Who doesn’t? I can already envision mine: Mount Ski Diva, a mecca for women skiers that’d focus on women’s skiing and learning. There’d be regular women’s clinics taught by the very best women’s instructors; free child care, along with a great children’s ski school; a killer ski shop featuring women’s gear and staffed by helpful, expert sales associates; excellently prepared, healthy food; and clean, easily accessible bathrooms like the ones at Snowbasin.
There’s no doubt that owning a ski area can be a pretty risky business. Not only is it captive to the whims of Mother Nature, but it requires hefty investments in lifts, snow making equipment, forest service permits, and lots of personnel to take care of the equipment and facility, and most importantly, the guests.
But let’s say that you have a few bucks to spare and want to jump in, anyway. If that’s the case, there are a number of areas on the market right now. CNL Lifestyle Properties, for example, which owns 16 ski areas across the country, is considering getting out of the resort business. As a result, all the ski areas below could be up for sale (the resort name is followed by the name of the company that actually manages the resort):
Sunday River in Maine (operated by Boyne Resorts)
Sugarloaf in Maine (operated by Boyne Resorts)
Bretton Woods in New Hampshire (operated by National Resort Management Group)
Loon Mountain in New Hampshire (operated by Boyne Resorts)
Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire (operated by Triple Peaks)
Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts (operated by Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort)
Okemo Mountain in Vermont (operated by Triple Peaks)
Crested Butte in Colorado (operated by Triple Peaks)
Brighton in Utah (operated by Boyne Resorts)
Northstar-at-Tahoe in California (operated by Vail Resorts)
Sierra-at-Tahoe in California (operated by Booth Creek Resorts)
Mountain High in California (operated by Mountain High Associates)
Cypress Mountain in BC, Canada (operated by Boyne Resorts)
Stevens Pass in Washington (operated by Stevens Pass Mountain Resort)
Summit-at-Snoqualmie in Washington (operated by Boyne Resorts)
If these are a bit too steep for your bank account, there are a few smaller areas that might be a bit more affordable:
Bolton Valley: Burlington, Vermont
Cockaigne: Cherry Creek, New York
Maple Valley Ski Area, Dummerstown, VT
Marshall Mountain : Missoula, MT. Only 3 mil!
Maverick Mountain: Dillon, Montana
Mount Waterman: near Los Angeles, California
Snow King: Jackson, Wyoming
Spout Springs: Athena, OR. Cheap! Only $1.5 million!
Interested? Then get your phone, call your realtor, and open your wallet. And be sure to invite me to opening day.
It is sad to see an old unoperated ski area. Mt. Waterman is a nice area, but we’re snow-challenged here in southern California and it hasn’t been open for skiing for several years. I never skied at Kratka Ridge, another local So Cal area, before it closed.