Vail looks to Canada as U.S. ski industry cools and planet warms

A big U.S. ski resort operator is betting on indoor sports and foreign markets as it contends with a warming planet.

Vail Resorts Inc. MTN, +7.59% on Monday announced plans to buy Canadian ski giant Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. WB, +45.19% in a deal valued C$1.39 billion, an effort to stave off the effects of unpredictable “year-to-year regional weather patterns,” according to Whistler CEO Dave Brownlie.

The deal comes as the ski industry has been hit by high single-day ticket prices and warmer weather over the last 10 years. Total skier visits in the U.S. totaled 53.9 million during the 2015-2016 season, below the 10-year industry average of 56.5 million, according to the U.S.

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