Mount Washington resort to be sold to 2 companies

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BRETTON WOODS, N.H. (AP) – The Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods announced Friday that it has entered into an agreement with other companies with the intention of selling them the resort, a $45 million deal.

Two companies, Celebration Associates and Crosland, Inc., have committed to buying over 900 acres and other assets at the historic Mount Washington Hotel, including an 18-hold golf course, equestrian stables and Nordic ski center. As part of the overall transaction, CNL Income Properties will acquire 991 acres, including the Mount Washington Hotel, the Bretton Arms Country Inn, The Lodge at Bretton Woods, the Bretton Woods Ski Area and other related assets.

CNL Income Properties, of Orlando, Fla., plans to enter into a long-term lease with Celebration Associates and Crosland, who will engage national Resort Management Group to market and operate the property.

The transaction is expected to take place this summer.

“We have enjoyed immense success at the resort over the past 15 years,” said Wayne Presby, Mount Washington Resort chairman. “We attribute much of our success to our outstanding staff. We are very aware of the economic benefits” that the two companies can offer to the North Country, “particularly given the loss of several major employers in Coos County over the past few months,” Presby said.

Plans also call for $20 million in development at the base of the mountain, over 2,000 acres. “It will really surround the ski area and surround the golf course, as well as the base road up to the Cog Railway,” said Joel Bedor, president of the Mount Washington Resort.

“I think the folks who work here are going to have even greater opportunities than they’ve had over the last few years,” Bedor said.

He said the companies are very strong. “They’ve done some great historic properties and we think they’re the right feel for this property.”

The Mount Washington Hotel was acquired by MWH Preservation Limited Partnership in 1991 to save it. The partnership is primarily owned and operated by three families: the Bedors, the Eames and the Presbys.

In addition to the hotel, the group acquired the Bretton Woods Motor Lodge, the Bretton Arms Country Inn and Fabyan’s Station and Restaurant in 1991. In the next six years, the partnership acquired the Mount Washington Golf Course, the Mt. Pleasant Golf Course, The Bretton Woods Ski Area and land surrounding the resort, which accompanies about 2,200 acres.

The complex was expanded and made into a year-round resort. The Bretton Woods Ski Area has become the largest ski area in New Hampshire.

“We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the development opportunities that exist on the lands surrounding the Bretton Woods Ski Area and the Mount Washington Hotel,” said Charles Adams, managing director of Celebration Associates, a real-estate company in Fort Mill, S.C., that was founded by former Disney executives who oversaw the development of the Town of Celebration near Orlando, Fla., built by The Walt Disney Co.

In 2001, Celebration Associates formed an alliance with Crosland Inc., a real estate investment and management company with development experience, to collaborate on select projects.

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