New England Ski Presence: 1984-1996
S-K-I Ltd. Overview and History:
S-K-I Ltd. (Sherburne-Killington-Investments) was formed in the fall of 1984, consisting of Killington, VT and Mt. Snow, VT. Preston Leete Smith, founder of Killington, was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. 500,000 new shares of stock were issued in a 1985 IPO.
On April 28, 1986, Carinthia was acquired and subsequently connected to Mt. Snow, VT.
In 1988, S-K-I Ltd. purchased Goldmine, CA for an estimated $10,000,000. The ski area would be renamed Bear Mountain.
By 1989, S-K-I Ltd. owned three ski areas and 6,400 acres of land.
In 1991, S-K-I Ltd. entered into a 3 year lease to operate Haystack, VT.
In July of 1994, S-K-I Ltd. purchased Haystack, VT for $4.5 million.
On August 24, 1994, S-K-I Ltd. acquired 51% of the outstanding shares of capital stock of Sugarloaf Mountain Corporation for Sugarloaf, ME.
On October 31, 1994, S-K-I Ltd. purchased the assets of Waterville Valley, NH from the Waterville Company, Inc. for $10,037,631.
At this point, according to Pres Smith, "about 1994-5 my management team and I concluded that given ski industry circumstances and perceived resort values that we would likely see short to medium term growth as unrewarding and below par for our stockholders. We concluded that selling out for cash would be the prudent route."
On October 23, 1995, S-K-I Ltd. sold Bear Mountain, CA to Fibreboard Corp. for $20,500,000, using the funds to pay down debt.
On February 13, 1996, the Board of Directors of S-K-I Ltd. recommended a $104.6 million (plus $58.5 million of debt assumption) merger offer from LBO Resort Enterprises Corp. The shareholders of S-K-I Ltd. approved the offer on June 10, 1996. The following day, the United States Justice Department ordered the new company to sell Cranmore and Waterville Valley due to anti-trust concerns.
According to Pres Smith, "The lawyers decided that the first step in designing the buyout structure would be to have a preliminary merger (two-thirds vote). This step would bring 100% cash over to S-K-I after which we would distribute that to stockholders. When the ink dried LBO had a bundle of assets but there was no longer
an S-K-I Ltd. nor any S-K-I Management to merge with."
On June 28, 1996, the deal between LBO Resort Enterprises Corp. and S-K-I Ltd. formally closed, resulting in the formation of American Skiing Company. Leslie B. Otten of LBO became President and Chief Executive Officer of the new company.
S-K-I Ltd. Resources on NewEnglandSkiHistory.com:
Preston Smith Biography
S-K-I Ltd. External Links:
Last updated: August 3, 2015