Today it was announced that the Sununu family is leading a group of local investors and has completed the purchase of New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Ski Area from Booth Creek Resorts, a California based resort group. For the first time in almost 15 years the assets including the Waterville Valley Ski Area, Waterville Valley Nordic Center, Waterville Valley Conference Center and Town Square are now back under local control.
Chris Sununu is heading up the efforts and will serve as Waterville Valley Ski Resort’s new Chief Executive Officer. Bob Fries, formally VP and General Manager of Waterville Valley during the Tom Corcoran ownership years will return as the new president. Since leaving Waterville Valley in 1992, Fries has managed resorts from Breckenridge, Colorado to Stratton, Vermont including a stint at The Olympic Authority in Lake Placid.
“Our vision for Waterville Valley puts the family vacation experience as a top priority,” said Sununu. “My family has been coming to Waterville Valley for 30 years and several of us have homes there. We want to preserve what is so special about Waterville Valley and at the same time begin to invest in the mountain to ensure the best possible skiing experience.”
“Our team is coming in with some tremendous long term plans to make Waterville Valley the premier resort destination in New England”, said Fries, “Although time is short before the ski season, we still hope to make noticeable improvements for this winter. We are all very excited.”
Tom Gross, local resident and current owner/operator of the White Mountain Athletic Club will also be joining the executive team to manage the groups interests in the valley itself. “We’ll do whatever it takes to bring that magic back and give the vacationer and day skier what they expect and deserve”, said Gross. “Waterville Valley will be a great experience with great value.”
The Sununu family has strong personal and professional ties to Waterville Valley. The Annual Christa McAuliffe Ski Invitational was originated and supported by Governor and Mrs. John H. Sununu from 1988 to 1994 with proceeds benefiting the Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical Trust Fund, a program dedicated to excellence in education. Both the former Governor and his son, former Senator John E. Sununu have homes in Waterville Valley, enjoying the many year-round recreational activities the resort has to offer with their families.
“The Sununu family is perfect for taking over the ownership of Waterville Valley,” commented Booth Creek Resort’s President Chris Ryman.” We will miss Waterville as part of Booth Creek Resorts, but know this is a positive ownership change with the long term ties the Sununu’s have had in the community.”
Waterville Valley, one of New Hampshire’s most popular family ski areas since 1966, is well known for its ski racing heritage, WVBBTS ski club (2010 Olympic Freestyle Moguls Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney is an alumnus) and the self-contained village designed as a four season resort by Olympian Skier Tom Corcoran. The ski area has one of the state’s highest elevations at 4,000 feet with 52 trails on 255 acres, 12 lifts and 100% snowmaking.