In a surprise move, Whitetail Ski Resort announced today that it would be purchased by a once-bitter competitor: Snow Time, Inc., the owner of nearby Ski Liberty and Ski Roundtop.
This announcement caps off a year of uncertainty over Whitetail’s ownership and future. After suffering through two of the mildest winters on record beginning in 1996, Whitetail’s current owners began a search last year for a new owner. This search led to two possible buyers: Pennslyvania’s Daughin County and Northumberland County. However, both of these deals fell through, due in part to complaints by Snow Time, Inc. that a sale to a county would result in unfair competition. Whitetail entered negotiations with a third county this spring, the Mercersburg General Purpose Authority (MGPA), but this sale was aborted in June after the county was unable to sell the $42 million in bonds required to fund the purchase. In July, Whitetail was placed on the auction block, with most of its full-time staff laid off. Four bids were received by the July 31 deadline.
Snow Time, Inc., owns Ski Liberty and Ski Roundtop, both located in southern Pennsylvania, as well as Ski Windham, located in New York. With the purchase of Whitetail, Snow Time will gain a commanding share of ski resorts in south-central Pennsylvania.
“Snow Time looks forward to offering a range of options to Washington and Baltimore area skiers, options now made possible by our owning a mountain that offers a very different ski experience than that of Ski Liberty and Ski Roundtop,” said Irv Naylor, Chairman of Snow Time. He cited Whitetail’s excellent facilities and potential for expansion as a key motivation of the acquisition.
“We’ve had many opportunities to work closely with staff at both Ski Liberty and Ski Roundtop and know them to be hard workers and tough competitors,” said Rachel Nichols, Whitetail’s Spokesperson. “Now we can look forward to combining our expertise and resources to achieve what has always been our shared goal -; providing guests with a great winter recreation experience.”
The final sale is expected to be completed in September.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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