The end of an era: Vail buys out Gart brothers' remaining share of Specialty Sports Venture

Vail Resorts Inc. closed the deal today to buy out the remaining 30 percent share of Specialty Sports Venture (total consideration, $31 million), which means Ken and Thomas Gart - best known around these parts as the Gart Bros. - are effectively out of the sports retail game. The SSV shops and rental businesses generate an estimated $180 million annually.

Here's Vail's press release on the buyout.

For those of you keeping score, that means Vail now has full ownership of Breeze Ski Rentals, RentSkis.com, and Colorado Ski & Golf, as well as the slopeside shops Vail Sports, Beaver Creek Sports, Keystone Sports, Breckenridge Sports, Copper Mountain's Peak Sports, the Ski Depot Sports locations at Winter Park and Sol Vista, Aspen Sports, Telluride Sports, Boulder Ski Deals, and the Mountain Sports Outlets in Silverthorne and Glenwood Springs, plus five Bicycle Village shops, four Gore Creek Fly Fisherman stores, the Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Basalt and Aspen, and more, a total of 145 shops in Colorado, Utah, and California, according to the report in today's Denver Business Journal.

Via Denver.bizjournals.com:

Ken Gart currently is president of SSV. After the Vail Resorts buyout, it will be run by Kat Jobanputra, the current executive VP and COO and a 20-year SSV veteran.

SSV's staff of more than 50 employees will move this fall from their Denver officers to Vail Resorts' corporate headquarters in Broomfield.

The Gart brothers will continue their current roles in the Denver-based Gart Cos., including Gart Properties, a real estate firm, and Gart Capital Partners, a growth equity investment partnership. Thomas Gart is president of the Gart Cos.

"Ken and Tom Gart have been terrific partners with our company for over 12 years and have been largely responsible for the incredible growth and performance of Specialty Sports Venture over that time period," Rob Katz, chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, said in a statement.

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