State officials announced Wednesday night they had approved the lease transfer of the Mount Sunapee Ski Area to Colorado-based Vail Resorts.
New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Commissioner Sarah Stewart expressed her appreciation for both the public and Vail’s engagement during the approval process. “We have come to the conclusion that New Hampshire can be confident that Vail is a great fit for our state,” Stewart added in a statement.
Vail announced its purchase of the resort in June. That left many questioning whether the state would approve a transfer of its lease, since the ski area lies on Sunapee State Park Land.
During a public hearing in July, some voiced concerns that Vail would further develop the land, but Vail said it did not currently have any plans to do so.
In the public comment period that ensued, the state received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the Vail takeover.
Deb Flanders with the Friends of Mount Sunapee attended the announcement and question session on Wednesday night and remains cautiously optimistic. But she had some concerns.
"I think Vail would be a really good operator, I just, I'm not a fan of privatization of ski resorts,” Flanders said. “I think that once they go public, it's all about the money."
The state has also offered an amendment, which would give it more control if the lease were to come up for transfer again.