Skiers will be able to carve fresh tracks at Mount Baldy sometime in January, according to the head of the hill’s new operating company.
Baldy Capital Corporation announced Monday it has reached a deal to run the site this season while awaiting court approval to purchase the resort out of receivership.
“It’s a bit of a complicated process, but it’s quite typical,” said Fred Johnston, president of the Calgary-based corporation, which he described as “a small group of investors,” including himself.
Adult day passes will cost $29, while a season’s pass will be just $249.
Johnston said those prices are down “considerably” from when the resort last operated in 2013, partly because only one quad lift and magic carpet will be open, and also “to make sure that people who are not familiar with Baldy get an easy opportunity to learn about it.”
The former Kelowna resident hopes to announce a firm January opening date soon.
“The thing we’re waiting on is confirmation of necessary insurance coverage. Once we have that, we will announce a date,” explained Johnston, a project manager for private development firms.
“It would be closer to the start of the month, we hope.”
Previous resort manger Matt Koenig has signed on to run the hill’s day-to-day operations.
Assets of the former Mount Baldy Ski Corporation were put up for sale last summer after a creditor successfully sought a foreclosure order in B.C. Supreme Court to recover $4.4 million.
Vancouver-based G-Force Group was then appointed to market the assets, and on Dec. 19 was named receiver in order to strike the interim operating agreement with Baldy Capital Corporation.
Johnston expects it to take three to four months for the court to approve the final purchase for “many millions of dollars.”
G-Force Group managing director Gary Powroznik said he came close in October to lining up a deal with another group that wasn’t able to secure financing to complete the transaction, but feels the arrangement with Johnston’s group is an even better match.
“I think there’s good chemistry here and a good resource base,” he said.
Powroznik added, though, that public support is crucial to ensure the resort’s long-term survival.
“You really need the community to come out, because I think it’s a real need for Oliver and Osoyoos,” he said.
The hill, with two chair lifts serving 30 runs, is located about 35 kilometres east of Oliver.
Assets included in the sale range from lift equipment to development lots and land tenure agreements with the B.C. government.