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New England Ski Industry Biographies


Les Otten Biography
Les Otten
Les Otten
Born:1949
New England Areas:Attitash, NH, Cranmore, NH, Haystack, VT, Killington, VT, Mt. Snow, VT, Pico, VT, Sugarbush, VT, Sugarloaf, ME, Sunday River, ME, Waterville Valley, NH
While attending Ithaca College, Otten taught skiing at Greek Peak ski area. After graduating with a bachelor's in business from Ithaca, Otten was hired as a lift mechanic at Killington.

In the fall of 1972, Killington announced it was acquiring Sunday River. Otten was then sent over to help run the area, becoming General Manager in 1973.

In 1980, Otten purchased Sunday River from the Sherburne Corp.

After years of growth and success at Sunday River, Otten's LBO Resort Enterprises Corp. purchased Attitash and Sugarbush in 1994. Cranmore was purchased on year later.

In 1996, Otten merged his LBO Resort Enterprises with S-K-I Ltd., forming American Skiing Company, adding Haystack, Killington, Mt. Snow, Sugarloaf, and Waterville Valley. Later that year, Cranmore and Waterville Valley would be sold, while Pico would be purchased.

One year later, Wolf Mountain, UT (later known as The Canyons), Heavenly, CA, and Steamboat, CO would be added.

Two years later, faced with rising debt, Oak Hill Capital Partners was brought into the fold. As the American Skiing Company financial situation crumbled, Otten was pushed out of the corporation. Otten would serve was CEO and Chairman of the Board until his resignation in March of 2001.

Also in 2001, Otten helped form New England Sports Ventures (later known as Fenway Sports Group). The group purchased the Boston Red Sox in 2002, leading the team to its first World Series Championship in 86 years in 2004.

Otten would resign from the American Skiing Company Board of Directors in February of 2007 and sell his stake in New England Sports Ventures shortly thereafter. While Otten was hoping to buy back Sunday River and Sugarloaf from American Skiing Company, the resorts were instead sold to CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. and Boyne USA Resorts.

After leaving the skiing and baseball business, Otten started Maine Energy Systems, a wood-pellet heating company.

Otten would later run for the 2010 Maine Republican Gubernatorial nomination, coming in second to future Governor Paul LePage with 22,945 votes.

In February 2014, it was reported that Otten's Dixville Notch LLC had reached an agreement with Balsams View LLC to help reopen Balsams Wilderness.

Les Otten Related Resources on NewEnglandSkiHistory.com:
  • American Skiing Company
  • LBO Resort Enterprises Corp.
  • Attitash
  • Cranmore
  • Haystack
  • Killington
  • Mt. Snow
  • Pico
  • Sugarbush
  • Sugarloaf
  • Sunday River
  • Waterville Valley


  • Les Otten External Links:
  • Les Otten - Wikipedia


  • Last updated: February 11, 2014
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