7 Springs for Sale?
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jb714
August 23, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
There is a website maintained by a Prudential realtor in the Laurel Highlands that I keep an eye on for his bi-monthly newsletter. Although it seems to be tailored primarily for an audience of other Realtors, it sometimes provides interesting reading on the goings-on in the Laurel Highlands. SInce I own property near the Springs I like to keep my finger on the pulse of things up there.

The August news letter (linked to below - no registration required) contains an interesting tidbit. Apparently there have been fairly strong rumors that 7 Springs is for sale. He also mentions the fact that HV is apparently on the block, so it would seem that this is not a misprint.

http://www.abeandwags.com/NewsLetters/NL%208-2005.pdf

I've been reading Wag's news letters for about a year, and he has been reasonably reliable.
Taylormatt
August 23, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
I've heard through a fairly reliable source that it has been sold. Supposedly the papers were signed earlier this month and a press release is expected by the end of this month announcing the sale.

Now, rumors have flown around before about 7S and it's sale, so we'll see if it's really true this time. I know the guy who supposedly has purchased it with a group of investors, it's very possible. We'll see how things play out over the next few weeks.

Funny, I've been watching this site for a release on this for about a month now, lol.
jimmy
August 23, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
If true that would explain why no news re:Laurel Mountain, small taters compared to this. Looks like from the link jb posted they've sold 5-7 million dollars worth of RE this year.
jb714
August 24, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
If the rumor of the sale is true, I hope that the buyer(s)have sufficient $$ resources and the business smarts to do the place justice.
DCSki Sponsor: Seven Springs Resort
hockeydave
August 24, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I also heard from a reliable source (LM Ski Patrol) that it is official... 7S will not operate LM this year. Possibly the new owner (if in fact there is a new 7S owner) might operate LM. One can only hope.
jimmy
August 24, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
I'm curious, are any of the Tahoe, nv side, resorts owned by gaming interests?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
August 24, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
I find it interesting that both 7Springs and Hidden Valley are for sale at the same time. Perhaps the two resorts combined might be enough to lure a company like Intrawest. Look at Snowshoe/Silvercreek. Booth Creek Holdings tried to buy 7Springs several years ago, but family squabbles with the family that owns 7S kept the sale from going through. I've heard that the bids are due on Hidden Valley by the end of the month. It is my understanding that Mr. Hardy of Nemacolon Woods and 84 Lumber fame is one of the bidders.
Heather
August 24, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
I find it very unfortunate that the reliable source (LM ski patrol)was unable to forward that infomation to the rest of the patrol, seeing how we all have been waiting patiently for word of our upcoming season. If this is true and 7S has decided to not operate LM this year, maybe they should take down the signs along RT 30. It will break my poor little heart to think of the season that could have been all the while staring at that everytime I drive home!
hockeydave
August 26, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Heather, I hope I'm wrong, but as the days pass, and no sounds from 7S or Somerset Trust, I think you may have to ski elsewhere this year instead of LM. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed. Is it true that Somerset Trust has foreclosed on LM village from George Mowl also? If that is the case, that land could be used to entice a new buyer.
jimmy
August 26, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Does anyone here know how much somerset trust is on the hook for?
hockeydave
August 26, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Don't rely on this to be totally accurate, but based on my recollection from a newspaper article 2 years ago (after Somerset Trust foreclosed), I believe the number is at least in the hundreds of thousands and could be as much as a 1 followed by 6 zeros.
jb714
August 26, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
In an Oct 2004 Pgh Post-Gazette article (link below, no registration req'd) it says that the bidding at the auction was to open at $1.2 M. When no bidders stepped forth at that price, Somerset Trust assumed control.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04286/394311.stm
hockeydave
August 26, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Thanks for clarifying... it says in the article George Mowl borrowed "millions" from Somerset Trust
jb714
August 26, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
Here's another interesting twist: in a Post-Gazette article today (link below) 7 Springs Prez Scott Bender announces that the Springs will apply for a slot-machine license. It would seem to me that this would either (a) cast doubt on the rumored sale, or (b) be a possible sweetener for potential buyers - but you'd think that any potential buyers would have already been aware of the slots bid, and would have already scoped out the viability of that bid...anyway, it sure seems interesting.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05238/560657.stm
jimmy
August 26, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
So they raised 5-7 million from real estate sales, license is 5 million? hmmmmm.
hockeydave
August 26, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
With real estate develpment, slope expansion, a new water park in the works, hotel upgrades and now gambling, does anybody really think 7S has the time, money or effort to manage LM. R U listening Somerset Trust? Please find some other "interested" party to operate LM.
wolverine
August 26, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Is 7s for sale? Would that be good or bad?
Seems LM is at the end of its world as we know it and I feel fine about it but other than some small real-estate complany article, why do people think 7s is for sale?
Ullr
August 29, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

Perhaps the two resorts combined might be enough to lure a company like Intrawest. Look at Snowshoe/Silvercreek.




NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh god, that is the last thing we need!
Taylormatt
August 30, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Intrawest is the LAST thing any of us want to see here.
wolverine
August 30, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
I still don't know why anyone thinks there is legit info about 7s being for sale, or if that would be good or bad; however, it would be 3 (not 2) close by resorts for sale (7s, LM and HV)!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
August 30, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
Perhaps you folks think that the ski conglomerates will ruin our little local mole hills. Well, have they improved Snowshoe? Would Snowshoe be better if say the guy that owns Timberline was the owner. I don't think so. My point is we need someone with deep pockets who'll give us new skiing or boarding experiences, more terrain, better lifts, etc. Unfortunately, along with that comes massive real estate development. I own real estate near these resorts, so I have selfish motives to consider. We can still have the raw skiing experience at say Blue Knob and Timberline where the owners don't have the cash and/or desire to develop a mega resort. How about if we all pool our DCSKI money together and buy these resorts and make them our private play toys.... what's that...we have no money. Then let the big boys give us the skiing we want. That's what I say.
wolverine
August 30, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Although Snowsmith raises some good points, Ski magazine has consistantly ranked 7S with it's current managment above Snowshoe.

Also, if gas contiues to be close to $3/gal, 7S has a huge advantage over Snowshoe for our mid-atlantic urban dwellers (+my hometown of Cleveland).
Ullr
August 30, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

Well, have they improved Snowshoe?




Uh, no. They have ruined it.

Quote:

Would Snowshoe be better if say the guy that owns Timberline was the owner.




uh, yea, it would.....................
Ullr
August 30, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Snowsmith, what makes you think that Intrawest will improve the terrain? A very good friend of mine owns property at Snowshoe and he would love to see them leave. What terrain have they expanded at Snowshoe? None! If you got Intrawest all they would do is build condo's and resturants with poor service and high prices. I know you don't believe me, but trust me, you would not be happy.
DCSki Sponsor: Seven Springs Resort
wolverine
August 30, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
I can't speak for Snowshoe but IntraWest's Tremblant is pricey, but a great place to ski. I don't know exactly what Tremblant was like prior to IntraWest, but if memory serves me correctly, a nearby place called Grey Rocks was popular prior to IntraWest's running of Tremblant, and now I wouldn't waste my time at Grey Rocks.
DWW
August 30, 2005
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
144 posts
No terrain expansion at Snowshoe? What are you talking about? Intrawest added Shay's Revenge (a double black), and Yew Pine - one of the nicest long greenies around. They also expanded/widened Grab Hammer (black) and Powderidge and cleaned up a number of crossings. They put in two new high speed quads (Ballhooter and Cupp). Thier next move (2006) will be putting in a high speed lift to replace Widowmaker and adding several new trails around the basin ridge to widowmaker.

They also provided non-skiing activities for the wife and kids that allow me to have much more ski-time.
hockeydave
August 30, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Two words in response to your complaints against IntraWest... Whistler Blackcomb.
kennedy
August 30, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
It's a very fine line we tread with any ski area. Maintaining a true mountain experience with a focus on the the actual mountain itself or a developer mentality focused on real estate. It seems to be a fact that one cannot survive and propser without the other. 7 Springs is probably the best around right now and I include Snowshoe in that. Why? I'll be honest here, I have a much freer feeling riding the springs than the shoe. The runs may be short but they are wide, and leave a lot of room for creativity. I don't think it has seen the huge real estate boom that snowshoe has seen over the years which in my mind keeps it more in line with the mountain focus. Am I correct also in saying that they are adding new black diamonds??

Anyway my point is this. Yeah Intrawest can develop the hell out of the mountain adding great lifts and improving trails but as a skier or rider we have to accept that if thats what we want we also need to put up with additional real estate development that is going to happen with that. Unfortunately lift tix alone, expensive as they are getting, don't keep a mountain operating. I don't know much about Laurel but I wonder if that is why it struggles.
Ullr
August 30, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

and adding several new trails around the basin ridge to widowmaker.




Believe it when I see it......................
DWW
August 30, 2005
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
144 posts
It's actually a done deal (new lift/trails around Widowmaker). A private developer (non-Intrawest) is building Eagle Nest lodge just above the widowmaker and is kicking in some dollars to get the new lift to run up to that lodge and add a couple new trails. It's one case at least where a new development is being supported with ski infrastructure - not just piling on.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
August 30, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
I have never been to Showshoe to be honest (rather drive to New England). However, I have been to Stratton sevral times and up until last year, I would have said that Stratton was a 1st class resort. Last year it was was not good. Intrawest must be hurting because they closed lifts during mid week which were usually open in past years and the grooming seemed to go downhill also. Maintenance of facilities also seemed a bit suspect. That said, the owner of Timberline has not invested in fast lifts. The lifts there are ridiculously slow in fact. I spent atleast 15 minutes on nearly every lift ride. I love the terrain there and the mountain. The rest of the place smacks of cheapness though. Of course, like you said, Intrawest would bring in some overpriced restuarants, stores and real estate. But if we want a ski resort with expansive terrain and fast lifts, the money has to come from somewhere and I am not sure that the ski operation will provide that.
hockeydave
August 31, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
In my opinion, there are 3 reasons why LM struggles:
1) Exactly as you state, Kennedy, the lack of developed real estate surrounding the ski area, which means most/all skiers at LM need to travel some distance by car
2) Snowmaking... w/o natural snowfall, there are really only 2 ways down the mountain, and the less than intermediate skier only has 1 way down (he/she avoids Lower Wildcat, especially ungroomed).
3) State of PA... PA was charging the previous concessionaire (George Mowl) $100,000/yr rent to operate LM. Instead they should have been charging him nothing, considering the boost to the local economy (employment, tourism, etc.) a ski resort brings for the several months it is open.

BTW... my understanding is that a major announcement regarding 7S is coming within 2 weeks.
LMV
August 31, 2005
Member since 06/1/2005 🔗
60 posts
You are right about the snowmaking, but I dont agree about the real estate, or the rent the previous developer had to pay. Right across the street in Laurel Mountain Vullage 2 minutes from the slopes there are about 500 undeveloped building lots. I know it is not right on the slopes, so you have to get in you car. There are two sections in the village that have the proper zoning for condos or a hotel. One of the sections is about 12 acres. They were supposed to build a golf course there back in the old days. The other is at the very end of the village just across from the entrance to the ski resort. As for the previous developer, I don't think he had any intentions of making anything out of the place. In my opinion he just wanted to get it up and running and sell it to make a fast buck. When that didn't happen after the first couple of years, he walked away.

Don't count laurel out yet.
Heather
August 31, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
Being a resident of LM Village, I feel the need to interject a few thoughts on why LM and surrouonding RE is not doing well!
1. Property owners are restricted on everything from tree removal to the type of roof that must be put on their home.
2. Property owners must also pay extremely high road maint. fees annually with assessments anytime the home owners assoc. deems it necessary. Then no maint is done, only snow removal.
3. Current state of H2O and sewage limits building. No new buildings can be errected until H2O problem resolved.
Roger Z
August 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Actually, Intrawest is doing about as well financially as they have ever done. I bailed on their stock over a year ago and have watched with breathless annoyance as it has kept going up, and up, and up. It's being fed by exploding earnings- earnings are up to 1.42 a share, which is extraordinary in the ski resort business (just take a look at now-delisted AMC for proof).

The secret is they spun off their capital intensive projects to free cash flow for smaller real estate developments. Hence the Eagleswoop lodge or whatever it is- probably a $50 to $100 million project. Intrawest wants none of it- too much money up front with too long of a payback period. I believe Intrawest is confining themselves for the time being to projects under $20mm, but I could be wrong.

Now, what will happen when the real estate boom slows? What happens if gas prices rise to 3.10-3.20 a gallon (which they are going to do in about a week) and choke the economy? Kind of speaks for itself. If people ain't flyin' and they ain't buyin' the stock is toast for a couple years.

Another key point: Intrawest doesn't manage ski resorts, in their own opinion they manage "vacation resorts." Skiing is one of many amenities they offer. That's probably one reason Snowshoe is so popular- you don't have to be a skier to enjoy a long weekend there. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing (har har), ice skating, day spas, X-C skiing, tubing, etc are all available for the non-skier. So the all-around experience has likely improved since Intrawest moved in.

Since we're all dedicated skiers and riders though, that doesn't cut much for us. To Intrawest, though, we're just one piece of the puzzle.

Which just further goes to show how important it is to build Moonshine Mountain: home of skiers, riders, and a bunch of stuff that can't be mentioned on a family website!
hockeydave
August 31, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Like you, LMV, I'm not counting LM out yet. I really hope it opens, but you can almost bet 7S will not be operating LM this year.

I would like to correct 1 comment you made about the rent George had to pay. As stated in 10/15/2004 article by Larry Walsh of the Pgh Post-Gazette:

"Somerset Trust assumed control of state-owned Laurel Mountain Sept. 17 because its former concessionaire, the Laurel Mountain Ski Company, ran out of money. The DCNR had terminated the company's lease in May for failing to open last year and for faiiling to make $100,000 in rental payments."

I'm not sure this $100,000 was a cumulative sum over the course of several years or just for the year 2003-04 when it did not open, my point was that any operator, future or present, should pay the state very little or nothing to operate LM. It brings jobs to eastern Wesmoreland and Somerset county as well as business for surrounding communities (Ligonier & Jennerstown) while providing a beautiful playground for those of us skiing or boarding.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Somerset Trust finds someone to operate LM long-term.

As far as the real estate issue, I will default to Heather's comments, who lives in LM Village.
jb714
August 31, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
I haven't a clue if the slot-machine situation has any connection with the rumored sale, but the article below (from way back in January) provides some interesting reading while we daydream of snow. The article is fairly long:

Seven Springs' odds for slots grow longer
Posted-Saturday, January 22, 2005 11:28 PM EST
By KIRK SWAUGER
TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT SOMERSET BUREAU


SOMERSET - Seven Springs has been dealt a wild card in its proposal to obtain one of two slot-machine licenses designated for Pennsylvania resorts.

All three members of borough council are part of the Dupre family that owns the resort - and therefore banned from applying for a license. Under state gambling law, public officials or their family members are prohibited from having financial interests of more than 1 percent in gaming organizations.

As it stands, council members may have to be replaced in order for Seven Springs to obtain a gambling license.

"There's a lot of competition for those two licenses," said Dave Atkinson, an aide to Sen. Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona, president pro tem of the Senate. "Anybody who has a problem now has a big problem."


An amendment to the state borough code, introduced by state Sen. Richard Kasunic, D-Dunbar, now allows Seven Springs and other small municipalities to waive the residency rule for public officials running for office. Dupre family members on council could resign and be replaced by a council of newcomers without family ties.

In turn, Seven Springs could apply for a license.

The act cleared the Legislature and was signed into law Nov. 29 by Gov. Ed Rendell, records from the state Senate indicate.

"Seven Springs should still proceed with its request," said state Sen. John Wozniak, D-Westmont. "The problem will be fixed."

Seven Springs and Nemacolin Woodlands resort in neighboring Fayette County are believed to be front-runners for the two resort slots licenses that will be awarded by the state's gambling commission.

Nemacolin could be facing the same problem: Its founder, 84 Lumber tycoon Joe Hardy, is a Fayette County commissioner. But officials said Hardy does not own Nemacolin; his daughter does.

"We've been aware of that stipulation since the inception of the bill," Seven Springs' President Scott Bender said. "As a result of that, we do see a solution and do not view it as a roadblock. We're working toward a resolution with our public officials."

Another way to solve Seven Springs' problem would be scrapping the law that bans public officials from owning more than 1 percent of gambling entities. Amending the legislation to provide a loophole for Seven Springs is unlikely, officials said.

"There have been bills introduced on the gambling issues, but none that addresses the issue we're dealing with about Seven Springs," said Fran Cleaver, counsel for Sen. Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson, R-Bucks County.

"If Seven Springs wants to apply, they'll have to bring this issue to the General Assembly."

But Cleaver cautioned that state law prohibits legislation geared toward a specific individual or institution. "That becomes special legislation, which is prohibited in Pennsylvania," she said from her Harrisburg office.

In the amendment to the borough code, a municipality with a population of fewer than 150, incorporated after Jan. 1, 1964, would allow residents to hold office even though they may not have lived there for at least a year before the election.

Of the 127 people living in Seven Springs Borough, most have ties to the resort's ownership, the Dupre family. The resort's condos and townhouses are all in neighboring Middlecreek Township.

All three council members - Kenneth J. Dupre, Raymond E. Shuster and Laura Dupre Rizzo - are directly related to the ownership, resort spokesman Bob Duppstadt said.

"There are not many people living in Seven Springs Borough who would be qualified to run for council" other than family members, Duppstadt said.

The resort was incorporated as a borough in the 1960s because, at the time, surrounding townships were all "dry," preventing Seven Springs from obtaining a liquor license.

Bender conceded a potential solution would be for all of council to resign, but believes the problem will be ironed out before it comes to that.

The gambling commission can award 14 licenses: Seven for racetracks, five for standalone casinos and two at resorts. The racetrack and standalone licenses will cost $50 million each, and resort licenses $5 million.

The resort licenses limit the slots to guests at a "well-established resort hotel having no fewer than 275 guest rooms" and "substantial year-round recreational opportunities."

Seven Springs is the largest resort in Pennsylvania, attracting hundreds of thousands of skiers and conventioneers annually.

Nemacolin Woodlands caters to an affluent clientele.

Though the two resorts are nearby, both could get gambling permits if the Poconos region in Eastern Pennsylvania secures a standalone casino.

Bender said Seven Springs is preparing its bid for slots, despite the obstacles.

"We're going to press on with our plans," he said.
Mountain Masher
September 5, 2005
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
There are 3 big negatives with 7-Springs. 1) The mountain has no more than 750 vertical, and that's only on the back (North) side. Plus, there's NO way to get any additional vertical out of the mountain. 2) The entire mountain is relatively flat, so there can never be a true black diamond run at 7-Springs. 3) Other than the short Polar Bear Express high speed six pack, all of the chairlifts at 7-Springs are old and painfully SLOW. These are the things that a possible new owner of 7-S must consider. And, unfortunately the slow lifts are the only aspect (out of the 3 listed above) that can be improved.
wolverine
September 5, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Get real Mountain Masher! 7S has some of the best skiing in the Mid-Atlantic. As a middle 80%er, I'm glad the Springs is geared to the middle 80%,

If you seek huge vertical black diamonds (I hope you know the veritcal doesn't tell the whole story or quality of a slope), get on an airplaine!
Mack
September 5, 2005
Member since 12/19/2004 🔗
34 posts
It doesn't?
Mountain Masher
September 5, 2005
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Wolverine, I AM being "REAL" in my comments about 7-S. As a season pass holder for the past 8 years, I think that I know something about 7-S. 750 vertical is far below a number of ski areas in the mid-atlantic. So I don't need to go out west to ski significantly more vertical. Don't get me wrong, I like 7-S (mainly because of their snowmaking system), I was just offering a REALISTIC assessment of the place.
Roger Z
September 6, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
We need to come up with a better name than a "middle eighty percenter." Jimmy is the naming expert on this board... where is he when you need him?

I always felt like Seven Springs skied more like the resorts out in the midwest than one in the Appalachians. Ultra-wide runs, short drops, lots of lifts, good snow- could have been in Michigan (or Ohio) as easily as it is in Pennsylvania. That said, Boyne Highlands and Nubs Nob are great little hills. I wouldn't make a weekend of it from here, but if you ever find yourself stranded in the upper part of the glove out around Petosky (sp?) they're worth a trip. The back side of Nubs Nob feels a little like Timberline, and the front side is like stepping off a table top.

Though someday, I would like to take a trip here . Consider it the original Moonshine Mountain.
wolverine
September 6, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Whitetail has one of the largest verticals in the Mid-Atlantic, more than 7S. Who wants to ski Whitetail for a season v. 7S?
Roger Z
September 6, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Well, actually...

If Whitetail faced northeast or some direction besides ESE, and it was 1000 feet higher, it'd be the best ski resort around here. One time I had a bitterly disappointing ski trip to western PA and spent the second day skiing at Whitetail. It was Super Bowl Sunday if I remember right, high of 30, they made snow all day and the mountain was empty. Snow never got mushy, sun was on you, the manmade snow kept the ice at bay, and everything was open. Hard to ask for more than that.

Long runs (for the region), good fall line, nice views (if not spectacular), consistent vertical... honestly, if you hit Whitetail on an uncrowded day you find yourself wondering why you would bother to go any further than Mercersburg to ski in the mid-Atlantic.
BushwackerinPA
September 6, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
or go to Blue Knob and bang on rocks and stumps:)thats what i do.

Josh who hates 7springs on weekends but thinks its alright for night skiing with friends.
kennedy
September 6, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I've ridden WT on primo days and 7 Springs on baaaad days and on a bad day 7S holds it's own comfortably. It rides much bigger than 750 vert and the vriety you can throw into a run is endless. Whitetail I always find is the same thing over and over again ad nauseum. The only time WT becomes really fun is on a powder day and they are rare and besides what hill isn't fun on a powder day?
jimmy
September 6, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Middle 80%er = Pareto's Puerile Powderhounds

While we're takin a trip down off-topic lane, wolverine and rogerz, i've only been to whitetail once....march 04, mashed patatoes (dan quail school of inglish) for snow and i did think they've got a pretty good hill, I'd love a shot at a mid-week winter day there.

Horizontal in the mid A is, ithink, as important as vertical and 7S has plenty of horizontal.

Put a natty in front of Bo....hemia and yeah, maybe we have a model for MSM. Anyone up for a trip to check it out?

I awoke Monday with a terrible headache and it was, i believe, blue knob's fault!

Making a move back towards the topic..oh yeah, 7 springs for sale....... Mountain Masher, i agree with your 3 points about Limited vertical, slow lifts and whatever the other one was , but if someone's buying the resort they only care about one thing, how many people go there to spend their $$$$$$$$$$, and 7springs is an industry giant in gross sales and apparently still has land to exploit. That's what's ?for sale?
jb714
September 6, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
Quote:

if someone's buying the resort they only care about one thing, how many people go there to spend their $$$$$$$$$$, and 7springs is an industry giant in gross sales and apparently still has land to exploit. That's what's ?for sale?




Well put, Jimmy. We have to remember that even though we measure a ski resort by vertical, lifts, etc, investors will look purely at ROI. Incidentally, I thought that there was some speculation earlier on another thread that the proposed Western Territory could perhaps squeeze out about 900' vertical.
Ski_Daddy
September 7, 2005
Member since 08/5/2005 🔗
2 posts
There's no way you're going to get 900 ft of vertical out of Seven Springs. The highest point is right behind Lake Tahoe at 2990 ft. The bottom of Gunner is 2270 ft. That's a skiable verticle of 720 ft. To get to 900 feet of vertical you would need the bottom of a run to be less than 2100 ft. If you look at a topo map of the area you will see that there is no place around near that bottom elevation.

With the new addition at WISP they will have around the same vertical as 7 Springs with much beter grooming and more varied terrain.

I have been skking 7 Springs since there was a working Poma Lift on North Face (i.e. early 70's) and every year am still disapointed in the low quality of their grooming and the ice on the slopes.

In addition it seems every year they cut down more trees and make the slopes even wider. Pretty soon they will be to a point where the entire mountain is just one booring open field to ski down. Add some variety then buy some new grooming equipment and hire someone who knows what they're doing to run the crew.
RobertW
September 7, 2005
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
199 posts
The 900 foot figure comes from the area where the "Great Western" expansion is to take place. A run terminating in the Neals Run valley could be near an elevation of 2000 ft.

I too skiied there before The North Face even existed. The surface often resembled an inclined ice skating rink. I don't ever remember seeing any sign of a grooming machine. The output of the early HKD snow towers often resembled glacial ice stained brown by the deisel oil present in air stream from the early air compressors. Patrollers were kept busy by a constant stream of visitors who slipped on the ice and ran into the trees (or tree wells!) located throughout the Wagner and Stowe slopes.

While I certainly respect anyone's opinion (one man's corduroy is another man's destroyed mogul field), I just can't see how you can call their current grooming/snowmaking "low quality", especially compared to Wisp. I regularly ski both areas and find both to have top notch grooming, snowmaking and staffs. Both areas ski larger than their verticals and you will be hard pressed to match the Open Bowl experience of North Face/Little North Face in the Mid-Atlantic.

Perhaps there is massive ice Saturday/Sunday evenings (I never ski there on weekends)...I just don't see it.
BushwackerinPA
September 7, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
There is massive iceing on weekends, but who doesnt get that in the Mid-Atlantic. I say sharpen those skis and experince one of the best "resorts" around with some skiing that is ok.
jimmy
September 8, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Quote:

While I certainly respect anyone's opinion (one man's corduroy is another man's destroyed mogul field), I just can't see how you can call their current grooming/snowmaking "low quality", especially compared to Wisp. I regularly ski both areas and find both to have top notch grooming, snowmaking and staffs. Both areas ski larger than their verticals and you will be hard pressed to match the Open Bowl experience of North Face/Little North Face in the Mid-Atlantic.

Perhaps there is massive ice Saturday/Sunday evenings (I never ski there on weekends)...I just don't see it.



Right on RobertW.

Sunday is my regular day to ski 7 Springs, what are you guys calling ice? When the ski patrol sits at the top of Cupp and tells u that if u go down ur on your own and you see three people if you count the liftie, that's ice.

When thunderdraft is groomed, frozen and the surface resembles corrugated steel that rattles ur teeth and makes your eyeballs hurt, that's ice.

Typical Sunday conditions at 7Springs, I don't think so.
wolverine
September 8, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Hockeydave,

Do your sources tell you that a major announcement is still going to happen in the next few days from 7S?
wolverine
September 8, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Quote:

In my opinion, there are 3 reasons why LM struggles:
1) Exactly as you state, Kennedy, the lack of developed real estate surrounding the ski area, which means most/all skiers at LM need to travel some distance by car
2) Snowmaking... w/o natural snowfall, there are really only 2 ways down the mountain, and the less than intermediate skier only has 1 way down (he/she avoids Lower Wildcat, especially ungroomed).
3) State of PA... PA was charging the previous concessionaire (George Mowl) $100,000/yr rent to operate LM. Instead they should have been charging him nothing, considering the boost to the local economy (employment, tourism, etc.) a ski resort brings for the several months it is open.

BTW... my understanding is that a major announcement regarding 7S is coming within 2 weeks.


Mack
September 8, 2005
Member since 12/19/2004 🔗
34 posts
Quote:

Both areas ski larger than their verticals and you will be hard pressed to match the Open Bowl experience of North Face/Little North Face in the Mid-Atlantic.




Strange, we must be thinking of different resorts. I think Seven Springs skis smaller than it's vertical, which is pathetic to begin with.
RobertW
September 8, 2005
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
199 posts
Quote:

....which is pathetic to begin with.




By this standard then are not all areas with less than 4000 feet of vertical pathetic? Or those days that are not blessed with 2 feet of fresh and blue skies pathetic? Do you want me to admit that every area in DCSki's coverage area is pathetic? Ok, so it is not Jackson Hole or Snowbird but does that mean I can't enjoy an area for what it is or the experience of being on the snow? Bashing a Mid-Atlantic resort for not overcoming it's inherent geography does not make sense to me.
hockeydave
September 9, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
As far as I know, the announcement on 7S still will happen. Whether or not a delay has occurred, I don't know. I will playing golf with my source on Sunday and will give an update on Monday.

Has anybody heard any news on LM
Heather
September 9, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
Was at 7S 2 weeks ago for a ski patrol thing and nobody seem to want to discuss LM with me. LM has their patrol refresher tomorrow and hopefully we will have some conversation about the happenings (or lack there of) of our beautiful mountain. On Labor Day my husband, son , and I went for a bike ride to see what was happening at the slopes and it was apparent to me that someone has had a meeting of some sort inside the lodge and the grass had been cut around the building. So have we had any news about LM, in a word NO!
hockeydave
September 9, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
My LM source told me that Lee Murdy (Somerset Trust mgmt) is actually the person cutting the grass around the lodge @ LM. I hope you can get just a little inkling what's going on with LM during your ski patrol training. If something doesn't happen soon, my guess is that special place may not reopen this year. Given LM's past hisory of losing $$$ and escalating energy costs, it would be a real gamble for anyone to try to make a go of it, at least this year. My real fear, unless PA steps in to help out a LM ski area manager, is that it may not ever reopen. Keep your fingers crossed.... still. (My fingers are getting sore from keeping them crossed!!!). I really dread having to spend a weekend or 2 @ 7S, which, after 11:00 AM on a Saturday, is the snowy equivalent of a demolition derby.
Heather
September 9, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
Great analogy 7S being the equivalent to a demo derby! I keep hoping that 7S is just playing a game with the bank to get the sweetest deal they can get with respects to LM. Either way, we will probably be up in the air AGAIN until the very last minute, and that is just unfortunate!

***Think LM***
hockeydave
September 9, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Just spoke to my LM source. 7S supposedly wants to operate LM on a year to year basis only. However, Somerset Trust wants a long term arrangement, and word is, they may announce as early as next week someone other than 7S to take over ski operations.

This source also informs me that he also has heard rumours of a 7S sale, possibly to IntraWest. He says 7S mgmt have totally denied these rumours. Stay tuned....
snowcone
September 9, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
I find it hard to believe that Intrawest would buy another resort in the same area. Traditionally they have a 'destination' resort for a given area, and I simply don't see them buying into 7 Springs unless they are preparing to abandon Snowshoe as 'completed' and mature developmental-wise. I could see some other smaller company buying into 7S; perhaps the folks doing the expansion at Wisp or maybe the Snowtime group are ready to go big time. Since the bigger companies like American Ski are currently having some serious cash flow issues, I expect anyone taking over 7S will do so either as a partner or in toto as a strictly local company. Other opinions?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 9, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Quote:

I find it hard to believe that Intrawest would buy another resort in the same area. Traditionally they have a 'destination' resort for a given area, and I simply don't see them buying into 7 Springs unless they are preparing to abandon Snowshoe as 'completed' and mature developmental-wise. I could see some other smaller company buying into 7S; perhaps the folks doing the expansion at Wisp or maybe the Snowtime group are ready to go big time. Since the bigger companies like American Ski are currently having some serious cash flow issues, I expect anyone taking over 7S will do so either as a partner or in toto as a strictly local company. Other opinions?




Over the years, I've often asked people at Intrawest what resort other than Snowshoe is the best run mountain in our region. The answer is always the same: 7 Springs. I've also asked if they think 7 Springs is big competition for Snowshoe and the answer is always the same: no, different market. 7 Springs focuses on the Pittsburgh/Cleveland market. Snowshoe's market consists of southern states (VA, NC, GA, FL, etc). The only market these two resorts share is the DC metro market but that's a limited market because people like us have so many other choices ranging from the resorts of Snowtime to Utah via cheap flights from Dulles and BWI.

Bottom Line: it would not surprise me in the least bit if Intrawest were interested in 7 Springs. If 7S can get a gaming concession, it would also be a perfect resort for Intrawest to test the concept of skiing and gambling--something I'm very much in favor of because those old ladies dumping quarters into the slots will pay for snowmaking and new lifts..
Ullr
September 9, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

This source also informs me that he also has heard rumours of a 7S sale, possibly to IntraWest.




Hey Matt, if this is true I'll come up and visit one more time before cluster f%#k begins!
wolverine
September 14, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Hockeydave,

Does you source for the impending announcement of 7S still think there will be an announcement anytime soon?
Heather
September 14, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
I sure as heck hope so!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 14, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
Booth Creek Ski Holdings, a company that owns ski resorts in California, Washington and New Hampshire tried to buy 7Springs several years back. However, Dupre family squabbles kept the sale from going through. 7Springs has alot of skier visits and it looks like they are going to get a gaming license. So if they are for sale, I don't think a small local company would be the buyer. I find it interesting that IF they are for sale, neighboring Hidden Valley and 7Springs are for sale at the same time. Do they make money? I don't know, but how else would Snowtime stay in business if they didn't make money off the ski operation. They don't really sell much real estate.Given that 7Springs is a large operation by Mid-Atlantic standards, they may be attractive given the huge population that they can draw from.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 15, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Sources I have spoken to indicate that 7 Springs has the biggest numbers in the region--numbers that compare to large destination resorts in the West. That and the gaming concession make 7 Springs a winner for a buyer. What I like about 7 Springs is that they can generally cover 100 percent of their terrain with snow in less than a week if the weather is right. Their snowmaking is the best in the region and the envy of resorts around the world.
wolverine
September 21, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Well, it's been over 3 weeks.....


Quote:

In my opinion, there are 3 reasons why LM struggles:
1) Exactly as you state, Kennedy, the lack of developed real estate surrounding the ski area, which means most/all skiers at LM need to travel some distance by car
2) Snowmaking... w/o natural snowfall, there are really only 2 ways down the mountain, and the less than intermediate skier only has 1 way down (he/she avoids Lower Wildcat, especially ungroomed).
3) State of PA... PA was charging the previous concessionaire (George Mowl) $100,000/yr rent to operate LM. Instead they should have been charging him nothing, considering the boost to the local economy (employment, tourism, etc.) a ski resort brings for the several months it is open.

BTW... my understanding is that a major announcement regarding 7S is coming within 2 weeks.


hockeydave
September 21, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Yep, it's been 3 weeks. Thanks for keeping track. If you read the rest of the thread, I also said there may have been a delay in the announcement and 7S Management have totally denied the "For Sale" rumours. However, if 7S opens the ski season with the Dupree family still in full ownership, I will apologize, in this thread, to anyone who's life has been disrupted because the sale of 7S did not happen.
Taylormatt
September 21, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Quote:

Well, it's been over 3 weeks.....


Quote:

In my opinion, there are 3 reasons why LM struggles:
1) Exactly as you state, Kennedy, the lack of developed real estate surrounding the ski area, which means most/all skiers at LM need to travel some distance by car
2) Snowmaking... w/o natural snowfall, there are really only 2 ways down the mountain, and the less than intermediate skier only has 1 way down (he/she avoids Lower Wildcat, especially ungroomed).
3) State of PA... PA was charging the previous concessionaire (George Mowl) $100,000/yr rent to operate LM. Instead they should have been charging him nothing, considering the boost to the local economy (employment, tourism, etc.) a ski resort brings for the several months it is open.

BTW... my understanding is that a major announcement regarding 7S is coming within 2 weeks.







Trust me, being a local to 7S and seeing first hand how weird things are up on the mountain...SOMETHING is going on, we just can't figure out what it is and not many who may know are talking. Something is happening though.
shearer519
September 22, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
149 posts
Taylormatt, can you give us some examples of the weird things going on at the mountain? I sure would be interested to know.
Taylormatt
September 22, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Not on a public board...being a seasonal employee and all Don't want to possibly step on any toes or out anyone who's said/done anything.
jb714
September 22, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
I haven't a clue if this has any bearing on any potential sale of the resort, but I thought I'd pass it along just the same - this article is in today's Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown:

Quote:

Published: September 21, 2005 11:28 pm

Resort seeks two acres for condos

By KIRK SWAUGER
kswauger@tribdem.com

Somerset -
Already the fastest-growing municipality in Somerset County, Middlecreek Township soon could become even larger.

Literally.

Seven Springs Resort is seeking a rare court order that would transfer nearly two acres in Seven Springs Borough to the township.

"There really is no significant objection to this," said Dan Rullo, the attorney for Seven Springs Farm Inc.

A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 7 before Judge John Cascio.

Raymond Shuster, Seven Springs Borough Council president, and the three Middlecreek Township supervisors all have signed off on the land transfer, court records show.

The issue centers around Southwind condominiums, a ski-in, ski-out community being developed on top of the mountain.

The development overlooks the resort near Lake Tahoe, a man-made lake used for snowmaking and other recreation.

So far, 111 units have been sold in the $100 million development, and about 70 more are planned, resort spokesman Bob Duppstadt said.

The whole development is supposed to be in Middlecreek Township.

But an engineering footprint would require five condos to be constructed on 1.998 acres that actually are in the borough. Seven Springs Farm Inc. is - and always has been - the lone property owner in the borough itself.

"All you would be doing is fixing the boundary line between Seven Springs Borough and Middlecreek Township," Rullo said.

In his motion, Rullo pointed to a 20-year-old Commonwealth Court decision that allowed Connoquenessing and Butler townships in Butler County to shift about 20 acres without a voter referendum.

The proposed boundary change at Seven Springs would have no impact on taxes, he added.

Property taxes for homes at Southwind would go to the township as planned, and both municipalities are in the Rockwood Area School District.



hockeydave
September 22, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Thanks for corroborating...
Taylormatt
September 22, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Lol, sorry. All I can say is things are weird and leave it at that.
hockeydave
September 22, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I agree with the "weird" comment, and we'll leave it that.
Heather
September 22, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
Things are getting "weird" all over the Laurel Highlands. Roads are being repaired in LM Village, new H2O lines are being discussed. Maybe paranoia is getting the best of me, but I feel that something has to be in the works otherwise nothing would be changing!
'
queenoftheslopes
September 22, 2005
Member since 11/15/2004 🔗
143 posts
I hope for good things. I would really love a chance to ski LM again. Such a pretty place with huge potential.
hockeydave
September 22, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I was biking thru LM Village about 6 weeks ago. Some road work was taking place on Matterhorn, which was in dire need of repair. There are some beautiful homes in LM Village, especially the log homes. I know until the sewage & water issue gets strightened out, no new building is allowed. There are a few places currently for sale that are very reasonably priced. However, even though LM Village is a quaint little hamlet, w/o a ski area, LM Village would not be all that desirable to spend weekends in the Winter given that it is a 1/2 hour drive to 7S or HV (same drive time from where I live now) and real estate value most likely wouldn't appreciate. If only I had a spare $100k in my pocket and some guts in my stomach... what an interesting time to speculate.
Heather
September 22, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
Hey who else out there in DCSki land lurks in my backyard and doesn't stop to say hello? HOCKEYDAVE...if you are familiar with the layout of LM Village, then you have seen my house (I'm sure of it by reading your last post). If you travel matterhorn, make a right onto Zermatt and we are the third house on our right (new log home). with the exception of the place at the top of Matterhorn, our house was the last to receive a building permit, due to H2O problems. Fortunately, we already had tapped into system before new building was halted by Jennerstownship. We are not finished yet, but it sure does feel good to be home! In your last post you said you wouldn't be interested in living here year round if the resort wasn't open, but I would have to disagree! Let me make may case......
1)no one ever just drops in (too long of a drive for the relatives who live in Gbg)
2)there is always cross country skiing (I have never tried it, seems like too much work, but the husband enjoys it)
3)If you are into snow mobiles, quads, dirt bikes, or other male play toys, the mountain is like one giant fun park. We see more of these types of vehicles than cars, vans or SUVs (well maybe not SUVs).
4)must have SUV (road conditions in winter make this a necessity, and this way I don't feel guilty about owning a few!) Honestly I probably wouldn't feel guilty anyway, just a good excuse.
5) no real neighbors. most homes on my street are either for sale (asking way too much), or part time vacation homes.
6)Campfires allowed year round (have you ever had a smore @ 2am in the middle of winter, if not you should try it!)
7)Winter seems to last forever up in laurel highlands (no complaints from me)

as you can see my list could go on and on and on and on and etc. It is just like living in small city, if you live in a small city where the closest store is a Dollar General in either direction. Works just fine for me!


QUEEN, agree LM has huge potential, but if we let the chuckleheads from this forum have their way, we are destin to wear either (and I am not sure which would be worse)mickey mouse ears or daisy dukes! could you imagine it 4 degrees below 0 and all we can wear is MM ears, MSM logo tee shirt, cut off shorts and ski boots......oh the pictures we would see could make dicussion of hurricanes changing to discussions of beer seem, in an odd sort of way, normal.......




***THINK LAUREL***
wolverine
October 17, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Anyone heard anything else about the 7S ownership change?

At 7S Autumnfest, I heard they are advertising that the Southwind townhome phases are sold out (100+ units) and the "Lodge and Southwind" will be selling 50 condo/hotel units this winter...


Also, anyone heard anything more about slots at 7S?
Taylormatt
October 18, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
There will be an announcement...it's been put off once again for unknown reasons.

As for the slots, it's still in the application process.
Ullr
October 18, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Looking forward to it. We will be up sometime in mid-December.
Taylormatt
October 18, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Quote:

Looking forward to it. We will be up sometime in mid-December.




I hope we're OPEN by Mid December this year

I don't think I can handle another winter like last year: Extremely late opening, rain, fog, more rain, no snow and nearly closed down mid season due to lack of skiing surface other than mud & rocks. None of the winter predictions so far have been very promising either.
hockeydave
October 18, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
May be a repeat of someone elses post, but here is the Winter forecast from the Old Farmer's Almanac for the Appalachian region:

The winter season will be colder than normal, on average, with above-normal snowfall. Most of the snow and cold will come during December and January, when temperatures will be seven or eight degrees below normal, on average. The rest of the season will be much milder, with near-normal temperatures in November and March and a very mild February. The coldest periods will be in mid-December and mid- and late January. The heaviest snow will occur in early and mid-December, mid- and late January, and early March.
Taylormatt
October 18, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Problem is, for every good forecast I see, I find 2 bad ones. FA says this, NOAA says that, Accuguess says this, blah. Avergage them all up and we got another sketchy winter prediction
jb714
October 18, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
I can recall some mighty fine skiing at the Springs last year in late Feb and early March.....but they did have a late start, and the first half of both Jan and Feb were brutal.
A lot of the long-range forecasts that I've seen on Easternuswx seem to be leaning towards a cold/snowy December, so hopefully we'll be in good shape for a January thaw.
hockeydave
October 18, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
If weatherpeople got paid based on the accuracy of a 5 day forecast, they'd be spending a lot of their time @ the food bank. So I wouldn't worry about what these people say, especially long range forecasts, because frankly, they just don't know. The weather is what it is... JUST THINK & HOPE FOR SNOW.
Taylormatt
October 19, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Quote:

If weatherpeople got paid based on the accuracy of a 5 day forecast, they'd be spending a lot of their time @ the food bank.




That's why I refered to it as "Accuguess"
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