Alpine Mountain to be Sold at Auction

Alpine Mountain, which has been operating in the Pennsylvania Poconos since the 1950’s, will be sold by sealed bid auction on Sept. 18.  The bidding covers three lifts and 103 acres of ski terrain, the base lodge and restaurant, a maintenance building, snowmaking equipment, groomers, a ski patrol building, tubing hill and other ski area equipment.  Two years ago, Appletree Resource Group purchased the mountain at a county tax sale.  Appletree seeks to sell the property to a new owner.

Future of Maine’s Bigrock Mountain Ski Area Thrown In Doubt

As Reported By

Mars Hill, ME – The nonprofit Maine Winter Sports Center (MWSC), which has owned the Bigrock Mountain community ski area in Mars Hill since 2000 and has administered outside financial support from the Libra Foundation, announced on Tuesday that it is ending its relationship with the mountain, its second such termination this summer.  Now without the funding from the Libra Foundation, a charitable trust set up the late Betty Noyce, the ex-wife of the co-founder of Intel, and the operational expertise of the MWSC, the organization hopes that Bigrock is now ready to swim on its own.

(file photo: Bigrock Mountain)

(file photo: Bigrock Mountain)

The MWSC announced on June 25th that it would be stepping away from Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine, after 10 years of ownership of that facility.  On July 19th it was announced that the community ski area had raised the necessary funding to take over operations and remain open.  The MWSC and Libra Foundation then donated the mountain as a gift to the nonprofit Black Mountain of Maine, which is led by a local board and which has assumed responsibility for operating and funding the mountain moving forward. The MWSC hopes to replicate this process at Bigrock Mountain, which at 980 feet of vertical is the tallest ski area in northern Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. The Maine Winter Sports Center bought the mountain in 1999 and since that time the Libra Foundation has invested over $6 million in improvements, including a dramatically expanded snowmaking system, a new beginner/intermediate area with a triple chair, a glade park, a magic carpet lift in the ski school park and a tubing park.  The mountain changed its business model radically last year, with a focus on making skiing more accessible to the region and on reaching profitability. It reduced day ticket prices to $15 and season passes to $150, significantly expanded seating capacity in the lodge and added a new retail area and pub. To help market the mountain a new website and advertising campaign were also created.  It nevertheless failed to turn a profit in 2012-13.  “Bigrock has been a fixture in the winter economy and culture of the region for over 50 years,” added Shepard. “The improvements from the past decade-plus are now firmly in place and there should be great opportunities for the people of Aroostook County to keep Bigrock Mountain going.”  Community leaders fear the detrimental effect that a closed Bigrock would have on the area. It draws overnight visitors to the region who contribute handlily to the area’s economy.