SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. Oct. 13, 2020 – Mountain News, producers of leading global skier and snowboarder information websites, acquired from Vail Resorts by investment group with ski industry ties.
A substantial portion of the assets of Mountain News Corporation have been acquired from Vail Resorts by an investment group led by Chad Dyer and Jon Brelig, two ski industry digital pioneers. The 52-year-old international company provides snow reports, news and information of interest to skiers and snowboarders through its OnTheSnow (North America) and Skiinfo (European) website portals.
The new company retains the name Mountain News and will be led by Dyer. The transaction includes the assets of Mountain News North America, Mountain News GmbH, and Skiinfo AS.
The purchase of Mountain News brings Dyer and Brelig full circle from their college days. Dyer built and launched the ski industry’s first digital product in 1993, bringing ski and weather conditions into more than 300 college and university campus-wide information systems.
Dyer joined Mountain News after completing graduate school and created and managed the company’s digital division including OnTheSnow.com, its flagship product. Mountain News grew significantly domestically and in Europe and was acquired by Vail Resorts in 2010. Dyer was a Vice President at Vail Resorts from 2010 – 2019 and is currently Managing Director of Digital Ventures, a private equity fund focused on online publishing.
Brelig, an avid skier, launched SkiReport.com from his dorm room in 2003. It became, over time, the world’s most downloaded app for skiers and snowboarders. It was the first app that allowed skiers to report first-hand ski conditions from the mountains, allowing users to not only receive the official reports from resorts but also photos and comments from skiers while on the mountains. He ran the business for over 8 years before Mountain News acquired the company in 2011.
“Jon and I are thrilled to reengage into the Mountain News business,” Dyer said. “OnTheSnow and Skiinfo are well-established consumer brands visited by more than 38 million winter sports enthusiasts across the world in the last year alone. No other media platform in the mountain travel sector comes close in terms of scale or the ability to reach skiers or snowboarders.”
“The company will continue to focus on producing world-class snow and weather reports, while developing digital products that allow resorts and tourism organizations to connect with the mountain travel consumer” says Brelig.
Positive industry reaction to the acquisition has come swiftly with Mike Pierson, long- time producer and former president of Mountain Travel Symposium, noting that with “Dyer and Brelig breathing new life into what was already one of the most important way resorts across the globe connect to skiers and snowboarders is ideal at this critical juncture for the mountain travel industry.”
Raelene Davis, VP Marketing & Operations at Ski Utah agreed, saying, “The impact of COVID-19 around the world brings significant challenges for both resorts and consumers and the long-earned credibility of Mountain News products will be especially welcomed this year as the industry and its participants adapt to new norms.”