Samih Sawiris never intended to run the ski area. Originally the plan was to get the Swedish ski area operator Skistar to run it, but due to delays they pulled out and eventually invested in St. Johann in Tyrol, which doesn't appear to have worked out as they recently pulled out.
Of the 149 million Swiss Francs 110 million will be used to install more snow making equipment, replace older lifts in the Sedrun
sector and modernise the restaurants. Not all of the projects approved in 2013 have been completed yet. In return for this Vail
Resorts will get a 55% stake in Andermatt
-Sedrun Sport AG, the company that operates the ski area, the ski school and the Gleis 0 sports shop.
The other 39 million will go to Andermatt Swiss Alps AG, the company that owns the hotels and apartment blocks in Andermatt Reuss and the golf course, Vail Resorts won't be getting anything in return for this payment. This will enable Sawiris to build more property, due to the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a surge in demand for property in the mountains, as Andermatt Reuss is exempt from Switzerland's laws on foreign ownership and second homes he will probably be able to sell property faster than he can build it.
It will be interesting to see how Vail Resorts gets on, they won't be able to operate the ski area in the same way as they operate their American resorts, Switzerland's hospitality and ropeway sectors are highly regulated and as soon as they propose any expansion of the ski area they will be hit by a load of objections from the environmental organisations.
Other foreign companies have invested in Swiss ski areas, but have for the most part failed. The Compagnie des Alpes bought stakes in Verbier
and Saas Fee in 2000 / 2001 but pulled out less than 10 years later. In 2014 a Czech billionaire property investor bought a 51% stake in the Crans Montana lift company, but soon fell out with the locals, rumour has it that he wants to lease the area back to the local council.