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Boyne USA Resorts Acquiring Ski Resorts in Maine and Washington State

BOYNE FALLS, Mich., Sept. 19, 2007 - Backed by nearly 60 years of family run resort experience, Boyne USA Resorts is excited to announce its nationwide expansion reinforcing the Michigan-based corporation's position as the largest family owned four-season resort company in North America and owner/operator of more ski resorts than any other in the United States. Aided by a partnership with CNL Income Properties, Inc., Boyne USA's ski resort portfolio will become the third largest in North America and boasts 10 resort locations operating in Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, Washington and British Columbia with a combined skier count of approximately 3.6 million.
The expansion allows Boyne USA to further its existing geographic and economic diversity in the winter sports industry, starting in the '50s when the company built the Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee and in earnest with the 1976 purchase of Big Sky Resort in Montana.
With today's announcement of the pending addition of Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc.'s ("Booth Creek") Loon Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie resorts to its network, Boyne USA Resorts is building upon its inaugural entry into the long contemplated New England market that began last month with the addition of American Skiing Company's Sunday River and Sugarloaf resorts in Maine. Boyne USA has signed a contract with Booth Creek which at closing will transfer the management of Loon Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie to Boyne USA. In addition to furthering entry into the New England market, this transaction will reinforce Boyne USA's commitment in the Pacific Northwest, with three resorts in that region.
The Boyne USA Resorts team, headed by the Kircher family, is proud of its record as longest running management within the mountain resort industry and believes that with its experienced team of over 7,000 passionate individuals, the organization is in a strong position to take on these new properties.
"By bringing almost 60 years of experience in resort and ski area management and building upon the best of American Skiing Company's and Booth Creek's accomplishments, we are confident that we will continue to be a very positive force in this industry," said Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne USA Resorts' eastern operations. "These are exciting times to be part of this team."
Boyne USA executives and their resort-based management teams have already begun mapping the endless possibilities related to resort facility and amenity improvements as well as value creation programs for the many loyal customers of these resorts.
"Boyne USA's history of innovation as well as making continuous improvements at our resorts will continue with these newly acquired facilities," said John Kircher, president of Boyne USA Resorts' western operations and based in the Seattle area since 1996. "Our experience has proven that a long-term vision and financial commitment to a resort is needed, which we are confident CNL and Boyne USA provide. Our understanding and love of the sport, which in our case, goes back to 1947, is one significant factor that drives us to make the facilities we own or manage even better. Keeping our customers happy means reinvesting in the property and creating the expectation of something new each season," added John Kircher.
"From our proprietary Boyne low-e snowmaking technologies, commitment to superior guest satisfaction, passion to build innovative new facilities and amenities, offerings like our BoyneRewards loyalty program, and our unique coast-to-coast season passes, we anticipate making a very positive impact on the entire resort network, its customers and its communities," said Stephen Kircher. "These additions are a continuation of our strategy reinforcing Boyne USA's overall goal of becoming the best four-season resort company in the world by 2015."
About Boyne USA Resorts:
Boyne USA Resorts History

Skiers first took notice of Everett Kircher in 1947, when the Detroit native moved to northern Michigan to build a ski resort. For just $1, he bought the land necessary to begin development of what is known today as Boyne Mountain.

Boyne USA Resorts' portfolio currently includes Michigan's two premier mountain and golf resorts, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain; and The Inn at Bay Harbor - A Renaissance Golf Resort in Michigan; Big Sky Resort in Montana--founded by the late Chet Huntley in 1970; Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, Utah; Crystal Mountain near the Mt. Rainier National Park in Seattle, Washington; Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia--host venue of numerous freestyle ski and snowboard event of the 2010 Winter Olympics; Gatlinburg Sky Lift near the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Sugarloaf/USA and Sunday River Resort in Maine.

Kircher had many firsts including the world's first triple chair installed in 1964 at Boyne Highlands Resort, and the world's first four-person chair, installed in 1969 at Boyne Mountain. In 1990 Kircher installed Michigan's first high-speed detachable quad chairlift at Boyne Highlands Resort. And in 1992, Boyne Mountain unveiled America's first 6-seat high-speed chairlift.

Kircher's ski innovation also included the introduction of snowmaking. He invented the Boyne Snowmaker, the first efficient snowmaker widely accepted as the standard for marginal temperature snowmaking. It combines small amounts of air and electricity with large quantities of water to provide a high efficiency snowmaking system with energy savings, and minimum noise level. He also pioneered the design of much of the snow grooming equipment and techniques in use today.

His unflagging interest in skiing technique resulted in bringing former Olympians Stein Ericksen and Othmar Schneider to Boyne Mountain to head the ski school and to teach the 'reverse shoulder" method to skiers visiting his resort. Because of the legacy left behind by Ericksen and Schneider, an Austrian-American ski school has become a mainstay at Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands and Big Sky.

A desire to keep his employees on staff between ski seasons led Kircher into golf. A friend suggested that a golf course might attract summer visitors. That was all Kircher needed. Using his father's ancient Ford farm tractor, he carved out a sporty nine-hole, par-three layout near the Main Lodge. For decades the Hemlock course was a favorite to Boyne Mountain guests and visitors.

After purchasing the Harbor Highlands Ski Area in nearby Harbor Springs, Michigan and developing its ski facilities, Kircher became serious about golf. Noted architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., was hired to design the 18-hole Heather course that opened in 1970. By 1971, the Heather was ranked one of the "Top 100 Courses in the U.S." by Golf Digest Magazine. It was the spark that ignited the golf boom in northwest Michigan, now referred to as America's Summer Golf Capital.

Five more world-class golf courses were added to Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain, along with pro-shops, driving ranges and practice greens. They include Aurthur Hills, The Moor and the Donald Ross Memorial courses at Boyne Highlands and The Alpine and The Monument at Boyne Mountain.

An Arthur Hills design, three unique nine-hole courses are also a part of northern Michigan's landscape at Bay Harbor Golf Club on the shores of Lake Michigan near Petoskey, Michigan. Bay Harbor Golf Club showcases the longest freshwater shoreline in the country and is a perennial top pick among numerous national golf magazine rankings.

In addition to the four-season resort properties, Boyne USA also operates a highly successful scenic chairlift, Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Overlooking the great Smokey Mountains National Park. The lift, which he engineered and installed in 1953, carries over 300,000 passengers annually.

Of all the Boyne golf destinations, Bay Harbor Golf Club and The Inn at Bay Harbor are of special interest to the Kircher family and to the golf and travel industry worldwide. Bay Harbor Golf Club's three championship courses, created by veteran architect, Arthur Hills and spearheaded by Everett Kircher and his son Stephen Kircher, have continued to earn high honors.

In 1998, Bay Harbor Golf Club hosted the Shell's Wonderful World of Golf match between Tom Lehman and Phil Mickelson. Other honors include top rankings from national golf publications including the #8 ranking in the "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" by Golf Magazine and selected as one of the "Top 100 Golf Courses for Women" by Golf forWomen Magazine.

Joining the golf club along the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay is The Inn at Bay Harbor. The hotel is reminiscent of turn of the century Victorian charm and modern day elegance. In 2002, Golf Digest Magazine recognized The Inn at Bay Harbor as one of the "Top Ten Coastal Resorts" in the country. Ranked at #5 and along side the nations best seaside resorts, including Pebble Beach and Bandon Dunes. The same March 2002 issue selected Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and The Inn at Bay Harbor in the "Top 75 Resorts in America".

Since 1947, Boyne USA Resorts has been steadily carving a niche in the sports and leisure world. Today, as the largest privately owned ski and golf corporation in the country, Boyne takes the next logical step. Introducing the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, a quarter of a billion dollar luxury condominium/hotel set in a four-season village atmosphere at Boyne Mountain. The Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa will have something for every member of the family with a full service spa, specialty shops, an array of dining choices, skating rink and teen activity center.

The expansions and improvements are numerous and constant for Boyne USA Resorts. This family owned company continues to build and improve four-season destinations to fit "a way of life" for the active families and friends who gather there. Offering the very best in golf, ski, tennis, biking, hiking and cross-country skiing together with luxurious accommodations, fine dining, cozy restaurants and lounges and exquisite spa facilities, Boyne remains a leader in the industry.

Year after year, Everett Kircher's resorts earn countless awards and recognitions. In 2000, SKI Magazine honored Kircher himself as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Skiers of All Time". Placing him beside Olympic athletes, inventors and filmmakers such as, World Cup champion and Olympic gold medallist, Jean-Claude Killy and the popular filmmaker, Warren Miller.

Although Kircher is mostly recognized for his ski and golf know-how and successful resort empire, he was also a sportsmen, jet pilot and world traveler. He said it best in his autobiography, "I'd rather be known as a great fly fisherman".

Everett Kircher died at the age of 85 on January 16, 2002. He will forever be known throughout the skiing world as a visionary. And his company, Boyne USA Resorts completes that vision as the finest sport and leisure resorts in the world.

He will be remembered for his dedication to making something good better and a legend from what was once a simple idea.

His life's work will be retold through history. Through generations of loyal skiers and golfers who visit Boyne USA's coast-to-coast resorts and through the many talented employees who make Boyne USA so successful.

Kircher's legacy and his company are certain to continue and thrive under the direction of his dedicated family. These members include his wife Lois and his four children; John, president of Boyne USA's western operations in Utah, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia; Amy, chairperson and secretary of the board of directors of Boyne USA, Inc.; Stephen, president of Boyne USA's eastern operations including Maine, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee and Michigan and Kathryn, principal of Boyne Design Group, an interior design firm of Boyne USA Resorts.

Boyne USA Resorts is the largest family owned four-season resort company in North America; founded by Everett Kircher in 1947. A Michigan-based corporation, Boyne USA Resorts owns and/or operates award-winning mountain and golf resorts and attractions throughout the United States and Canada including Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia, a host venue of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Big Sky Resort in Montana, Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, The Inn at Bay Harbor -- A Renaissance Golf Resort and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark in Michigan, Brighton in Utah, Crystal Mountain in Washington, Sugarloaf/USA and Sunday River Resort in Maine and Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee. For more information on Boyne USA Resorts, please visit


Boyne USA Resorts

Also See: Ski Resorts Expand Year Round Revenues, Add Outdoor & Indoor Waterparks / Jeff Coy & Bill Haralson / May 2004
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Selected by East West Partners and Crescent Real Estate to Operate Lake Tahoe's First 5-Star Ski-in/Ski-out Resort; $300-million Resort Project Begins Construction in Summer 2006 / March 2006


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