The group of local buyers offering to purchase the White Pass ski area includes five Yakima residents who have long-standing ties to the area and the ski area, according to a press release.
A Yakima-based partnership led by Andrew Sundquist, David Severn, Dan Plath, Adam Dolsen and Patrick Smith made the takeover bid earlier this month, and it will be considered by shareholders in a vote on Tuesday, said Kevin McCarthy, former White Pass general. director and current chairman of the board.
If approved by the group of around 150 shareholders, the transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of this year.
In a statement, McCarthy said each of the partners live in Yakima. They have families that have been here for generations and are regulars on the White Pass every weekend skiing with their children ages 1-15.
“We started our succession planning process several years ago and have taken a slow, methodical approach to finding the right opportunity,” said McCarthy. “We couldn’t be more excited to have a young local group of active and interested skiers taking the reins of our ski area.
“While there have been significant changes in the ski industry lately, both locally and nationally, this transaction offers an alternative route where White Pass will continue to be owned and operated locally by the next generation,” he added. “The response from the majority of our shareholders to this potential sale has been overwhelmingly positive. “
If the transaction continues, current management and staff will continue to run the ski area on a day-to-day basis, as they have for years, the statement said. McCarthy will continue in his role as President and Rikki Cooper will continue in his role as CEO.
“We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with and be guided by the White Pass team. They and so many others in our community over the years have put a lot of effort into making this happen. White Pass a truly exceptional place – a tradition we aim to continue, ”David Severn, one of the potential new buyers, said in the release.
“Plus, as this is the mountain that each of us grew up skiing with our families on when we were little and now do the same with our own young children, we understand the importance of maintaining the family culture of the ski area. “
“White Pass is a truly amazing place that is loved by my family, friends and the community at large,” added Andrew Sundquist, Partner. “Our goal and motivation to get involved with White Pass is to keep it locally owned and operated, and to ensure that it maintains the friendly and relaxed mountain environment for the skiers that we all love and appreciate.”
The White Pass ski area is located on US 12 between Naches and Packwood. It was originally founded in 1955 by a group of local Yakima residents. Today, the resort comprises 1,402 acres, eight ski lifts, over 2,000 feet of vertical land, and two mountain lodges.