Potential buyer won't give word on Steamboat

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) A potential suitor for the Steamboat Ski Area complimented the resort's management Wednesday but refused to say whether his company would make a bid.
''I'm very interested in businesses which are well run by a good management team and that don't require that a whole lot be done,'' said Mike Sweeney, a managing director of Minneapolis-based investment bank Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison Inc.
Only Tim and Diane Mueller, who own Okemo Mountain ski area in Vermont, have publicly acknowledged an interest in buying Steamboat.
Sweeney has signed a confidentiality agreement with Steamboat's owner, American Skiing Co., of Newry, Maine. He said the agreement prevented him from discussing details about his company's interest in the resort.
''I've been a guest in Steamboat several times and I think its a very special place,'' Sweeney said in a telephone interview. He does not own property in Steamboat Springs.
American Skiing is selling Steamboat to reduce debt incurred during a major expansion that coincided with two below-average ski seasons.
American Skiing's other holdings include Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine; Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire; Killington and Mount Snow in Vermont; The Canyons in Utah; and Heavenly in California and Nevada.

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