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White Pine Ski Area, WY

 
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brad
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: White Pine Ski Area, WY Reply with quote

from first tracks online:

Quote:
County Commissioners Decline to Purchase Wyoming’s White Pine Ski Area

Published on August 6, 2011 @ 11:53 am
By First Tracks!! Online Media

Pinedale, WY - Sublette County Commissioners meeting this week decided against a proposal by Citizens to Save White Pine (CSWP) by which the county would have purchased White Pine ski area located 10 miles east of Pinedale.

County Commissioners gave varied reasons for rejecting the measure by a vote of 2 to 1, including government competing with private business for summer operations and bailing out bad business deal made by the former owners of Wyoming’s oldest ski area. The proposed deal’s backers argued that the ski area’s two chairlifts and one rope tow bring economic benefit to the region during the otherwise quiet winter months.

Situated in a sparsely populated area of southwestern Wyoming, White Pine’s 370 acres have little competition for winter operations. CSWP purchased the 1,100 vertical foot ski area’s assets from Stuart Thompson in October 2010 after it became apparent that it would not likely open for the 2010-11 winter season. They indicated, however, that they had no intention of serving as long-term owners of the resort which logged 16,000 skier visits and sold 502 season passes last winter. Thompson told Sublette County Commissioners last month that the ski area needs to tally at least 20,000 skier visits to break even. He faulted the CWSP for not getting the ski area up and running by Thanksgiving last year.

Rex Poulson of the CSWP said the group rushed to keep the ski area open last fall and really had no idea the extent of their undertaking.

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brad
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.wyomingbusinessreport.com/article.asp?id=59794

Quote:
September 15, 2011 --
PINEDALE - Another Wyoming ski resort will not be opening this fall, according to the community group Citizens to Save White Pine. Group spokesperson Bonnie Chambers made the announcement yesterday, adding that Oct. 1 will be the resort's last day of operations.

White Pine opened in 1939 as Surveyor Park Ski Area, one of the first lift-served ski areas in the U.S. The name was changed to White Pine in the 1960s, but the resort closed in 1988. The United States Forest Service sought a private partnership to develop White Pine and to provide for an unmet need for winter recreation in the market area.

A planning and development lease was granted to Wind River Resort Inc. (WRR) in 1993 and a 40-year lease was then granted to WRR in 1999 to operate both winter and summer recreational activities with access to the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Bridger Wilderness Area.

WRR constructed all the existing facilities, as there were none from the previous development. The 2009-10 season was the resort's 70th anniversary and the 10th anniversary with the former owner, WRR.

Unfortunately, WRR was not able to open for the 2010-11 season and Citizens to Save White Pine stepped in. The group of local business people purchased the resort on Oct. 12, 2010, and was able to overcome financial, logistical and governmental hurdles and to open the resort on Dec. 9, 2010.

Use of the resort this past ski season was high, and snow conditions were ideal. By season's end (April 3, 2011), the resort had 516 season passes sold, 945 lessons given (even with a slow start to the ski school program), and a total of 16,101 skier visits.

However, the surrounding community is the immediate target market and benefactor, holding 87 percent of the season passes and on average, comprised 90 percent of the parked vehicles in the lot.

"This past season's financial data reinforces that the Sublette County market alone cannot financially support the current private sector winter skiing operations," Chambers said. "The decision to not open for the upcoming season was purely a heavy-hearted business decision.

"It is the desire of Citizens to Save White Pine to have the ski hill open for next year, but without outside intervention or sale of the resort, it is unlikely to happen," she noted.

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