I copied this from a Pittsburgh news website. I checked out "Hollywood Real Estate Services, LLC" and although they indicate that they have over $100,000,000. in listings, their web site only has one listing. Looks like another local ski resort bites the dust.
A spokesman said Hidden Valley would be ready for ski season, although bids are being solicited for the sale of the Somerset County resort.
One of western Pennsylvania's most popular resorts -- Hidden Valley Four Season Resort in Somerset County -- is for sale.
An advertisement soliciting sealed bids for the regional ski resort that spans more than 1,100-acres along Somerset County's western border with Westmoreland and Fayette counties appeared in Friday's editions of USA Today.
The inn and conference center, ski area, ski lodge, 18-hole golf course and several hundred acres of undeveloped property are for sale, together or separately. Bids are being solicited by Hollywood Real Estate Services LLC in Potomac, Md., and are due by Sept. 30.
Hidden Valley has been owned since 1983 by the Kettler family of the Washington, D.C., area. James M. Kettler, who also owns the Kettler Brothers Homes land development and home building company in Montgomery Village, Md., couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
Hidden Valley spokesman Keith James said he had no statement on the reason for the sale, but said the resort is getting ready for ski season and a sale should not impact operations.
Somerset County Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes called the resort an important employer in the county, and said rumors have circulated for weeks that the resort could be put up for sale because of ongoing tax problems.
Last month, Somerset County solicitor Dan Rullo alerted commissioners that the resort owed $65,500 in hotel taxes, fees and penalties going back three years.
The county's tax claim bureau said yesterday the resort also owes more than $679,000 in real estate taxes for part of 2002 and all of 2003. Partial tax payments were made last year to avert a tax sale, but there have been no payments toward the unpaid amount this year so several resort properties are slated for tax sale Sept. 19.
The resort has more than 900 full- and part-time employees at times, especially during ski season.
Hidden Valley was founded in the 1950s by George and Helen Parke of Pittsburgh. They purchased a 112-acre farm to run a small restaurant and inn. In the mid-1950s, ski slopes were added, and residential development began.
Developer Clarence Kettler purchased the resort in 1983 and afterward residential development grew to more than 1,100 units including condominiums, town homes, and single-family homes.
James said the resort still has a lot of development potential. "I'd say about 40 percent of the property has yet to be developed and the Kettlers have a lot of the infrastructure in place to do it," he said.
James said the resort didn't release visitor figures for the 2004-05 ski season, but estimated they paled in comparison to the previous season "which was just excellent."
Somerset County Chief Assessor John Riley Jr. said an independent appraisal done about six years ago pegged the resort's value at about $25 million, and "at today's rate, I'd say its market value is about $32.8 million."
Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association in Lakewood, Colo., said now is "actually a pretty good time to be selling a ski resort."
"If you look at the national figures, the 2004-05 season is estimated to be the fourth best season on record for skiing and snowboard visits nationwide. Four of the best five seasons were recorded in the past five years," Berry said.
Some New England resorts closed in the '60s and '70s have reopened, he said. "And the smaller resorts seem to be doing very, very well too, hitting with the under-20 crowd with an immense interest in snowboarding," he said.
Hidden Valley competes for regional ski business with Seven Springs Mountain Resort, also in Somerset County. Seven Springs also reopened the Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, east of Ligonier, in Westmoreland County, last year.