Industry giant Vail Resorts buys Whistler-Blackomb

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UTAH, ALTA SKI AREA:  A woman skier enjoys the snow at Alta.

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DENVER (AP) — Vail Resorts will buy Whistler-Blackcomb Holdings, the Canadian ski resort company that operated the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, for $1.06 billion.

The companies announced the purchase Monday. The boards of Whistler and Vail Resorts, North America’s largest resort operator, unanimously approved it.

Whistler is one of the largest and most visited ski resorts in North America. It is a destination for thousands of Seattleites each year, and is about 4.5 hours from downtown, given driving conditions.

Vail Resorts currently operates nine mountain resorts and two ski areas in the U.S. and Australia, including Northstar-at-Tahoe and Park city Mountain Resort.

The deal is expected to close in the fall.

Shares of Whistler-Blackcomb jumped to a new all-time high when markets opened Monday, rising above $36 Canadian ($27.36) per share in Toronto. In New York, Vail Resorts stock also was trading at the highest rate in at least a decade, reaching about $154 midday.

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