operational knowledge of our snow making systems, our tubing park, the mountain coaster, our lifts, and the whitewater course. When Jerry talks about running this place, it’s always worth listening because you know he has been there and done that.”

During Geisler’s time at Wisp, the resort saw substantial growth. “When I got here, we had two chairlifts and three surface lifts. Today we have seven chairlifts and seven surface lifts for skiing plus one of the best teaching areas for beginner skiers and snowboarders in the country. In the summer we have two golf courses, a mountain adventure park with canopy tours, ropes courses, and a mountain coaster, plus a world famous mountain top whitewater rafting course. We’ve come quite a long way. When I took the job as Ops Manager, the owner of Wisp at the time, Helmuth Heise, promised me I’d never be bored, and he was right about that!”

“I’ve been fortunate to work with three very committed ownership groups at Wisp over the last forty-five years,” commented Geisler. “The Heise family is the hardest working family and the greatest risk takers I’ve ever had the privilege to work for. Then came DC Development, and while they faced the challenges of the Great Recession, they did a lot of good too, from building the Lodestone Golf Course to developing the north side of the mountain to securing the water we have for snowmaking and the whitewater course. Most recently it’s been Pacific Group Resorts. One of the first things they did was show their commitment to skiing and snowboarding and the growth of the sport by building the Sundown Village and the new beginner terrain which is one of the best beginner areas in the U.S. I’m quite proud of the team here and what we have accomplished, and I’m very pleased to pass along a solid foundation for the next generation to build upon.”

Garrett County Commissioner Jim Hinebaugh explained Geisler has been an icon in the local community in addition to his involvement at the resort. “Jerry has been part of the fabric of the business community in the Deep Creek Lake area for decades. He’s been president of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, has served two terms on the Maryland State Tourism Board, has been a two term director of the Maryland State Chamber of Commerce, has been on the board of the Adventure Sports Center International, and has represented Wisp in numerous business organizations in Western Maryland. I know the resort is going to miss his presence, but as a community we’re going to miss him, too.”

The daughters the Geislers raised on the slopes of Wisp maintained their enthusiasm for the mountains and about ten years ago they both moved to Park City, Utah where the alpine skiing and snowboarding events were held during the 2002 Winter Olympics. “I’m not sure if it was a blessing or a curse, but once I introduced our girls to the mountains of Utah, it wasn’t long before they headed there for good,” remarked Geisler. “Nancy and I bought a place to retire to out there, and we look forward to spending our senior years together as a family enjoying our love of the outdoors while I’m still young enough to ski the black diamond runs with them.”

Vern Greco, President and CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, expressed his appreciation for Geisler, “Jerry is one of those highly skilled industry veterans who have seemingly been around forever, and who have seen almost everything the business can throw at you. Even with all that knowledge and experience, Jerry has always been open to new ideas, and he has been a great resource for both us and for the Garrett County community. His exit strategy is vintage Jerry. He’s leaving in good health, he’s in a good place, and he has given us enough time to allow for careful selection of a new general manager and the time for a thorough knowledge transfer between Jerry and the new GM. Everything he does, he does thoughtfully.”

Geisler summed up his career succinctly saying, “To be able to work at one area for four and a half decades, and to help it develop from very modest beginnings into a one of the top resorts in the Mid-Atlantic has been a privilege and a lot of fun. To have a job at a place I fell in love with as a kid, and to be able to do something that has been a passion all my life is a pretty good way to spend a career if you ask me.”

ABOUT WISP
Wisp Resort, Maryland’s only all-season ski, golf and recreation resort, overlooks Deep Creek Lake from Marsh Mountain in the heart of Garrett County. With more than 65 miles of shoreline, Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. In winter, Wisp offers 172 acres of skiable terrain along with a Mountain Park with snow tubing and a mountain coaster plus a Nordic Center for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Spring, summer and fall feature three canopy tour zip lines, Segway tours, archery, orienteering, chairlift rides, the mountain coaster, paddleboard and kayak rentals, downhill mountain biking, gem mining, disc golf, and the popular Escape Room Game. Groups gather in Wisp Resort’s 40,000 sq ft of function space for meetings, conferences, retreats, reunions and weddings. For more information about Wisp Resort, call 844.259.0267 or visit the website at www.wispresort.com.

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Powderhorn Mountain Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Approval Provides Better Alternative
Plan Conserves Water, Reduces Power Consumption, and Should Increase Employment and Tourism

GRAND JUNCTION – Grand Junction’s City Council helped solve a problem this week which should reap rewards for the City of Grand Junction, Powderhorn Mountain Resort, and the local economy. The resort had previously announced plans to substantially expand its snowmaking system this summer. To make that plan cost effective and sustainable, the resort and the City needed to find a way to reduce both power consumption and the evaporative water loss that occurs when moving water any significant distance in the semi-arid West. The City of Grand Junction found a way.

Powderhorn already had a long-term lease from the City of Grand Junction to draw water from the Somerville Reservoir near the top of the Grand Mesa. The distance between the Somerville source and the resort meant the system faced significant evaporative loss of nearly 50% of replen-ishment water transported by ditch to Somerville. The distance and topography also meant signifi-cant pumps needed to be installed which would mean lots of power consumption.

After working with Powderhorn and their engineers, the team determined major amounts of water and electricity could be saved if the water was supplied from the Anderson Reservoir, which is closer to the resort, rather than from the Somerville Reservoir. At last night’s Council meeting, the City approved the change in the water source which means there could be a new, effi-cient delivery system via Anderson Reservoir. This would not only conserve the Grand Valley’s wa-ter resources, it would pave the way for increased snowmaking at the resort, which would lead to more local employment and tourism opportunities.

The increased feasibility created by using the Anderson Reservoir as the water source is on-ly one step, albeit a major one, in the process of getting the enhanced snowmaking system installed at Powderhorn. Now that plans to draw water from Anderson Reservoir have been approved by the Grand Junction City Council, the resort is awaiting final approval from the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies to be able to move forward with the conceived construction.

Conservation of resources was an important factor in developing the plans for the snow-making system at Powderhorn. Because of the reduced distance and the way the water would get from Anderson to the resort, evaporative loss should be reduced by about 50%, and since the water would come off the top of the Grand Mesa and flow almost entirely downhill, it would be the most energy-efficient snowmaking system in Colorado. The City would continue to monitor the remain-ing capacity of the watershed to insure adequate reserves into the future.

“This long-term agreement between Powderhorn and the City of Grand Junction allows the City to put to use available water that will benefit our region as a whole providing more reliable ski-ing at Powderhorn. It will also minimize environmental impact as the pipeline is combined with the Palisade Plunge connector trail, an area recreation amenity that the City supports as an economic driver for the Grand Valley,” said Grand Junction Mayor Pro Tem Bennett Boeschenstein.

“In an industry that relies almost entirely on Mother Nature, water for snowmaking helps ensure jobs for our employees even in low snow years,” noted Powderhorn General Manager Ryan Schramm. “It also means locals, and especially visitors, can book holiday travel in advance based on the increased reliability of snow on the slopes. Working together with Grand Junction to find a more efficient solution is the icing on the cake. Not only would we be able to provide more depend-able employment and a consistent product to draw visitors which benefits businesses across the Western Slope, we have found a way to do so that would conserve water and power resources.”

Provided the U.S. Forest Service and other agency approvals are forthcoming this spring, construction is planned for this summer. By combining the snowmaking project with construction of a trail connecting Powderhorn’s bike park with the Palisade Plunge, the environmental impacts of both projects would be minimized by utilizing the same alignment.

“Powderhorn couldn’t be more appreciative of the partnership with the City of Grand Junc-tion and their assistance in developing a plan that would benefit the Grand Valley for future seasons and generations,” Schramm explained. “Right now, we’ve got incredible snow, but this time last year skiers and riders were singing a different tune. If we can get the top to bottom snowmaking in-stalled this summer, that sort of issue would be less of a concern next year and beyond.”

For more information, please visit www.Powderhorn.com.

About Powderhorn Mountain Resort
Located near the top of the Grand Mesa on the storied Western Slope of Colorado, Powderhorn cel-ebrates 51 years as a scenic, family-friendly resort featuring 1,600 acres of terrain suited to a varie-ty of abilities and preferences. Powderhorn is known for extending exceptional value to guests, thanks to improvements at the resort and a mountain focused on creating one-of-a-kind, year-round experiences. Western Colorado is known for its wide-open spaces, distinctive topography and friendly local residents. To learn more about Powderhorn Mountain Resort, visit www.Powderhorn.com or call 970-268-5700.

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Powderhorn Mountain Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Powderhorn Names Ryan Schramm as General Manager
Powderhorn Names Ryan Schramm as General Manager

MESA COUNTY, COLORADO – Powderhorn Mountain Resort announced Ryan Schramm as the new general manager for the ski area. Schramm has been the general manager at Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire for the past five years, and prior to that he served as that mountain’s director of alpine ski racing. Schramm currently serves on the board of directors of Ski New Hampshire and on the National Ski Areas Association Growth Committee.

At Ragged Mountain, Schramm oversaw the introduction of the highly successful Mission: Affordable season pass program and the industry leading Bebe Wood Free Learn to Ski and Ride Program. Powderhorn licensed Mission: Affordable from Park City-based Pacific Group Resorts beginning last spring which doubled the number of season pass holders at Powderhorn for this coming season. Schramm anticipates similar success as Powderhorn rolls out its own version of the Free Learn To Ski program this winter.

“One of my objectives at Powderhorn,” noted Schramm, “is to increase the number of skiers and snowboarders because the number of snow sports participants in the U.S. has been about the same for the past twenty years. Ragged Mountain’s Free Learn to Ski program and serving on the NSAA’s Growth Committee have afforded me the opportunity to provide a path to help introduce new participants to skiing and snowboarding. I’m very enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue those efforts at Powderhorn because obviously it’s good for the resort, but I also think it’s good for the overall growth of the Grand Valley from both economic and lifestyle perspectives.”

At the end of October, the owners of Powderhorn announced major growth initiatives for the resort in three key areas: the installation of more snowmaking infrastructure, the addition of more mountain biking trails, including a connection to the coming 32-mile, 6,000 vertical foot drop Palisade Plunge, and the development of some additional lodging options at the base of the mountain. Vern Greco, CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., the new operator of Powderhorn, indicated Schramm’s background is an ideal fit for the growth plans. “While Ryan was at Ragged Mountain, they installed over 250 energy efficient snowmaking guns and increased their snowmaking water storage capacity from about 8 million gallons to 40 million gallons which allowed them to increase their early season coverage dramatically. Resorts back East live or die on their snowmaking capability, and Ryan understands both the importance and the implementation,” explained Greco.

“Ryan will also be able to help us with the lodging initiatives at Powderhorn” continued Greco. “As GM at Ragged, he oversaw the conversion of an historic estate property into the charming New Hampshire Mountain Inn and its integration into another lodging option for their guests.”

As for expanding the mountain biking program Powderhorn started two summers ago, Schramm noted, “I started working in my father’s ski and bike shop as a teenager, so one of the reasons I’m very much looking forward to being at Powderhorn is the opportunity to build the two sports I’m passionate about. I think the combination of the existing bike trails in Fruita and Grand Junction combined with the lift served trails we can provide at the resort, all tied together with the Palisade Plunge, give us the opportunity to turn this into one of America’s iconic mountain biking destinations.”

As is fitting for a ski area general manager, Schramm also has an extensive ski resume. From his days in his dad’s ski shop, he became an accomplished ski racer and ultimately progressed into a ski instructor and certified USSA race coach. “What’s interesting about Ryan,” remarked Greco, “is as accomplished as he is in the ski industry, his background is quite broad. He was involved with auto racing as a driver and mechanic for five years, and he was in the commercial food service industry for ten years. From his ski racing background to his experience with snowmaking installations to his expertise in food service to his commitment to community involvement, we think Ryan is an ideal fit for Powderhorn.”

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About Powderhorn Mountain Resort
Powderhorn is nestled deep in the heart of the Grand Mesa on the Western Slope of Colorado. For 51 years, Powderhorn has been a scenic, family-friendly resort featuring 1,600 acres of terrain suited to a variety of abilities and preferences. Powderhorn is known for extending exceptional value to each guest. Visitors choose Western Colorado for its wide-open spaces, distinctive topography. To learn more visit www.powderhorn.ski.

About Pacific Group Resorts Inc.
Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI) is an international resort operating company based in Park City, Utah whose portfolio includes Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Wisp Resort in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland, Ragged Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Mt. Washington Alpine Resort in the Beaufort Mountains on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, and now Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa of western Colorado. An affiliate of PGRI, Salt Lake City based Pacific Group U.S. and its affiliates have been instrumental in the development and/or construction of portions of the base villages at mountain resorts including Whistler in British Columbia, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley in California, Copper Mountain in Colorado, and Solitude Resort in Utah. For more information, please visit www.pgri.us.

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Ragged Mountain Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RAGGED MOUNTAIN NAMES NEW GENERAL MANAGER
Jay Gamble brings 20 years of very local experience to the position

DANBURY, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., the operator of Ragged Mountain, announced today that Jay Gamble will be the new General Manager replacing Ryan Schramm who was recently named the General Manager of Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Colorado. Powderhorn is also operated by Pacific Group Resorts. Gamble has been the General Manager of nearby Mount Sunapee Resort for the past 20 years, and he has served on the Board of Directors of Ski New Hampshire for the past two decades.

Gamble is a 37 year veteran of the New England ski industry having worked at Killington in Vermont, Sunday River in Maine, and for lift manufacturer Poma of America prior to his time at Mount Sunapee. Gamble has extensive experience with the installation of chair lifts and snowmaking systems in addition to his mountain operations and financial management background.

Vern Greco, CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, was pleased to be able to bring Gamble to Ragged Mountain. “Jay is a great find for us,” stated Greco. “Ragged Mountain has developed solid momentum under Ryan Schramm’s leadership. Now we need a strong leader with lots of industry experience to maintain and build upon that momentum. Jay is the ideal fit for Ragged Mountain as we assimilate the excellent growth we have had there over the past three years.”

“Ragged Mountain is a wonderful opportunity,” noted Gamble. “They’ve greatly expanded their snowmaking system the past two years, and I look forward to building it out to its full potential. I’m also anxious to capitalize on the Mission: Affordable season pass program and the Bebe Wood Free Learn to Ski program they started three years ago. Those programs have been very effective in bringing more skiers and snowboarders to the sport and obviously to Ragged Mountain which has almost doubled its annual visits since starting these programs.”

Ragged Mountain was honored this past May at the National Ski Areas Association annual meeting for attracting new participants to snow sports and successfully converting them from first timers to season pass-holding ongoing participants. Gamble explained that since many of the early wave of the Baby Boomers are aging out of skiing, attracting Millennials and members of Generation Z to the slopes is of great importance to the entire ski industry, and he commended Ragged Mountain on being at the forefront of that effort. “Ragged has grown significantly as a result of their innovative approach to the ski business, and I anticipate continuing that trend,” commented Gamble. “The programs here are unique in the industry, and I’m excited to build on that momentum and to provide the leadership and infrastructure to take Ragged Mountain from a small resort to a credible mid-sized New England ski area.”

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ABOUT RAGGED MOUNTAIN RESORT
Located in Danbury, New Hampshire just 98 miles from downtown Boston, Ragged Mountain Resort is situated on 2,100 acres in the beautiful White Mountains. Ragged Mountain has 55 named ski trails, miles of hiking trails on-site, and extensive plans for further expansion. Ragged Mountain was purchased in 2007 by Salt Lake City based developer Pacific Group. Over the past couple years, Pacific Group has invested more than $20 million in improvements and expansion. For more information on Ragged Mountain, please visit www.raggedmountainresort.com.

ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP
Pacific Group is the entity responsible for the real estate development at Ragged Mountain. Over the past 25 years, Salt Lake City based Pacific Group and its affiliates have been instrumental in the development and/or construction at numerous leading mountain resort properties including Whistler in British Columbia, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley in California, Copper Mountain in Colorado, and Solitude Resort in Utah. Additionally, Pacific Group has been active in commercial real estate acquisition, development, and construction.

ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS, INC.
Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI) manages Ragged Mountain through a long term agreement. PGRI is affiliated with Pacific Group by partial common ownership. PGRI also operates Wisp Resort in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland, Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and Mt. Washington in the Beaufort Mountains on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

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Powderhorn Mountain Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pacific Group Resorts Adds Powderhorn Mountain Resort to Portfolio
Project Includes Capital Investment from The Gart Companies and ZOMA Capital

MESA COUNTY, COLORADO – Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. of Park City, Utah (PGRI) has added Powderhorn Mountain Resort near Grand Junction, Colorado to its portfolio of resorts through a long term operating lease signed with Powderhorn Mountain Resort owners Andy Daly and Ken, Tom, & John Gart of The Gart Companies. The Gart Family and Mr. Daly will continue to be involved at the resort through the development of on-mountain lodging and other capital improvements.

In addition to PGRI taking over resort operations, the Garts are strengthening their commitment to the resort’s success by bringing on ZOMA Capital of Denver as an investment partner. “Our partnership with ZOMA enables us to expand and strengthen our position in the recreation marketplace, particularly for our summer business,” noted Ken Gart. He further explained, “PGRI gives us a multi-resort presence allowing us to compete more effectively in the regional market using the resources and marketing strategies PGRI has so successfully deployed across the company’s portfolio such as the Mission: Affordable program we licensed from them earlier this year. We think the partnership with ZOMA and the operating expertise of Pacific Group Resorts combined with our efforts will create a very strong driver for the success of Powderhorn.”

In addition to season passes, the Mission: Affordable Learn to Ski Free program will be introduced at Powderhorn this winter which will provide greatly expanded accessibility for brand-new skiers and snowboarders. PGRI started the Mission: Affordable program at Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire and has extended parts of the program to the other resorts in its portfolio including Wisp Resort in Maryland, Wintergreen Resort in Virginia, and Mount Washington Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada.

Powderhorn’s owners have undertaken extensive capital improvements since purchasing the resort in 2011 including installation of a high-speed chairlift, construction of mountain biking trails, and making improvements to snowmaking infrastructure. The U.S. Forest Service has approved two more mountain biking trails at the resort, and they will be built next summer. Future biking related improvements at Powderhorn include connecting to the Palisade Plunge mountain biking trail which will extend 32-miles from Powderhorn to Palisade, Colorado (near Grand Junction) dropping 6,000 feet in elevation along the way. Other planned improvements beginning next summer include more snowmaking infrastructure and the development of innovative alternative lodging options.

“In addition to meeting our business objectives for Powderhorn, we hope the investments and operational changes we are making will help foster rural development and economic growth on the Western Slope of Colorado, so this combination of resources is a perfect fit of objective and opportunity from our perspective,” stated Tom Gart. With the recent designation of the Grand Mesa as an Opportunity Zone, the investments in Powderhorn’s infrastructure are also investments in the regional economic vitality of the Grand Valley according to Robin Brown, Executive Director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

Ms. Brown provided further context by stating, “Today marks the confluence of several strategic partnerships that will not only support Powderhorn’s long-term success, but will advance the Grand Valley’s determination to drive economic development through outdoor recreation and tourism. It has been a collaborative effort among partners including the Colorado Office of Economic Development.”

In explaining his company’s appreciation for Powderhorn, Mark K. Fischer, Executive Vice-President of PGRI commented, “We’re quite pleased to help bring this new partnership to fruition and to extend our commitment to the creation of rewarding resort experiences to the Western Slope of Colorado. The stunning natural environment makes it clear why guests love this region, and we’re honored to be a part of its growth.” Mr. Fischer explained there is a further PGRI connection to the Colorado ski community noting the President and CEO of PGRI, Vern Greco, is originally from Denver and has deep roots in the region having served in the past as President and CEO of Steamboat Resort and Durango Mountain Resort as well as having been Chairman of Colorado Ski Country.

About Pacific Group Resorts Inc.
Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI) is an international resort operating company based in Park City, Utah whose portfolio includes Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Wisp Resort in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland, Ragged Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Mt. Washington Alpine Resort in the Beaufort Mountains on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, and now Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa of western Colorado. An affiliate of PGRI, Salt Lake City based Pacific Group U.S. and its affiliates have been instrumental in the development and/or construction of portions of the base villages at mountain resorts including Whistler in British Columbia, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley in California, Copper Mountain in Colorado, and Solitude Resort in Utah. For more information, please visit www.pgri.us.

About Powderhorn Mountain Resort
Powderhorn is nestled deep in the heart of the Grand Mesa on the Western Slope of Colorado. For 51 years, Powderhorn has been a scenic, family-friendly resort featuring 1,600 acres of terrain suited to a variety of abilities and preferences. Powderhorn is known for extending exceptional value to each guest, and visitors choose Western Colorado for its wide-open spaces, distinctive topography and friendly local residents. To learn more visit www.powderhorn.ski.

About The Gart Companies
The Gart Companies is a multifaceted, privately held corporation comprised of two main divisions, Gart Properties and Gart Capital Partners. Gart Properties acquires, develops and manages a vast array of real estate holdings. Gart Capital Partners is a growth investment partnership specializing in management buyouts and recapitalizations of high-quality companies with strong market positions and/or growth potential. The Gart Companies continue to grow and expand as new opportunities are identified and developed. For more information, please see http://www.gartcompanies.com.

About ZOMA Capital
ZOMA Capital was founded by Ben and Lucy Ana Walton to invest in a broad range of market-based sustainable solutions advancing energy, water, and regional economic resiliency in Chile and Colorado. Its global investment portfolio spans multiple asset classes and sectors with an emphasis on addressing environmental and social challenges. To learn more, visit https://ZOMAlab.com/ZOMA-capital/.

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Mount Washington Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MT. WASHINGTON ANNOUNCES NEW GENERAL MANAGER
British Columbian with extensive ski and tourism experience joins the team this week

COMOX VALLEY, VANCOUVER ISLAND – Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. announced today Dean Prentice has been hired as the new General Manager of Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. Prentice was most recently General Manager of Painter’s Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa in Campbell River and on Quadra Island. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in interior British Columbia.

Vern Greco, CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, which acquired Mt. Washington Alpine Resort in 2015, indicated the search for a replacement for the retiring Peter Gibson was extensive. “We had over 50 viable applicants from across Canada and the U.S. The candidate pool was exceptionally strong, which is a reflection of the reputation Mt. Washington has in the industry. It was a nice coincidence the top candidate was from right here on Vancouver Island.”

Greco continued, “Ultimately, we felt Dean’s combination of ski resort and tourism experience provided the right blend of technical and analytical skills to go with his leadership qualities. Peter left some large shoes to fill, but we are excited about the prospects for Mt. Washington with the team we have in place and Dean at the helm.”

Prior to his position as COO of Fairmont Hot Springs, Prentice spent five years at Panorama Mountain Resort which at the time was part of Intrawest, an international ski resort company. Fairmont Hot Springs is a year round resort with golf, skiing, natural hot springs, and active children’s programs. Panorama is a ski area with a strong racing heritage, including hosting an FIS Women’s World Cup event in 2007 during Prentice’s tenure there.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be the new GM at Mt. Washington,” Prentice noted. “In addition to the interviews with Pacific Group Resorts, I had a chance to meet with the senior leadership team at the mountain, and I was impressed by their experience, knowledge, and commitment to the resort and to each other. I think the talent is here to make the most of this resort as both a ski mountain and as a summer vacation spot.”

Prentice is currently on the board of directors of Tourism Vancouver Island, whose goal is to increase the economic contribution of tourism to the Region. Mt. Washington currently draws most of its guests from the Island during winter, and Prentice sees opportunities for attracting more summer visitors to the area as well as more skiers from the mainland.

“Mt. Washington is an exceptional place, and I have enjoyed skiing here as a guest with my family,” explained Prentice. “I think our opportunities to expand as a summer resort are quite good, and I am very pleased to be joining the group that’s already in place. Collectively, I believe we have the ability to take Mt. Washington to the next level in its evolution as a premier BC resort destination.”

ABOUT MOUNT WASHINGTON
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is located just 30 minutes from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and hosts over 300,000 visits per year. In the winter, guests enjoy five chairlifts and five carpet lifts accessing over 1,700 acres and 1,657 vertical feet of alpine terrain. The resort also has 55 kilometers of designated cross-country skiing and 25km of snowshoeing trails along with a dedicated Nordic lodge.

Summer activities at Mount Washington include lift-accessed mountain biking, a new quad bungie trampoline, scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, miniature golf, boardwalk chess and checkers, shopping and dining. The resort also plays host to over 40 weddings per year plus numerous group and corporate events.

Off-island visitors can reach the island via BC Ferries to Nanaimo and Victoria, or flights are available on WestJet, Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal Airlines which provide air service to the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) or they can fly right into Comox Marina via Harbour Air. Additional air carriers serving the Victoria Airport (YYJ) include Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines out of Seattle.

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Wintergreen Resort
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WINTERGREEN RESORT NAMES NEW GENERAL MANAGER
International operations and resort community experience make Kessler ideal fit

WINTERGREEN, VIRGINIA – Rod Kessler was named the new General Manager of Wintergreen Resort today after a national search. Kessler arrives at Wintergreen from Granby Ranch, a mountain community in Colorado, where he had been the Chief Operating Officer responsible for summer and winter recreation.

While Granby Ranch has a small ski area known mostly for introducing Coloradans to the sport, Kessler has large resort experience as well with over 25 years in operations, hospitality, and resort construction. Notably, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia for 5 years, and for the 16 years prior to that he was at Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort where he was Vice-President of Mountain Operations.

Kessler also spent a couple years in Maine as a co-leader of L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School where he provided oversite during the expansion of the Outdoor School’s kids’ camps and guide services for a range of activities from fly-fishing to Nordic skiing to paddle sports. Based on his experience at L.L. Bean and Granby Ranch, Kessler said Wintergreen’s myriad recreational offerings played an important role in his interest in the General Manager’s position.

“I’ve been fortunate to work at Stowe, one of the East Coast’s premier resorts, and at Revelstoke, one of British Columbia’s iconic big mountains, both of which eventually became part of the Mountain Collective which is a group of the top mountain resorts in the world. Obviously, Wintergreen is a smaller ski area, but the breadth of recreational opportunities at Wintergreen make it one of the most varied and complete resorts in the country,” noted Kessler. “The possibilities for what can be done to maximize the guest experience here were too intriguing to pass up.”

Kessler arrives as Wintergreen is in the midst of significant improvements. Both the Wintergarden Fitness Center at the top of the mountain and the Stoney Creek Fitness Center at the resort’s Rockfish Valley location have recently completed comprehensive renovations. Projects currently under construction include the first floor of the resort’s Mountain Inn, which serves as the gateway building at the top of the mountain, where a new café, a new 24 hour convenience outlet, a renovation of the lobby reception area, and new membership and realty offices will be completed in time for the ski season. Next summer Wintergreen has scheduled construction of a new members ski locker room, renovations of the administrative offices and the ski patrol facilities, and the creation of day lodge and lounge spaces.

Vern Greco, CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. which owns Wintergreen Resort, expressed his appreciation for Kessler’s depth of experience, “Rod has been responsible for roughly $75 million in capital projects over his career, and he has run the operations of two of the top resorts in North America which were quite different from one another. We fielded scores of resumes from across the industry, and we felt Rod was uniquely well suited to our mission of making Wintergreen the top year round resort in the Mid-Atlantic which would make it one of the top resorts on the East Coast. We have more projects on the drawing board which will be announced over the next six months, so Rod will have plenty on his plate. Fortunately, he has an exceptional team in place to help make this a smooth transition.”

In addition to naming Kessler the new General Manager, Wintergreen recently announced Michael Hammes has joined the resort as the new Director of Food & Beverage and Chris Jones just arrived as the new Executive Chef. Hammes’ resort experience includes Mt. Snow in Vermont, Durango Mountain Resort and Keystone Resort in Colorado, and The Canyons in Park City, Utah. He also served as the Director of F&B at the Omni Barton Creek in Austin, Texas and The Woodlands Resort in Houston where he developed the top award-winning steakhouse in the region. Jones also honed his ski resort skills at Durango and served as Executive Chef at country clubs and other resorts before joining the team at Wintergreen. Kessler concluded, “With the commitment to Wintergreen shown by Pacific Group Resorts, and the team both existing and new that has been assembled, this is an ideal situation for me. I am very much looking forward to leading Wintergreen as this opportunity unfolds.”

ABOUT WINTERGREEN
Wintergreen spans 11,000 acres on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of Central Virginia adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is just 90 minutes from Richmond, Virginia and approximately three hours from Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina.

The resort features four seasons of mountain recreation. Amenities include 45 holes of championship golf, alpine skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing, an award-winning tennis program with 22 courts, a full-service mountaintop spa, outdoor recreation such as 37 miles of hiking trails, fly fishing, swimming in three pools and a lake, and a variety of dining options.

Wintergreen Resort also features 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, audiovisual services, an award-winning banquet department and experienced conference service professionals. In addition to events for corporations, non-profit organizations and government entities, the resort hosts over 40 weddings per year plus other social occasions and events such as the Spartan Race and the Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival.

A responsible steward of 11,000 scenic Blue Ridge Mountains acres, the Wintergreen Resort and community actively nurtures its environment, honoring and conserving precious natural resources. Partnering with The Wintergreen Nature Foundation (TWNF), it supports and promotes wildlife habitat preservation and environmental education.

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Mount Washington Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mt. Washington Icon Announces His Swan Song
General Manager to retire next spring after 41 years on the slopes

COMOX VALLEY, VANCOUVER ISLAND – Mount Washington Alpine Resort announced today that this ski season will be the last one at the helm for ski resort icon Peter Gibson. Gibson, the resort’s General Manager, will retire next spring after 41 years as a fixture of the ski area. “I’ve had one of the greatest runs in the ski industry,” noted Gibson. “To be able to be at one area for four decades, and to help it develop from scratch into a one of the top resorts in Canada has been a privilege and a lot of fun.” Gibson summed up his career succinctly saying, “To have a job in your home town and to be able to do something that has been a passion all my life is a dream come true.”

Gibson started at Mountain Washington in May of 1977, two years before the resort opened in 1979. His primary duty those first two summers was operating a chain saw and running the trail crew as they created the ski runs for the mountain. “I was helping the founders figure out how to build the trails and infrastructure for ski hill, but there was lots more that needed to be done, so while we cut trees we also planned the overall resort and figured out how ski school, rentals and resort operations were going to work once the place opened,” Gibson recalled.

All the brainstorming and planning paid off when Gibson learned he would be the Director of Skiing when the resort opened. Over time he assumed greater responsibilities including Guest Services Manager and Director of Marketing. In 1999, Gibson was appointed General Manager, and in 2001 he became the President of Mount Washington Ski Resort, Ltd.

Gibson started skiing at Comox Valley’s Forbidden Plateau when he was 10 years of age, and he fell in love with the sport. By the time he was 16, he had become a ski instructor. After graduating from Courtenay High School in 1967, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree and Professional Teaching degree at University of British Columbia that he put to good use doing what came naturally – teaching skiing. In addition to teaching at Mt. Washington, Gibson also taught at Grouse Mountain and Whistler. In search of an endless winter, while still working for Mount Washington, Gibson was able to take an extended holiday and teach skiing at Ben Lomond, a ski area in Tasmania, Australia, during the Canadian summers from 1989 to 1992.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with three very committed ownership groups at Mount Washington over the last forty years,” commented Gibson. “When we started, one of our big features was flush toilets, which was quite innovative for a mountain resort at that time. Lots of hard work and millions of dollars later, we have a top Alpine and Nordic ski area with over 700 units of housing at the resort. Now we are focused on adding snowmaking, summer activities, new restaurants, and further development to make Mount Washington a great year round destination. I’m quite proud of the team here and what we have accomplished, and I’m very pleased to pass along a solid foundation for the next generation to build upon.”

Vern Greco, CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. reflected on Gibson’s role during the transition to the current ownership two years ago, “Mt. Washington had been for sale for a couple years before our acquisition, which always produces some uneasiness as people wonder what will happen. It can be a hard experience for a staff accustomed to one ownership group for twenty-five years, and the team could have been discouraged. Instead, Peter kept everyone focused and positive during the sale process in what was naturally an uncertain and trying time. He led the team through the transition with aplomb. His steady hand was extremely important, and we are grateful he was in that role.”

George Trousdell, the Director of Mountain Operations at Mt. Washington expressed his appreciation for Gibson, “I’ve been here for 37 years, so not quite as long as long as Peter, but long enough to know him very well. His exit strategy is vintage Peter. He’s leaving in good health, he’s in a good place, and he has given us enough time to allow for careful selection of a new general manager and the time for a thorough knowledge transfer between Peter and the new GM. Everything he does, he does thoughtfully and with appreciation for those around him. I hope he enjoys his retirement because we’re going to miss him.”

ABOUT MOUNT WASHINGTON
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is located just 30 minutes from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and hosts over 300,000 visits per year. In the winter guests, enjoy five chairlifts and five carpet lifts accessing over 1,700 acres and 1,657 vertical feet of alpine terrain. The resort also has 55 kilometers of designated cross-country skiing and 25km of snowshoeing trails along with a dedicated Nordic lodge.

Summer activities at Mount Washington include lift-accessed mountain biking, a new quad bungie trampoline, scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, miniature golf, boardwalk chess and checkers, shopping and dining. The resort also plays host to over 40 weddings per year plus numerous group and corporate events.

Off-island visitors can use WestJet, Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal Airlines which provide air service to the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) or they can fly right into Comox Marina via Harbour Air. Additional carriers serving the Victoria Airport (YYJ) include Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines out of Seattle.

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Mount Washington Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BIKE PARK AT MOUNT WASHINGTON TO OPEN JULY 15
Fun, flowy, smooth and fast is the new mantra

COMOX VALLEY, VANCOUVER ISLAND – Mount Washington Alpine Resort announced lift-served mountain biking would open for the summer season on July 15th after a three year hiatus. “We have been anxious to bring mountain biking back to Mount Washington, but with the deep snow from last winter, we had to wait to get to the top of the runs. Our trail crew shoveled the final remnants of snow off the bike park terrain last week, so we will be able to finish the earthwork and open our Park with some new trails and some old favourites, and we will be opening it in amazing shape,” explained Mount Washington’s Bike Park Manager, Mike Manara.

Mount Washington's Bike Park will be open six days a week from 11:30am to 5:30pm. On Thursdays, the Bike Park will extend the hours until 7pm so more riders can get on the trails after work. Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations at the resort, touted the Thursday evening lift service, “With the longer daylight hours, it’s really nice to be able to get up during the week and get some riding in later in the day. Those evenings will also feature specials in the restaurant, so it should make for a great way to get the most out of the prime biking season.”

“We are taking a little different approach to the trails this year based on changes in mountain bikes and riding techniques which have occurred just over the past few years. We will have a number of new or renovated downhill trails plus 10 kilometers of cross-country mountain biking trails, and they will all have a smoother flow from one feature to the next and be more integrated into the terrain than in the past,” noted Manara. “This new version of the Mount Washington Bike Park will give riders of all abilities and tastes something to enjoy. It’s all about fun and flowy.”

The Bike Park will open with up to six trails, and more trails will be added during the summer. Among the highlights are the “Green Line,” which is the resort’s easiest downhill trail. It is the longest uninterrupted mountain bike descent on Vancouver Island and all levels of bikers will have fun riding it. The venerable “Back in Black” will re-open with the lower part of the trail having been reengineered by its original builder, Tony Radomi.

Manara seemed particularly pleased to introduce two new trails. One is his trail crew’s newest flow trail, and the other is the resort’s first cross-country trial. “We have reclaimed and rebuilt some of our past trail system and added in a number of new sections to create a new blue flow trail for intermediate riders named Hwy 19,” Manara announced. In addition, after numerous hikes sourcing out a cross country mountain biking trail, the “Finger Trail” will be designated as the first XC trail in the Bike Park. It is a loop that takes riders out to a spectacular view of the Beaufort Range after a ride past lakes and tall evergreens.

Once Mount Washington’s Bike Park is open for the season, the trail crew will spend time maintaining the existing trails while continuing to rebuild some of the original trails on the mountain and creating a few new trails. Next up on the build list for the trail crew are “Helter Skelter,” a black technical trail, and “Time Warp,” a black flow trail. Each currently has a machine and full crew working on them. Once that work is complete, another one and a half kilometers of blue trail will be added to extend an existing trail. As time and weather permit, the trail crew will then tackle the technical “Monster Mile” downhill trail off the Eagle lift before finishing the summer by adding another blue flow trail and another XC trail.

“We are very pleased to welcome mountain bikers back next week,” said Mount Washington’s General Manager, Peter Gibson. “The effort the trail crew has put in for the last thirty days is astounding, and it shows in the quality of the trails that are ready to ride.”

The Mount Washington Bike Park will open every day from July 15th until September 5th (weather permitting) and for an additional three weekends in September. Accommodation packages, lessons, bike rentals and guided rides are all available. For more information go to www.mountwashington.ca.

ABOUT MOUNT WASHINGTON
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is located just 30 minutes from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and hosts over 300,000 visits per year. In the winter guests enjoy five chairlifts and five carpet lifts accessing over 1,700 acres and 1,657 vertical feet of alpine terrain. The resort also has 55 kilometers of designated cross-country skiing and 25km of snowshoeing trails along with a dedicated Nordic lodge.

Summer activities at Mount Washington include lift-accessed mountain biking, a new quad bungy trampoline, Mile High scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, miniature golf, boardwalk chess and checkers, shopping and dining. The resort also plays host to over 30 weddings per year plus numerous group and corporate events.

Off-island visitors can use WestJet, Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal Airlines which provide air service to the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) or they can fly right into Comox Marina via Harbour Air. Additional carriers serving the Victoria Airport (YYJ) include Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines out of Seattle.

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Wintergreen Resort
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wintergreen Real Estate Firms Combine
Affiliate of Resort Operator Merges Top Two Firms in Wintergreen Resort Market

NELLYSFORD, VA – Wintergreen Real Estate Company, the largest real estate broker in the Wintergreen market, has been acquired by Resort Asset Holdings LLC, a real estate affiliate of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI,) the operator of Wintergreen Resort. Park City, Utah based PGRI also co-owns Wintergreen Resort Premier Properties with Roy Wheeler Realty of Charlottesville and plans to combine the two brokerages into one firm.

The agents and staff of both brokerages will continue to be part of the combined company going forward. According to Michael Guthrie, president of Roy Wheeler, “This is two great companies partnering together to provide the Wintergreen Resort community with the best in real estate service.”

Tim Hess, the Managing Partner of Wintergreen Real Estate Company, and of High Country Associates, the firm that developed most of Wintergreen, explained the combined efforts will enable the resort to market the community in a larger geographic area. “Pacific Group has a strong real estate development and operations background, and we are excited to work with them on their vision of making Wintergreen Resort one of the truly premier resort communities on the East Coast,” noted Hess.

Doug Anderson, Chairman of Resort Asset Holdings, outlined the rationale for buying a second real estate brokerage at Wintergreen saying, “There are a couple reasons for our increased focus on the real estate at Wintergreen. We believe we are at, or near, a turning point for that market, and if that’s the case we’d like to have as large a presence as we can get on the brokerage side. We also see a coming generational turnover in the ownership of the properties at the resort. Many of the original owners are now in their late 70’s and early 80’s, and that is often a time when people sell resort oriented real estate. We’d like to be helpful in that transition and to help the new buyers get the most out of their experience at Wintergreen.”

The acquisition and combination of the two brokerages will continue the legacy of the founding developers that built Wintergreen with over $1.4 billion in real estate sales by incorporating on-site activities such as golf, skiing, and tennis with resort amenities such as restaurants, shopping, and spa services. Membership in the Wintergreen Club has also been an important part of the amenities program.

Hess expressed his thoughts on the transition, and the almost forty years his firm has been doing business at Wintergreen, “We appreciate the trust and support we have enjoyed in the past from our customers, and we look forward to serving the real estate needs of our clients in the same professional manner. We feel we created strong brand equity in the Wintergreen Real Estate name, and we are quite pleased someone with Pacific Group’s real estate experience saw the value in it.”

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ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS, INC.
Park City, Utah based Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI) operates Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Wisp Resort in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, Ragged Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Resort Asset Holdings, LLC is an affiliate of PGRI that does real estate development and real estate brokerage. PGRI is associated with Pacific Group U.S. through partial common ownership.

ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP U.S.
Pacific Group U.S. is an affiliate of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. primarily focusing on real estate development and the ownership and management of commercial buildings and industrial parks through its subsidiary Pacific Commercial Properties. Pacific Group has extensive experience in construction, master planning, and real estate sales over the past 25 years. Resort real estate experience includes involvement with the building of the base villages at Copper Mountain in Colorado, Solitude Resort in Utah, and Mammoth Resort in California.

ABOUT WINTERGREEN RESORT
Wintergreen is an 11,000 acre resort community situated atop the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia adjacent to the Shenandoah National Park and Shenandoah National Forest. The community is comprised of over 80% open space in which the Wintergreen Nature Foundation maintains over 35 miles of marked trails thoughtfully accessible by guests and by residents of the approximately 1,000 single family homes and 2,700 townhomes and condominiums in the community.

Wintergreen is comprised of the community at the top of the mountain and an adjunct portion of Wintergreen in the Rockfish Valley near Nellysford, Virginia known as Stoney Creek. Amenities are rich at both locations. The top of the mountain features 18 holes of golf, the 4-star Devils Grill restaurant, extensive indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, and the fitness center and pools of the Wintergarden aquatics center which are reserved for members in the Wintergreen Club and guests in the lodging options offered by Wintergreen Resort. The public amenities on the mountain are anchored by the Wintergreen Ski Resort, Wintergarden Spa, and a variety of dining and shopping options, plus Discovery Ridge Adventure Center with a ZipLine, tubing (summer and winter,) a climbing wall, and an arcade.

The amenities in Stoney Creek include a clubhouse, 27 holes of golf, clay tennis courts, pool, fitness center, and Lake Monocan with beach and water activities. Golf and the restaurant in the clubhouse at Stoney Creek are open to the public. Membership in the Wintergreen Club is open to property owners on the mountain and in Stoney Creek.

In addition to hosting families for vacations year round, Wintergreen Resort is also a favorite destination for meetings and conferences, hosting hundreds of events each year for government, corporate, medical, and educational entities. The location at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains affords spectacular views of the surrounding ridgelines and valleys, making it a favorite site for dozens of weddings each summer and fall.

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Ragged Mountain Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ragged Mountain Launches Free Learn to Ski and Snowboard Program
Mission: Affordable offers 3 free lessons per person including lift tickets and rentals

DANBURY, NEW HAMPSHIRE – They say things that seem too good to be true usually are, but that is apparently not the case at Ragged Mountain Resort this year. Starting December 10th, Ragged Mountain will be the only ski area in New England offering a free learn to ski and ride program which runs for the whole season.

Named after one of Ragged Mountain’s first ski instructors, the Bebe Wood Free Learn to Ski & Ride Program is designed for first time skiers and snowboarders who are looking to get into the sport with no risk to their wallet. Each participant can take three free beginner group lessons at any time during the season, and the lessons include free lower mountain lift tickets and free equipment rentals. The three lessons are designed to teach skills progressively, moving from one station to the next as a participant develops their skills and confidence.

“We wanted to give people a true introduction to skiing and snowboarding, and we named it after Bebe to honor someone who has been such an enduring and endearing member of our resort team for so long,” noted Terry Gregg, Ragged Mountain’s Learning Center Director. “Bebe has been here since day one encouraging folks to give this wonderful sport a try.” Now at the age of 90 and still one of the resort’s mountain hosts, Bebe says she is proud and honored to have the program named for her.

The Bebe Wood program will provide participants with three lessons, lower mountain lift tickets, and brand new rental gear from Rossignol – all for free. Lessons are available seven days a week, including holiday weeks, from 9 am to 1 pm. Each lesson will take approximately two hours. A team of experienced instructors, dedicated just to the Free Learn to Ski Program, will ensure participants’ first visit to a ski resort is the best experience possible.

“I learned how to ski at the age of four because my parents wanted to get the whole family involved in a winter activity, and downhill skiing was an affordable sport the entire family could enjoy,” explained Benjamin Hall, Marketing Manager at Ragged Mountain. “Now that I have my own family, it was hard to imagine trying to get us all into skiing or snowboarding because it has become pretty expensive in the years since I was a kid. That’s what Ragged Mountain has committed to change with our Mission: Affordable initiative. It’s the passion we have for winter sports that is helping to drive this. We want to get people up off their couches and outside enjoying winter.”

Renowned ski journalist Moira McCarthy has been writing about skiing for more than a decade, and in her opinion the comprehensive nature of the Bebe Wood program is both unprecedented and represents an exciting opportunity. “This is the best thing to happen to skiing in forever,” declared McCarthy when the program was announced. “I’m busy telling everyone I know who ever even considered skiing or riding about this program. It’s not only free, but convenient. Now is the time to learn!”

Participants must register in advance online at www.learntoskifree.com. They can choose to register for just their first lesson, or all three at the same time. They can register all three lessons for three consecutive days, or spread them out throughout the season.

After each lesson, anyone who wants to keep skiing or riding can purchase a Lower Mountain lift ticket and use of the Rossignol rental gear for only $20 for the rest of that day. To make it especially easy to stick with the sport, after graduating from the program, participants can purchase a season pass for only $69, good for the rest of the 2016/17 season.

Graduates of the three lesson program can also choose to purchase a brand new ski or snowboard package from Rossignol including skis, boots, bindings, and poles, or snowboard, boots, and bindings for only $299 for adults or $199 for juniors. These packages normally retail for $700 - $1000. Rossignol, one of the leading ski equipment manufacturers in the world, has partnered with Ragged Mountain to help make this kind of pricing possible because new skiers and snowboarders are the future of the sport.

“The question we keep getting now that the program has been launched and people are starting to catch wind of it is, ‘Is this too good to be true?’” stated Ryan Schramm, General Manager at Ragged Mountain. “I am so happy to tell folks there really isn’t a catch. It really is free, and it really is a comprehensive program. We truly wanted to introduce new people to the sport, and we understand in order to do so, we need to remove the hurdles which tend to be the cost of professional instruction and access to good equipment. Our goal is to turn participants into real skiers and riders for a lifetime, and we obviously hope they have a great experience here and choose to make Ragged Mountain their go-to ski area.”

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ABOUT RAGGED MOUNTAIN RESORT
Located in Danbury, New Hampshire just 98 miles from downtown Boston, Ragged Mountain Resort is situated on 2,100 acres on beautiful Ragged Mountain in the Lake’s Region. Ragged Mountain has 57 named ski trails, miles of hiking trails on-site, and plans for further expansion.

Ragged Mountain’s Mission: Affordable program offers three initiatives to help make skiing and snowboarding affordable for everyone from families to college students: 1) season passes for unlimited skiing and snowboarding range from $249 to $449 depending on the time of year they are purchased, 2) a comprehensive and free 3-lesson learn to ski or ride program that includes lessons, lift tickets, and equipment rental, and 3) a $25 credit towards next year’s season pass for anyone who refers a new participant to the Bebe Wood Free Learn to Ski & Ride Program once they complete the three lessons.

To make it easy for graduates of the program to continue with their new found sport, Mission: Affordable provides a season pass for the rest of the first year for only $69 and a season pass for the following year for only $199. Graduates of the 3-lesson program are also offered the opportunity to purchase a brand new Rossignol ski equipment package of skis, bindings, boots, and poles or a Rossignol snowboard equipment package of a snowboard, bindings, and boots for $299 for adults and $199 for kids. The equipment package is made possible by a partnership between Ragged Mountain and Rossignol, one of the world’s leading snow sports equipment manufacturers.

In addition to introducing Mission: Affordable for the 2016-2017 season, Ragged Mountain increased the capacity of their snowmaking reservoir from approximately 4 million gallons to approximately 20 million gallons. In the past decade, Ragged Mountain has also invested in hundreds of new high efficiency snow guns, added a high speed quad chair, and added slope-side and nearby lodging options.

For more information on Ragged Mountain, please visit www.raggedmountainresort.com

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Ragged Mountain Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RAGGED MOUNTAIN CHANGES SKI INDUSTRY BUSINESS MODEL TO ATTRACT NEW SKIERS
Program offers affordable season passes and a Free Learn to Ski & Ride Program

DANBURY, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Ragged Mountain Resort has changed its business model and in doing so has made a clear statement that it wants skiing and snowboarding to be accessible to the majority of New Englanders through a program called MISSION: AFFORDABLE. Ryan Schramm, General Manager at Ragged Mountain, explained the logic behind the change in strategy, “There is a cost barrier for many people in getting into the sports of skiing and snowboarding and in staying with the sports as their families grow.” Over the past decade, the ski industry has seen the price of skiing increase significantly with prices of over $100 for a single adult day lift ticket at some resorts. “At that level, skiing and riding is no longer a sport many people in New England can enjoy. We want to change that,” Schramm proclaimed.

MISSION: AFFORDABLE is comprised of two main offers. The first component is the lowest priced season pass price available at a full service resort in New England. Until September 15th, a full season pass to Ragged Mountain is $299, compared to full season pass prices ranging from $579 to over $1,000 at other ski resorts in the region. For comparison purposes, a “full season pass” means the pass is useable every day the mountain is open throughout the 2016 / 17 season. In other words, there are no “black-out dates” when the pass cannot be used as is common with other lower priced season passes. After September 15th, the price of a Mission: Affordable season pass at Ragged Mountain will increase to $349 and that price will be available until the 31st of October. Starting November 1st, the season pass price will be $449. Season passes can be purchased by either visiting the Ragged Mountain website, or calling the resort.

The second component of the MISSION: AFFORDABLE program is designed to help introduce people who have never tried skiing or snowboarding to the sports by offering a three lesson Free Learn to Ski or Ride program. Named after one of Ragged’s first ski instructors, the Bebe Wood’s Free Learn to Ski & Ride program presented by Rossignol is designed to help people learn to ski or snowboard over the course of three lessons at no cost to them. Ragged Mountain will provide three lessons and the corresponding lift tickets during the lesson and the rental of ski or snowboard equipment at no cost to the participant. Ragged Mountain is the only resort in the country to offer a lesson program for free all season long.

“The goal of our new Bebe Wood’s Free Learn to Ski & Ride program is to break down the barriers of cost, equipment, and learning and therefore introduce tons of new folks to the joys of controlled sliding on snow,” noted Terry Gregg, Ragged Mountain’s Ski School Director. “We have partnered with Rossignol who is gracious enough to be backing Ragged Mountain in this exciting endeavor, and in exchange we will be featuring all new Rossignol equipment. Plus, with our terrain based, graduated ‘learn at your own pace’ process, we foresee this program being revolutionary for the industry in terms of converting more young families, couples, and individuals in to the sport.” To ensure an adequate student to instructor ratio, participants must register in advance on www.learntoskifree.com.

To help recruit more first timers to skiing and snowboarding, Ragged Mountain is offering a $25 credit towards next year’s season pass to anyone who refers a new participant to the Free Learn to Ski & Ride program once the three lessons are completed. “Most people are introduced to the sport of skiing by a friend or family member,” Ben Hall, Ragged Mountain’s Marketing Manager acknowledged, “So we want to give experienced skiers and riders a little extra incentive to bring more people into our sport and to our ski area. And, Ragged Mountain is just happy to bring skiing and riding back to its days of glory in New England, when a family of four could afford to spend the weekend at the ski resort enjoying the fresh winter mountain air.”

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ABOUT RAGGED MOUNTAIN RESORT
Located in Danbury, New Hampshire just 98 miles from downtown Boston, Ragged Mountain Resort is situated on 2,100 acres in the beautiful White Mountains. Ragged Mountain has 57 named ski trails, miles of hiking trails on-site, and extensive plans for further expansion. Ragged Mountain was purchased in 2007 by Salt Lake City based developer Pacific Group. Since the purchase of Ragged Mountain, Pacific Group has invested more than $20 million in improvements and expansion with the ultimate goal of developing a year round resort with residential and second home properties. Improvements to date include a new detachable high speed quad up Spear Peak in 2014, building 3 new slope-side Cardigan Cabins, and purchasing the New Hampshire Mountain Inn located only minutes from the mountain.

For more information on Ragged Mountain, please visit www.raggedmountainresort.com

ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP
Over the past 25 years, Salt Lake City based Pacific Group and its affiliates have been instrumental in the development and/or construction at numerous leading mountain resort properties including Whistler in British Columbia, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley in California, Copper Mountain in Colorado, and Solitude Resort in Utah. Additionally, Pacific Group has been active in commercial real estate acquisition, development, and construction with over 1,000 successfully completed projects. These projects include some of the top resort properties in North America plus student housing, commercial office buildings, retail stores and centers, industrial business parks, multi-family urban condominium properties, and master planned resort communities. An affiliate of Pacific Group, Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., manages Ragged Mountain and also owns and operates Wisp Resort in Maryland, Wintergreen Resort in Virginia, and Mount Washington Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada.

For more information on Pacific Group, please visit www.pgc.us

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Mount Washington Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS AT MOUNT WASHINGTON
Over two million dollars invested in snowmaking, grooming, restaurant, and retail.

COMOX VALLEY, VANCOUVER ISLAND – Mount Washington Alpine Resort confirmed what visitors to the mountain this summer suspected. There is a substantial amount of money being invested at the resort this year. Over two million dollars will be spent on improvements to infrastructure, equipment, and service outlets for the upcoming winter season, in addition to the investment made this summer to bring back mountain biking. According to Peter Gibson, Mount Washington’s General Manager, “These investments will improve the on-snow product and the quality of our guest experience from new groomers to a new restaurant to new rental skis.”

For the benefit of slope conditions, the Resort confirmed the purchase of three snow cats from Prinoth, a leading manufacturer of snow grooming machines. George Trousdell, Director of Operations, indicated the resort will add one winch cat and two conventional cats to the existing fleet of five groomers to significantly improve the on-snow experience in both the Alpine and Nordic areas.

Trousdell has also been busy studying proposals from three snowmaking equipment manufacturers and developing plans.“There are a number of options, and since we are committed to designing and installing a state of the art system which achieves maximum production and energy efficiency in this particularly difficult climate, we want to make sure we put the right snow guns in the right places,” explained Trousdell. “For this season, we will continue our test by installing ten more snow guns which will be enough to cover the tubing hill area and our basic beginner terrain. We will learn a lot from this new technology, and we will be able to expand on the overall system next summer.”

Besides the snow guns, the biggest physical change that guests will notice in the base area is a new restaurant where the retail store used to be and a new retail experience where the coffee shop was last year. Tim Defert, Director of Hospitality, led the renovation of the space which will include 80 new restaurant seats to improve service on busy weekends and holidays. Defert noted, “The menu has been developed around a bakery in the morning and bistro in the afternoon concept. With great food and big picture windows facing the mountain and Strathcona Park, I’m sure it will become a favorite place to meet and hang out.”

Mount Washington also announced it has partnered with Rossignol to bring an industry leading retail concept to the mountain. A larger, more innovative ski shop will move into the east end of the Alpine Lodge and the space will undergo a complete renovation. Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations, said the store will have a very contemporary feel in its expanded space. Along with the traditional ski and snowboard gear from Rossignol and other suppliers, the General Store has been integrated into the new location as a small French themed market. The Petit Market will sell grocery items as well as beer and wine.

To round out the retail experience, Mount Washington and Rossignol will present a new Rossignol Demo Centre near the base of the Eagle Chairlift. Sharpe said the design of the Centre will be reminiscent of a high-end new car showroom where guests will be able to learn about the technology behind skis, boards and boots. To put all that new knowledge to use, a fleet of 30 demo skis and 10 demo boards will be available so guests will have the opportunity to take the gear out for a test drive. Boot fitting and repair services for all types of gear will also be offered in the Rossignol Demo Centre.

In conjunction with the expanded retail and demo program at Mount Washington, the resort is introducing two Rossignol Experience Centres, one in the Alpine Lodge, home of the alpine ski school and rental fleet, and the other at Raven Lodge, which is the center of Nordic activities. In addition to explanatory graphics and displays, both the alpine and Nordic rental shops will receive an influx of new equipment, including over 500 new pairs of skis, 100 new snowboards and 500 new pairs of boots, all from the Resort’s ski and snowboard equipment partner, Rossignol. Guests can expect to get the best gear available when renting which means a better experience on the snow, whether on the cross-country trails or on the alpine ski runs.

Gibson indicated two other initiatives round out the investment for this coming winter, a new point of sale software system to meet the new standards for customer information security and a new logo which will be introduced as part of this year’s season pass ad campaign to reflect the progress the resort is making towards improving the guest experience in every facet of its operation. To complete the new products offered by Mount Washington this year, the resort announced season passes are now on sale with early season pricing until October 10th. After an absence last year, the resort has reintroduced its Midweek season pass and will return a popular product to the line-up, the six-pack of tickets which can be shared among family or friends.

More information on how to become a season’s pass member is available on www.mountwashington.ca. Purchases can be made online, over the phone, or by visiting the Season Pass office at the mountain.

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Wisp Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INTRODUCING THE LODGE AT WISP
Over $1.5 Million in Renovations launches a Rebranded Hotel

Deep Creek Lake, MD (November 7, 2016) – As part of a 3 year $3.7 million renovation, Wisp Resort recently announced a rebranding of the Wisp Resort Hotel which will hence forth be known as The Lodge at Wisp. The renovation project on the hotel began in the Fall of 2015 and will continue thru Spring 2018.

The Lodge at Wisp will welcome guests with significant changes and improvements to both the interior and exterior of the property. The upgrades are designed to give the hotel guests a heightened resort experience with more contemporary accommodations, new outdoor gathering spaces, and an overall more modern and functional design.

The 169 room slope side hotel began the major overhaul in the Fall of 2015 and to date over $1.5 million of the work has been completed. The exterior changes include a new entrance featuring a Porte Cocherè that creates a grand sense of arrival to the resort by welcoming guests with an outdoor gas fireplace, a timber-frame structure with stacked stone façade and thoughtful lighting. The new entrance surroundings are enhanced with landscaping highlighted by a dramatic waterfall, benches and a pergola walkway. The hotel exterior received a fresh coat of paint in a new color palate of earthy tones to match the Porte Cocherè.

Interior renovations include a redesigned and updated Front Desk and Check-in Area to compliment the new entrance. 100 rooms on all six floors in the Tower Section of the hotel have been renovated with freshly painted walls, new wall coverings, artwork featuring local photography, modern bedroom and living area furnishings, plush bed linens, new mattresses as well as upgraded lighting and fixtures. Sixteen new Business Class King Suites have been introduced into the guest room mix. The remaining 69 rooms on three floors in the Lodge Section of the hotel received all new mattresses with plans to complete the renovation of that portion of the rooms by Spring 2018.

Currently in progress at The Lodge at Wisp are upgrades to conference rooms, new audio visual equipment, a new fitness center, exterior signage, courtyards with fire pits and enhanced landscaping features. Construction on the current work will be completed in time for ski season. Work will continue in the spring on an additional courtyard on the east side of the hotel plus renovations to the lobby and a new front porch for the hotel.

Wisp Resort is Maryland’s only all-season ski, golf and recreation resort, overlooking Deep Creek Lake from Marsh Mountain in the heart of Garrett County, the state’s westernmost county. With more than 65 miles of shoreline, Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. Wisp Resort offer 172 acres of skiable terrain along with a Mountain Park for snow tubing, mountain coaster and ice skating and a Nordic Center for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Spring, summer and fall feature a long list of outdoor recreation including three canopy tour zip lines, segway tours, archery, orienteering, chairlift rides, mountain coaster, paddleboard and kayak rentals, downhill mountain biking, gem mining and disc golf. Groups gather in Wisp Resort’s 40,000 sq ft of function space for meetings, conferences, retreats, reunions and weddings.

For more information about Wisp Resort, call 844.259.0267 or visit the website at www.wispresort.com.

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wispresort.com     296 Marsh Hill Road, McHenry, MD 21541     844.259.0267

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Ragged On A Mission, Summer 2016 article screenshot.

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Mount Washington Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BIKE PARK AT MOUNT WASHINGTON TO OPEN JULY 15
Fun, flowy, smooth and fast is the new mantra

COMOX VALLEY, VANCOUVER ISLAND – Mount Washington Alpine Resort announced lift-served mountain biking would open for the summer season on July 15th after a three year hiatus. “We have been anxious to bring mountain biking back to Mount Washington, but with the deep snow from last winter, we had to wait to get to the top of the runs. Our trail crew shoveled the final remnants of snow off the bike park terrain last week, so we will be able to finish the earthwork and open our Park with some new trails and some old favourites, and we will be opening it in amazing shape,” explained Mount Washington’s Bike Park Manager, Mike Manara.

Mount Washington's Bike Park will be open six days a week from 11:30am to 5:30pm. On Thursdays, the Bike Park will extend the hours until 7pm so more riders can get on the trails after work. Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations at the resort, touted the Thursday evening lift service, “With the longer daylight hours, it’s really nice to be able to get up during the week and get some riding in later in the day. Those evenings will also feature specials in the restaurant, so it should make for a great way to get the most out of the prime biking season.”

“We are taking a little different approach to the trails this year based on changes in mountain bikes and riding techniques which have occurred just over the past few years. We will have a number of new or renovated downhill trails plus 10 kilometers of cross-country mountain biking trails, and they will all have a smoother flow from one feature to the next and be more integrated into the terrain than in the past,” noted Manara. “This new version of the Mount Washington Bike Park will give riders of all abilities and tastes something to enjoy. It’s all about fun and flowy.”

The Bike Park will open with up to six trails, and more trails will be added during the summer. Among the highlights are the “Green Line,” which is the resort’s easiest downhill trail. It is the longest uninterrupted mountain bike descent on Vancouver Island and all levels of bikers will have fun riding it. The venerable “Back in Black” will re-open with the lower part of the trail having been reengineered by its original builder, Tony Radomi.

Manara seemed particularly pleased to introduce two new trails. One is his trail crew’s newest flow trail, and the other is the resort’s first cross-country trial. “We have reclaimed and rebuilt some of our past trail system and added in a number of new sections to create a new blue flow trail for intermediate riders named Hwy 19,” Manara announced. In addition, after numerous hikes sourcing out a cross country mountain biking trail, the “Finger Trail” will be designated as the first XC trail in the Bike Park. It is a loop that takes riders out to a spectacular view of the Beaufort Range after a ride past lakes and tall evergreens.

Once Mount Washington’s Bike Park is open for the season, the trail crew will spend time maintaining the existing trails while continuing to rebuild some of the original trails on the mountain and creating a few new trails. Next up on the build list for the trail crew are “Helter Skelter,” a black technical trail, and “Time Warp,” a black flow trail. Each currently has a machine and full crew working on them. Once that work is complete, another one and a half kilometers of blue trail will be added to extend an existing trail. As time and weather permit, the trail crew will then tackle the technical “Monster Mile” downhill trail off the Eagle lift before finishing the summer by adding another blue flow trail and another XC trail.

“We are very pleased to welcome mountain bikers back next week,” said Mount Washington’s General Manager, Peter Gibson. “The effort the trail crew has put in for the last thirty days is astounding, and it shows in the quality of the trails that are ready to ride.”

The Mount Washington Bike Park will open every day from July 15th until September 5th (weather permitting) and for an additional three weekends in September. Accommodation packages, lessons, bike rentals and guided rides are all available. For more information go to www.mountwashington.ca.

ABOUT MOUNT WASHINGTON
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is located just 30 minutes from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and hosts over 300,000 visits per year. In the winter guests enjoy five chairlifts and five carpet lifts accessing over 1,700 acres and 1,657 vertical feet of alpine terrain. The resort also has 55 kilometers of designated cross-country skiing and 25km of snowshoeing trails along with a dedicated Nordic lodge.

Summer activities at Mount Washington include lift-accessed mountain biking, a new quad bungy trampoline, Mile High scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, miniature golf, boardwalk chess and checkers, shopping and dining. The resort also plays host to over 30 weddings per year plus numerous group and corporate events.

Off-island visitors can use WestJet, Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal Airlines which provide air service to the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) or they can fly right into Comox Marina via Harbour Air. Additional carriers serving the Victoria Airport (YYJ) include Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines out of Seattle.

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Ragged Mountain Resort Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ragged Mountain Resort Expands Snowmaking Capacity Five-Fold

DANBURY, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Ragged Mountain Resort received its alteration of terrain permit this week and immediately began construction on a large scale project to add water storage to increase snowmaking capacity five-fold. As the machinery started to rumble and large back loaders dug into what will be the expansion of an old snowmaking pond, Ragged Mountain General Manager, Ryan Schramm explained, “This expansion will add 20 million gallons to the current 4 million gallon pond allowing us to more readily open terrain in the early season so we can help out Mother Nature when we need to.” The new 24 million gallon pond will feed into an existing 10 million gallon pond at the base of the mountain.

Along with the expansion of the snowmaking pond, Schramm also addressed some other improvements on hill to enhance the snowmaking capabilities. “We have installed several new pipes on key trails this summer, creating a more efficient system so our team can make snow on beginner terrain that is essential in the early season and for our new Free Learn to Ski Program.”

Ben Hall, Director of Marketing at Ragged Mountain, added, “For years Ragged Mountain has been known by the locals as the place to go for its variety of terrain: top-to-bottom beginner trails, open cruiser runs, and expert glades. When it snows, this place is hard to beat. The major increase in snowmaking capacity will help us provide the classic New England ski experience when the snow isn’t falling and in the early parts of the season. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all still going to be doing our snow dance this year to appease Ullr and the other snow gods,” Hall noted, “But, we also want to stack the odds in our favor, just in case our dance isn’t enough.”

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ABOUT RAGGED MOUNTAIN RESORT
Located in Danbury, New Hampshire just 98 miles from downtown Boston, Ragged Mountain Resort is situated on 2,100 acres in the beautiful White Mountains. Ragged Mountain has 57 named ski trails, miles of hiking trails on-site, and plans for further expansion.

Ragged Mountain was purchased in 2007 by Salt Lake City based developer Pacific Group. Since the purchase of Ragged Mountain, Pacific Group has invested millions in improvements and expansion with the ultimate goal of developing a year round resort with residential and second home properties. Improvements to date include the purchase of a couple hundred new snowmaking guns, installation of a new detachable high speed quad up Spear Peak, building the new slope-side Cardigan Cabins, and purchasing the New Hampshire Mountain Inn located only minutes from the mountain.

For more information on Ragged Mountain, please visit www.raggedmountainresort.com

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Blakeslee Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPR PROPERTIES ACQUIRES ASSETS OF WINTERGREEN RESORT
Pacific Group Resorts to lease and operate Wintergreen

PARK CITY, UTAH – EPR Properties (EPR: NYSE,) a real estate investment trust (REIT) purchased the assets of Wintergreen Resort in conjunction with its operator for the property, Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. Wintergreen is about 45 minutes southwest of Charlottesville, Virginia. Pacific Group Resorts will lease the property from EPR and manage the resort.

Hank Thiess, General Manager of Wintergreen Resort and a longtime industry veteran, expressed his enthusiasm for the transaction, “I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years and I’ve known the leadership of Pacific Group Resorts for over 20 years. They have tons of experience in this industry at some of the most iconic resorts in the West. My management team and I are excited for the possibilities this partnership will bring to our members and guests.”

“Wintergreen has great facilities,” noted Mark K. Fischer, speaking on behalf of Pacific Group Resorts. “Between ski, golf, tennis, and meeting space, Wintergreen is an active year round playground, and it is right next to the Shenandoah National Forest, so it is one of the most beautiful resorts in the eastern U.S. We are very much looking forward to helping the staff deliver the best possible guest experiences.”

Pacific Group Resorts also owns Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire, and worked in concert with EPR to acquire Wisp Resort in Western Maryland in 2012. EPR Properties’ total investment portfolio exceeds $3.9 billion and the company adheres to rigorous underwriting and investing criteria centered on key industry and property level cash flow standards.

In commenting about potential changes and opportunities at Wintergreen, Fischer remarked, “The executive team at PGRI has a broad base of experience in mountain resort operations and in the master planning and development of ski resorts. We hope to work with the management team at Wintergreen to maximize the customer experience through a combination of meticulous planning and operating enhancements and efficiencies. The people at Wintergreen are top notch, and we are delighted to be working with them on the possibilities for growth here.”

The new buyers purchased Wintergreen from James C. Justice of West Virginia. Justice had acquired the resort in the summer of 2012 and had injected capital into the property to make improvements and to stabilize the operations. Pacific Group Resorts intends to work with the staff and with property owners in the area to see how they can make it an even more enjoyable place to visit.

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About Wintergreen Resort: Wintergreen Resort is an 11,000-acre, four-season resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains southwest of Charlottesville, Va. This beautiful hideaway is the ultimate vacation and conference spot. Nearly 230 condominium-style accommodations, 45 holes of championship golf, snow skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing an award-winning tennis program a full-service, destination spa 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and savory dining options comprise the year round resort. The resort is located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in beautiful central Virginia near Charlottesville, just 90 minutes from Richmond, Va., three hours from Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, N.C., five and a half hours from Philadelphia, and eight hours from Atlanta. For more information, guests can call (434) 325-2200 or visit the resort’s web site at www.wintergreenresort.com.

About EPR Properties: EPR Properties (EPR: NYSE) is a specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in properties in select market segments which require unique industry knowledge, while offering the potential for stable and attractive returns. Our total investments exceed $3.9 billion and our primary investment segments are Entertainment, Recreation and Education. We adhere to rigorous underwriting and investing criteria centered on key industry and property level cash flow standards. We believe our focused niche approach provides a competitive advantage, and the potential for higher growth and better yields. Further information is available at www.eprkc.com.

About Pacific Group Resorts: Pacific Group Resorts (PGRI) now operates three ski and snowboard resorts and four golf courses, and senior management of the company has a combined 60 years of executive or ownership experience in the industry. PGRI is an affiliate of Pacific Group which has built and developed signature base facilities and villages at Whistler in British Columbia, Mammoth and Squaw Valley in California, Solitude and Snow Basin in Utah, Jackson Hole in Wyoming and Copper Mountain in Colorado in addition to a wide range of other commercial properties in 27 states. www.pgri.us

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Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS BUYS MOUNT WASHINGTON ALPINE RESORT
British Columbia ski area becomes the fourth in the portfolio

COMOX VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island, British Columbia (MWAR) was purchased by a Canadian subsidiary of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI), a multi resort holding company headquartered in Park City, Utah. The sale was announced today and includes all of the Alpine and Nordic skiing terrain and operations and most of the development land near and around the base of the resort. The current ownership group will retain two development parcels.

Peter Gibson, General Manager of Mount Washington Alpine Resort, noted, “George Stuart and his ownership group have invested a tremendous amount of money and energy into Mount Washington over the past 25 years. They built something to be proud of, but George is 74, and he’s decided it’s time to retire from the ski industry.”

Gibson continued, “We are looking forward to working with PGRI to take Mount Washington to the next level with improvements like snowmaking where they have a strong background.” Mount Washington will be the fourth resort in Pacific Group Resort’s current portfolio. PGRI’s other resorts are in the eastern U.S. and have virtually 100% snowmaking coverage.

Pacific Group Resorts’ President and CEO, Vern Greco, explained, “We’ve been working on the transition of the resort to our ownership for a couple years now. It finally worked out that this was the right time, and we are very excited to have the opportunity to add Mount Washington to our portfolio.”

Greco said he expected the staff and daily ops would remain largely unchanged from previous years, but he indicated one of the priorities would be to add snowmaking infrastructure at the resort. Mount Washington historically has been one of the snowiest resorts in Canada with a long term average of over 450 inches of snow annually. The past two ski seasons have been below the historical trends helping to explain why virtually all significant ski resorts in North America now have snowmaking infrastructure to provide confidence to skiers who want to be able to rely on good conditions.

Greco added, “We are very happy to be working with Peter Gibson and his management group. They are industry pros, and we’re proud to have them join our team. Peter started working at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort clearing ski runs with a chainsaw in 1978, a year before it opened for skiing. He’s been a part of helping this resort grow from the very beginning.”

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ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS
Pacific Group Resorts (PGRI) now operates four ski and snowboard resorts and four golf courses, plus numerous other resort activities such as adventure parks with mountain coasters, canopy tours, ropes courses, tubing, and lift served mountain biking and hiking trails. The company’s Wisp Resort has a state of the art man-made white water rafting course at the top of the mountain which hosted the 2014 World Championships for kayaking and canoeing. www.pgri.us

PGRI operates the four season Wisp Resort in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland and the year round Wintergreen Resort in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains under long term leases with a publicly traded REIT, EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR). PGRI runs the ski operations of Ragged Mountain Resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains under a management contract and owns and operates Mount Washington Alpine Resort on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island.

PGRI is an affiliate of Pacific Group which has built and developed signature base area facilities and real estate projects at Whistler in British Columbia, at Mammoth and Squaw Valley in California, at Solitude and Snow Basin in Utah, at Jackson Hole in Wyoming and at Copper Mountain in Colorado. Pacific Group has also developed master planned communities such as the 14,000 acre Wolf Creek Ranch east of Park City, Utah.

ABOUT MOUNT WASHINGTON ALPINE RESORT
Mount Washington Alpine Resort, located just 20 minutes from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, is the Island’s only full service ski and summer resort hosting approximately 300,000 visits per year. The guests enjoy five chairlifts and five carpet lifts accessing over 1,700 acres and 1,657 vertical feet of alpine terrain. The resort also has 55 kilometers of designated cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails along with a dedicated Nordic lodge. www.mountwashington.ca

Summer activities at Mount Washington include scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, miniature golf, boardwalk chess and checkers, and dining. The resort also plays host to over 30 weddings per year plus numerous group and corporate events.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort was opened in 1979 by two Campbell River businessmen, Henry Norie and Alex Linton. In 1989, the founders sold their interests to George Stuart and a group of shareholders who invested into the resort by upgrading lifts, adding terrain and base area buildings, and investing in infrastructure and roads. Twenty-five years later, Mr. Stuart’s group sold the resort and most of the developable land near the base area to a Canadian subsidiary of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc.

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