History of Sales and Transfer of Lease Agreement


April 1998: The proposal by Okemo Mountain, Inc. (Tim and Diane Mueller) to lease the ski area portion of Mt. Sunapee State Park is accepted by the State of NH. 

July 1998:  Initial lease term between Okemo Mountain, Inc. and State of NH signed. Lease includes language allowing lease transfers, “The Operator may assign, or otherwise transfer any interest in this Agreement with the prior written approval of the State. Services required under this Agreement may be delegated or subcontracted by the Operator with the prior written approval of the State. Such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld by the State.

July 1998: Okemo Mountain, Inc. assigns a collateral interest to BankBoston to secure financing for projects at Mount Sunapee and other Okemo properties. Lease mortgaged.

April 1999: Okemo assigns full interest to a new NH-based entity, Sunapee Difference LLC. Okemo states that this is done for tax and branding purposes.

November 2001: Sunapee Difference LLC assigns a collateral interest to KeyBank of Ohio to secure a $300,000 mortgage loan to finance development at Okemo Mountain and further improvements at Mount Sunapee.

March 2002: Newly-formed Triple Peaks LLC (TPLLC) acquires Sunapee Difference LLC as subsidiary. No lease transfer recorded, though the parent company TPLLC now owns the lease.

March 2004: TPLLC (through its sub-entity Sunapee Difference LLC) assigns a collateral interest to KeyBank of Ohio to secure an undisclosed refinancing related to TPLLC’s acquisition of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado.

December 2008:  TPLLC (formerly Okemo Mountain, Inc. owned by the Muellers) sells Mt. Sunapee’s ski area lease to CNL Resort Lifestyle Properties. TPLLC sell all three of their ski resorts to CNL; Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, Okemo Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire for $132 Million. CNL is a Florida-based, public but non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT). TPLLC (Muellers) has an operating agreement with CNL regarding the three ski areas.

The New England Ski History link helps to understand how a real estate entity buys and sells their properties for investments. Because a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is used there are usually timelines in which they must sell the investments for their stockholders. This link also shows how ski properties are subsequently sold again and again. In the case of Mt. Sunapee State Park, the ski area is owned by the State of New Hampshire and has been sold again and again.  https://www.newenglandskihistory.com/skiareamanagement/cnllifestyleproperties.php

November 2016: CNL sells the lease and holdings to Och Ziff (owners of Oz Real Estate), a New York based hedge fund. This sale is complicated and entails other entities like EPR Properties, a specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) with an investment from Och Ziff which owns Oz Real Estate. The TPLLC (Muellers) has an operating agreement with Och Ziff regarding the three ski areas. In 2016, Och-Ziff Capital Management agreed to a $412 million deferred-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors to resolve charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The SEC claimed Och-Ziff Capital Management paid bribes to Chad, Guinea, Niger, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Och Ziff executives were charged by the DOJ (press release). For detailed documentation regarding transfer, deed, etc., Click on this FOMS  link

Public Citizen warned the State of New Hampshire about the failures of deferred prosecution agreements in regards to Och-Ziff, the new leaseholder at Mount Sunapee State Park. Download/view the Public Citizen letter here: PCochziff (pdf 66kb)

June 2018: the latest transfer of the lease and sale of properties (holdings) is sold by Och Ziff to Vail Resort. Vail Resorts acquires the lease and hard assets through a sales agreement with Och Ziff’s Oz Real Estate and associated LLCs. Vail Resort takes over the complete operations and management of Mt. Sunapee’s Ski Lease Area. Sunapee Land Holdings LLC (Muellers) sells to Sunapee Difference LLC (Vail Resort)  its 6 tracts of land in Goshen and one tract of land in Newbury, NH.

Further details of lease amendment, public meeting, legal documents regarding lease transfer and West Bowl Expansion.

The history of sales and transfer of the original lease agreement thru the years is complex. Making sense of all the entities that have bought and sold holdings that include Mt. Sunapee’s Leased Ski Area and all the various LLCs, like Ski Resort Holdings LLC and Triple Peaks LLC, thru the years is difficult at best.