Vail Resorts and Mountain News CorporationI just finished my second mountain bike ride of the season – yep, I suck, should be way more than that – which is why I’m sprawled on the sofa with my laptop and I saw a link to a news release announcing the sale of Mountain News Corporation to Vail Resorts.  I’m sure that Chad Dyer will do a fantastic job in his new position as global managing director. In fact, I’m very happy to see that, “The operations of MNC, including editorial content, will be maintained separate and independent from Vail Resorts’ five mountain resorts and lodging and real estate businesses.” I just wonder if Vail is moving in difficult direction with this acquisition.

I understand and agree with Rob Katz’s “…commitment to the importance of emerging digital mediums for the entire snow sports industry and our desire for the industry to be a leader in that effort,…” I do question whether having a resort operator now owning, “…the top provider of snow reports to more than 1,200 web sites throughout the world, including approximately 400 news media websites” is the best way to help digital mediums along. I hope VR keeps their promise and allow MNC to continue to operate separately, I just wonder how they can justify the dollars spent on this acquisition to their shareholders if they don’t work some VR emphasis into MNC’s web properties.

Back to the Katz statement, while I understand why he wants to buy an industry leader in digital, which MNC certainly is; however, I wonder if perhaps there are times when it’s not the best to acquire a business, particularly when that network essentially ‘reports’ on your industry? Perhaps it’s easier than builder your own network since people are already getting their snow reports via OnTheSnow.com? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but in the meantime, what do you think about this sale and its implications?

Photo credit: Flickr user gjeewaytee (off) via CC 2.0 license, logos added by me.

(5/28 Edited for clarity and  6/1 spelling!)