Laurel Mountain Ski Resort
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11 users
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rjsherrin
September 21, 2006
Member since 09/28/2005 🔗
145 posts
I spoke with Doug yesterday and it doesn't look like Laurel Mountain will be open this year. I really miss the resort for both skiing and the down to earth people skiing there.
hockeydave
September 21, 2006
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Don't give up on LM just yet... I've been told by someone closely associated with Somerset Trust that there is still some hope. There will be an official announcement by Nov 1, either good (will open) or bad (will not open).
rjsherrin
September 21, 2006
Member since 09/28/2005 🔗
145 posts
I haven't given up yet. I won't buy any other resort season pass until it is definate. A few years ago, we were using a place on the slopes at Hidden Valley and drove to Laurel Mountain every day. I like them both, but Laurel is hard to beat. If you hear anything else, please post it.
rjsherrin
October 12, 2007
Member since 09/28/2005 🔗
145 posts
Has anyone heard anything about Laurel Mountain Ski Resort?
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Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
October 14, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,860 posts
Hey rj, did you see this thread?

Laurel coop article in Trib

Letters were sent and no response back from DCNR or Mellon Foundation. If we can get the official OK to proceed, we can start to organize and shoot for next season.

There are talks ongoing with the bank and another interested party that hasn't been to the table before. I doubt Laurel will open this year even if a sale closes soon.
hockeydave
October 15, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Whether Laurel is bought by a private group or operated by a co-op, I still believe, now more than ever, that contacting state senators and representatives along with Somerset & Westmoreland county commissioners can only help get Laurel re-opened either this year or most likely next year. Without the state's support to do what's necessary to keep Laurel viable for the long haul, I think that this may be the last chance for the hill to survive as a ski area.

Here is a link from a year ago for some contact info... I hope the info is still accurate:

http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthr...=true#Post28090
rjsherrin
October 15, 2007
Member since 09/28/2005 🔗
145 posts
With everything being so hush hush about the newest interested party, it's hard to know what to go to the parks and politicians with. Is it someone like the Kettler Brothers who want some changes to develop it a little or just some who wants it for winter activities and follow the State and Mellons and close it most of the year.
hockeydave
October 15, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
All that needs to be communicated to the politicians is that you want to see Laurel reopen and that they need to do what's necessary to make it happen. Whether a private group or a co-op operate Laurel in the future, the state needs to be on board for any future upgrades and improvements. The politicians are the only ones who can make things happen and being who they are (politicians), if people voice their displeasure in numbers that Laurel is not reopening again, they will take notice.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
October 15, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,860 posts
I just wanted to say that all questions put to the State Parks/PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources should be sent to Doug Finger at: dfinger@state.pa.us

Doug is the park manager for Linn Run/Laurel Mountain State Park. All comments should be sent through him. Please don't use the askdcnr link, that link is more for tourist type info and comments may not get to the intended target.

The Westmoreland County commissioners should also be contacted. They are:
Tom Balya, tombals@wpa.net
Thomas C. Ceraso, tceraso@co.westmoreland.pa.us
Phil Light, plight@co.westmoreland.pa.us

I've talked to Mr. Light. He is very interested in seeing Laurel open. I would hope that is the case with the other two commissioners.

hockeydave
October 17, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
After writing to all 3 Westmoreland County commissioners, I received the following responses within 48 hours. I also received a response from state rep Jess Stairs (I didn't post it). After reading the following, it seems somewhat encouraging that Laurel may be open next year.

Again, please write, email or call these individuals. The 5 minutes you spend writing a short email lets the politicians know that people care about Laurel. And given what I do know about the potential future owner, people at the county and state level will need to be involved to make Laurel viable.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dave,

I agree. I used to ski there several years ago and think it has some of the bests runs around here. I know that there are some groups that are trying to reopen the area. Unfortunately it won't happen for this season. I know that all involved are working to find a group that can afford to take a financial hit in the down years. I think that this is important as it doesn't benefit anyone to get someone in there that runs it for a year and has to walk away because of financial problems. Thanks for your concern and again we are trying to find a long term solution to this problem.

Tom Ceraso
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dave:

I had heard from some private individuals who really wanted to make a go of it.

That is disappointing. I'm even getting emails from people outside the county who know of it and show interest.

TB
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dave,



Thank you for your concern and interest in the future of the Laurel Mountain Ski Area. Negotiations on the future operation of the ski area are presently at a very favorable stage with all concerned parties on the same page and all working towards the same goal of having a sustainable year round use of the property in question including the operation of the ski area. Unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of these negotiations, I am not at liberty to discuss details but I am encouraged with the progress and, because of your interest, I will attempt to keep you informed as details become available. Opening the area to the public this year does not seem to be a reasonable possibility but I can tell you that that option is still on the table. Have a great day and pray for snow! In the right places, of course J.



From beautiful Westmoreland County nestled in the enchanting Laurel Highlands,



Phil Light

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
hockeydave
October 18, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Just to be clear, I do not know who the potential future owner is, but I am hoping that it is who I think it is. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the negotations keep progressing because Laurel needs an owner with the resources that this owner has.
hockeydave
October 24, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I give Seven Springs management credit for being consistent & sticking by their party line for the past several years wrt Laurel. I emailed an esteemed PA state rep (name withheld) requesting that the state do everything they can to help out if someone steps up to the plate to reopen Laurel (I did not mention 7S in my email). Here is his response...

 Quote:
David -

I spoke with Seven Springs and they said they are not going to be involved in the Jennerstown ski area this year. They did not say "never", but they lost too much money in the past.

Thanks -


Attention, Seven Springs Management, cease the BS and just say "NEVER"!!!! Pretty please. You would make my day.

I really, really hope that if a new operator does take over, Seven Springs management is proven to be dead wrong about whether Laurel can be viable and profitable.
rjsherrin
October 24, 2007
Member since 09/28/2005 🔗
145 posts
Is there any chance that the new owners of Hidden Valley would be interested in expanding to Laurel Mountain? I think there is alot of potential there if the State Parks ease up a little. The income statements I reviewed in the past didn't look to bad. If a group had some Capital to sit on, they would have a good chance.
hockeydave
October 24, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Based on what they're doing at HV, I think Buncher would be great at Laurel. But I'm sure they're in the same boat as the Nuttings were when they took over 7S. Actually, they're in worse shape because of what they inherited.

I'm hoping if a deal does happen at Laurel, the people who take over show the same kind of enthusiasm and pump the needed resources into Laurel.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 24, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
A word of caution in all the discussion about reopenning Laurel. If it was a gold mine in the past there would be folks knocking down the door to own/operate it now and in the future.
Somebody has to agree to lessen the restrictions on housing, land use, etc. to even begin to make Laurel work with enough profit to make an investor take a chance knowing that a poor winter weatherwise would possibly negate any profit for a year or two.
The Colonel \:\)
Leo
October 25, 2007
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts
While I agree that current restrictions make Laurel Mt a unique challenge and make it less viable than a similar resort with no restrictions, there is rarely any situation where a business is a "gold mine" that will require no effort or risk. If this were ever the case, being in business and making money would be easy and everyone would be doing it.

There is a niche that Laurel Mt could fill, and I feel it is an asset that is "trading" below its market value. Therefore, there is money to be made. It is a matter of whether or not there is a party willing to accept the inherent risk.
rjsherrin
October 25, 2007
Member since 09/28/2005 🔗
145 posts
I think the bank is willing to almost give it away. It needs to be off their books soon. When it reopened for the 99-00 season, the gross reciepts were $636,000.00. The next two years they were about $1,200,000.00 each year. If the State Parks would ease up on who buys it and the buyer had sufficient capital to sit on it for a couple of years, it could be a "gold mine" especially if the bank says take it and get it off our books.
If the water and sewer situation in the Village gets corrected, there may be growth there. I never minded driving 1 mile in to ski there. The lodge was like a home. Everyone was down to earth.
If the 10 commercial acres at the entrance were developed as a small motel, this could help bring more business.
hockeydave
November 1, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
It's November 1 and the state (DCNR) has not announced whether or not Laurel will be open this year. I noticed last year the announcement came on November 21 that Laurel would not be opening. I would wager it isn't going to open this year, but that's one bet I would love to lose.
rjsherrin
November 10, 2007
Member since 09/28/2005 🔗
145 posts
Does anyone know if the deal for Laurel has been finished? I think next year it will be open with a lot of improvements.
fishnski
November 10, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
I'm happy to see posts on Laurel Mtn..Keep hope alive! This will piss some folks off that have a vested interest in hidden valley or just love it for whatever reason but....What the hell is there to get excited about?!!! Another 600 vert Hill to add to a couple of runs over 600 vert Seven Springs & that amusing amusement park called Wisp?!!
What a shame it is to see hills resurected while Mtns like laurel that sit right on top of the snow belt for sw Pa go by the wayside. If I was the ski czar of the United states HV would be history! Blue knob,7springs,& wisp by a hair only because of their extensive infostructure would stay....Canaan/timberline would stay but their leaders would be put under house arrest & the areas would see the potential that us paying skiers deserve!...then MPC would be developed into the showcase of the mid atlantic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
hockeydave
November 12, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Took a walk back to the Laurel Lodge this weekend and saw no sign of activity... even if a deal does happen this year, I see no chance of the slopes opening until next year. However, I spoke to 2 Ligonier town residents that said they think they saw the lights on the at the ski area a couple of weeknights. Can anyone confirm?
Heather
November 12, 2007
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
The lights have been on for several weeks. I am not sure what slope they have lit, but I believe it is Lower Wildcat.
hockeydave
November 12, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Thanks Heather. Very interesting...
RobertW
November 13, 2007
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
199 posts
So Dave...what do you think they are doing? Top Secret night testing of mountain boards? Removing the HKD's under cover of darkness? Somebody left the switch on?

I can't think of any "logical" reason to do this.

The ski area proper is still open to hiking isn't it?
Heather
November 13, 2007
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
The lights were off last night! Just thought you might like to know!
lower-rules
November 13, 2007
Member since 11/13/2007 🔗
1 posts
WAS OVER IN 04-05 SEEN IMPROVMENTS THAT SEVEN SPRINGS MADE, IF IT WASN'T FOR THE MELT DOWN IN JANUARY, WRONG INFORMATION DURING THE MELT DOWN, LAUREL WOULD HAVE TURNED A BETTER PROFIT.
hockeydave
November 14, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
What improvements did 7 Springs make? I really didn't notice any besides letting you know via signage that you were skiing at "The Springs at Laurel Mountain". They operated Laurel very well given the circumstances and the weather. I think all of those signs will be gone very shortly. It will be gratifying to me when people who have their heart in Laurel (not to mention $$$) prove Scott Bender & company over at 7 Springs dead wrong about the viability of Laurel.

If this owner does indeed have deep pockets (which hopefully they do), it will be the 1st time since Laurel was given to the state that it will be operated by people who weren't hampered by a lack of capital. It will be very interesting to see what improvements will be done/permitted and where the priorities lie.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 14, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,860 posts
You're right Dave, the improvements that lower-rules must be referring to have to be those made by George Mowl because 7 Springs did very little in the one year they ran the place. That 7 Springs ever took an interest is beyond me. Perhaps the Dupres really wanted to do something there but I think there was some obscure reason behind it. The Nuttings certainly weren't interested.

Once again we wait to hear word if this rumored deal is real. The fact that our request to the DCNR and the Mellon Foundation to incorporate a not for profit co-op is, as yet, unanswered leaves me wondering why. Is no news good news or have they just blown the idea off pending a private party deal? I would have thought that we would have at least got back a "Thanks but no thanks" by now.

You're also right when you state that Laurel's previous operators were really under funded. Laurel needs a 'deep pocket' owner for it to become a profitable endeavor or a non-profit format to become a sustainable day use area.
RobertW
November 15, 2007
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
199 posts
 Originally Posted By: lower-rules
WAS OVER IN 04-05 SEEN IMPROVMENTS THAT SEVEN SPRINGS MADE....


1.) Some people said the food upstairs was better.
2.) The trail map was better.
3.) The web cam worked most of the time.

If you know of any more improvements that 7 Springs made, let me know!
imp
November 15, 2007
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
239 posts
the light that are on are the lodge lights tamecat and upper wildcat. Parking light lights were left on to prevent vandalism
and to allow the cameras to catch the vandals if they returned,
Lodge was used yesterday by DCNR as a base for a search and rescue of a local man.
Somerset Trust seems to have a real serious contact at this time but not for this season.
Heather you have the babies

imp
Heather
November 15, 2007
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
Do I know you?
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 15, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,860 posts
You know him.
camp
November 20, 2007
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts
Heard this today, don't know if it's old news to some of you local folk?

Hidden Valley, Seven Springs Asked To Operate Laurel Mountain
link here WJACtv.com - Johnstown,PA,USA
Officials at Hidden Valley and Seven Springs resorts said they have both been approached about operating Laurel Mountain Ski Slopes this winter. ...
camp
November 23, 2007
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts
Another article on Laurel from last week.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 23, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,860 posts
camp, here's more discussion about Laurel in a thread in the Local Resorts Forum. Page 3 has the latest info:

Laurel Mountain Breaking News
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