Potential buyer for Mount Baldy should be engaged in the local community, be locally respected

By on July 30, 2014
Skiers ride a lift to the top of Mount Baldy. (Keith Lacey file photo)

Skiers ride a lift to the top of Mount Baldy. (Keith Lacey file photo)

It came as little surprise when it was learned recently that the assets of the Mount Baldy ski resort are the subject of a foreclosure action and are up for sale. During last winter’s ski season, the resort remained closed while the owners tried unsuccessfully to raise financing.

We now know that about $4.4 million was owed to a secured creditor, who has engaged G-Force Real Estate to try to find a buyer.

It is hard to know where the companies running the resort went wrong — the three principal owners live in Idaho and have not made themselves available to local media throughout their troubles.

That in itself would raise red flags.

Gary Powroznik, managing director of G-Force Real Estate, has had past experience turning around ailing ski resorts. His take on what needs to be done at Mount Baldy to make a financial go of it makes a lot of sense.

It’s important, he said, that the buyer understand the local nature of this ski resort and also have support from the local community. The buyer must be tuned in to local real estate trends and must be prudent with any investments.

What he seems to suggest is that the ideal buyer for Mount Baldy should be someone who lives locally, knows the community and is known and respected here. We agree.

It is hard to stay connected with the community if your main residence is far away and you avoid local engagement.

This, of course is no reflection on mountain manager Matt Koenig, who does live locally and has been engaged. But Koenig is not an owner.

As Powroznik points out, a ski resort or golf course don’t make their money from skiing and golfing. Rather, it is through the development and sales of adjoining real estate.

Many people have purchased chalets and other properties at Mount Baldy, and their investments are diminished if the ski resort isn’t operating.

Osoyoos needs to grow its winter tourism and also provide a nearby option for local skiers.

We hope the resort will soon be purchased by a committed local buyer who can make Mount Baldy a successful community venture.

 

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