Mid-Atlantic Timberline, WV resort's future?

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by Dr. Bighair, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Johnfmh

    Johnfmh Johnfmh Skier

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Posts:
    130
    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Another article on the resort in Ski Southeast

    http://www.skisoutheast.com/timberl...oU1PDVAQuhabFNnWSyVJBpqafK8XR_PsjcnCp1pv1SXIE

    Some false assumptions in it:

    1. That the county and courts are going to handle this situation like a normal tax sale. Too much is at stake for a business as usual approach.

    2. That a courthouse sale is the only means by which the property eill be transferred. There are numerous other possible scenarios.

    3. That the property is worth more money without skiing. There are plenty of other places to develop property in the area. Skiing is what creates value for properties and future properties on the mountain. There are very few mountains zoned for skiing in the Mid-Atlantic between 3,000 and 4,000 feet of altitude. Timberline’s cold air and favorable exposure and microclimate are its crown jewels, not the infrastructure, which can be replaced. Cut trails and pre-existing slopeside accomodation are also worth $$. Investors will be looking at the future potential given modest infrastructure improvements plus better management and marketing.
     
    The Colonel, Skisix, Bluedon and 2 others like this.
  2. Johnfmh

    Johnfmh Johnfmh Skier

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Posts:
    130
    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Contents of the email I received proposing a MRG solution

    “Everyone,

    It is so sad to see the current situation at Timberline 4 Seasons Resort. Our family has been in the valley since Doc opened the resort and my parents, some of you may have met and known, were so enthusiastic about the valley that we bought a condo and later a parcel on land. To our family this was almost heaven.
    Go back some time when I was growing up our family would travel up to the Garden City Ski Club lodge at Mad River Glen. A wonderful area, good snow, steep terrain and very cold. A number of years ago Mad River Glen converted to a Coop ownership group. With the many unknowns with Timberline I would like to present for discussion on whether or not this could be a viable solution for Timberline if such becomes available.
    https://www.madriverglen.com/about-the-co-op/
    Please read all the information and FAQ’s regarding how Mad River Glen is being run, the costs, membership etc. There would be many other factors that may come into play due to different jurisdictions etc. Maybe a meeting with the Mad River Glen Coop could be arranged for a fact gathering session to help make an informed decision.
    I am sure we can get numbers since we are surrounded by Washington DC, Baltimore, Richmond, Pittsburgh and other large metropolitan areas. The local real estate offices, tax municipalities can get homeowner numbers but I think we can get a large enough group to make an undertaking viable. I also understand the current condition of the mountain and know substantial resources would be necessary to bring Timberline back to life. All part of good planning.
    If viable this keeps Timberline in a manner that is conducive to the valley and surrounding area. I do not know time frames and urgency matters but the sooner the better. Ideas for any such manner to proceed would be welcome. This note is being sent out in multiple emails due to recipient limitations so a uniform place will be needed to correspond back and forth.
    Thank you for your consideration”

    Thoughts: I like this approach but don’t this it would work. What I do think should happen is that stakeholders should start organizing and voicing their thoughts to the State, County, potential investors, and anyone else who will listen.” A lot can be accomplished on social media but there should be some in-person gatherings as well, both in the valley and the DC area where a lot of the mountain property owners and skiers live.
     
  3. AndyGene

    AndyGene Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Posts:
    29
    Salamander is wide, long and not steep. People that aren’t comfortable with steep runs can have a blast on it. It feels like a real trail and not a 300 foot bunny slope they are used to a skiing. Families with people of all abilities can cruise it together. The timber trail is pretty skinny in comparison. Also not nearly as long.
     
    The Colonel, Coach13 and jimmy like this.
  4. Thread Starter
    TS
    Dr. Bighair

    Dr. Bighair Putting on skis Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Posts:
    44
    no surprise. skisoutheast has been on the wrong side of this story all along....blaming and attacking locals for standing up to the criminal activities going on at the resort, ignoring the safety issues with the lifts and health issues at the resort that locals were trying to warn people of, and siding with the owners of the resort, skisoutheast's customers, who either have been arrested for or are being investigated for multiple criminal activities including running an opioid pill mill and stealing money from their customers. All the skisoutheast coverage of the goings on at tline have come across really self-righteous and like other outlets they chooses to delete any comments by skiing customers and locals that questions their claims and reporting on the matter. Only now that the newspapers and all other outlets have picked up the story has skisoutheast started to report on some of the illegal activities by the owners, skisoutheast's customers.

    One of the many great things about this forum is it provides an unfiltered forum for customers who want the real truth about a ski resort and helps customers to decide where they should take their skiing dollars and/or know which resort are providing a safe place to ski....same thing with timberlies on facebook. Kudos to folks here running this site. skisoutheast and dcski have let their skiing customers down when reporting on or managing the forums that discussed timberlines owners illegal and nefarious activities. skisoutheast and dcski could learn from you all here at Pugski….these forums and blogs that report on local resorts serve their skiing customers best when they don't put the ski resorts interest above the safety and interest of the skiing public.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  5. JohnL

    JohnL Skied Past The Most Interesting Man in the World. Team Gathermeister

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    Posts:
    405
    Location:
    NOVA - Home of Amazon HQ 2.5
    COOP is a pipe dream, even with clear title and reasonable selling price.
     
    The Colonel, scottyb and Dr. Bighair like this.


  6. JohnL

    JohnL Skied Past The Most Interesting Man in the World. Team Gathermeister

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    Posts:
    405
    Location:
    NOVA - Home of Amazon HQ 2.5
    With all the recent nonsense, it will take at least 5 years or so to resolve this mess. If the current owners don’t burn the house to the ground out of spite, as they have claimed they would. And the ski area assets (not house lots) don’t end up owned by too many parties.
     
    scottyb and Johnfmh like this.
  7. Johnfmh

    Johnfmh Johnfmh Skier

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Posts:
    130
    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
  8. Johnfmh

    Johnfmh Johnfmh Skier

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Posts:
    130
    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    I think it will take this season plus next, but the county and state have some powerful financial incentives to resolve this sooner than later—not just loss of taxes from the resort itself but a loss of tax base due to home property foreclosures, declining home values, lack of property sales, loss in sales and hospitality taxes, and unemployment or underemployment.
     
    D.B.Cooper, scottyb and Dr. Bighair like this.
  9. Ohioskier

    Ohioskier Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    240
    Nothing really she just wanted to go back and ski it. We’ve never been to CVR just went once to timberline.
     
    The Colonel and kitchener like this.
  10. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Posts:
    3,213
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    And for a gathering to boot! Hopefully we get to do it again one day.
     
    The Colonel, jimmy and kitchener like this.
  11. skidrew

    skidrew Putting on skis Skier

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Posts:
    214
    I'm trying to figure out what's "in it" for MRG coop owners - is it just the upside in the value of the resort and the hope that one day you can sell your share for more? It seems like more it's just to protect MRG from being purchased by some large company and having its character changed, which may be a reasonable goal.

    Anyway, if you used that model you'd need 5000 shares at $2000 each to cover the putative upgrade costs mentioned above
     
  12. Ron Taylor

    Ron Taylor Whiskeysipper Skier

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    Posts:
    4
    I'm so glad to see someone else bring up a thoughtful suggestion on a Co-Op. I first introduced that suggestion of a co-op a couple of weeks ago and perhaps form a stakeholders committee. Once the hint of a general sale for the Timberline is genuinely mentioned, there is no guarantee it will remain a ski destination. It could become what ever a buyer wants it to be, mountain side homes, a private resort without skiing. It could even become something like the Homestead in Virginia. A hotel with it's own ski runs. While I saw wild numbers being thrown out there of 20 million plus to purchase and renovate, I think that is far off the mark.
    Interestingly enough, install cost for a ski lift is published by the New England ski association, a new Quad is $2M. Also the rest of the place may appear to be in rough shape, it is amazing how frugal a reno can be working with the right contractor, it will not be cheap, but not 10's of millions to fix up the lodge, and out buildings, pub etc. updgrading snowmaking might be the biggest cost, along with new snow cat at $750k each....
    I would guess you would need $10M or so of capital when it is all said and done. Not $20 million. I also stated in an earlier entry that a reasonable share could be $2000 per share and about 5000 available shares. which = $10M. As far as a lack of Mid Atlantic regional skiers vs. MRG region as was stated by a poster in the past day, this just isn't accurate. There is a greater population density closer to Timberline than MRG, which means a greater potential number of visitors. I also would like to state from the November issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors (pages 31-32) that did a two page article on lodging and visitors to the Canaan Valley Region- "According to AirBnb 8,700 guest nights were booked in Tucker County, home to Canaan Valley, Black water Falls State Park and the mountain getaways of Thomas and Davis.....these were booked in the 12 month period ending July 31, 2018. Up significantly from the previous year and exponentially from the mere 200 guest nights booked there in 2013. That's made Tucker County the fastest growing market in the state". Exponentially is the key word. With Corridor H work continuing, this will make access easier for market access and will help bring in visitors. It takes vision, balls, luck and a 4 season approach/marketing/features to a new Timberline. It will require an awesome team of marketers (think Snowshoe-variety of festivals and multi season activities), and of course some snow. But, no risk, no gain. Something IS going to happen to that land, that resort and it will be sooner than 5 years, I think it will be within 2 years (a sale of some sort). As someone stated above, there is too much at risk with the loss of employment, tax base, home values etc to let it linger for years on end. What I also know are the naysayers who back channeled and said, "well, if a co-op does happen, I/we would buy shares to show support". Which is great, buy multiple shares, the co-op will need the support. It will take the initiative of the yeasayers to get a ball rolling. On the lines of "whats in it for MRG shareholders" if it is to sell if the value per share increases? I am not certain, but I don't think it was ever about making money for individual share holders. I think it was an overall vision to save a ski mountain.
     
  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    Dr. Bighair

    Dr. Bighair Putting on skis Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Posts:
    44
    I agree with JohnL that a co-op is not going to happen. A country club scenario is not going to happen either. It's going to have to be a private party or group of folks....maybe even an owner of another ski resort in the mid-A . From what I have been hearing, I would be very surprised if to some degree potential buyers aren't already lined up. Maybe 10 million gets it back to the state/condition it was in 10 years ago, but I think that would be a mistake. If it's going to be done right/be a true 4 season resort with quality facilities, state of the art lifts, snowmaking, summer programs and have any ability to handle the growth that is occurring in Tucker County then it's going to take closer to 20.
     
    scottyb likes this.
  14. scottyb

    scottyb Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Posts:
    179
    Location:
    Canaanistan, WV
    There's chum n blood in the water.
     
    D.B.Cooper likes this.
  15. Johnfmh

    Johnfmh Johnfmh Skier

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Posts:
    130
    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    One issue no one has really brought up is the amount of real estate on the mountain. Many houses on Northface and Wintersett had Zillo values over $750,000 and some were over $1 million during better times. The county needs for these properties to hold value and pay taxes. That can only happen if skiing remains viable on the mountain. In short, some incentives are sure to be a part of the deal for any new owner or group. It won’t be AMZN style incentives but it may be enough to get the ball rolling for a new owner or group of owners.
     
    John Webb, Coach13 and Dr. Bighair like this.
  16. JohnL

    JohnL Skied Past The Most Interesting Man in the World. Team Gathermeister

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    Posts:
    405
    Location:
    NOVA - Home of Amazon HQ 2.5
    John Webb and Dr. Bighair like this.
  17. D.B.Cooper

    D.B.Cooper Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Posts:
    34
    LIfts:

    Sunday River's 2017 install of the Spruce Peak Triple 1200' Vert - $2.2 Million
    Bryce 2012 Quad install 500' Vert - $1.5 Million.

    A new quad at TL would be $3-$3.5 Million in 2019 dollars. $2 Million is simply not accurate.

    TL needs three new fixed grip lifts which are a minimum of $7-$8 million. You could stagger the third install over the next few seasons. But I remember TL on weekends when they only had a triple to the top. You would get 1 run per hour in the afternoon and that is not good for future business.

    Snowmaking:

    TL has many 4" diameter supply lines that were installed with used pipe. Any new snowmaking will need 8" lines minimum. Most of the ski area snowmaking system requires replacement. It is at the end of it's useful life. Reusing the existing system is not a valid assumption.

    Each Techno Alpine tower mounted fan gun is about $75,000 installed and it takes 15 to 20 to cover a trail. Yes snow sticks are cheaper but.....

    You can get to $5 to $10 on snowmaking improvements with a new pump house.

    Real Estate:

    The land is worth say $5 million.

    So you have $20+ million invested and that does not even address the lodge, parking lots, groomers, and other infrastructure.

    Read up on how much the Berry family spent upgrading Saddleback Maine for a 80,000-100,000 skier day operation. The odds are not in our favor for a TL revival when the operation will generate $7-$10 Million per season in gross revenue.



     
  18. Ohioskier

    Ohioskier Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    240
    I find it very hard to believe that Saddleback sees 100,000 skiers in a day. That would be like filling a major college football stadium. I just don’t believe they have that many show daily.
     
    John Webb likes this.
  19. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Posts:
    3,213
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    He meant per season, but for only operating during the day.

    No ski resort sees near that many in a day.
     
  20. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    7,080
    Now you've got me wondering if a huge place like Les Arcs can.
     

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice