South Okanagan ski hill hopes to be resurrected this season

A new ownership group is “within days” of announcing its plan to resurrect Mount Baldy for the upcoming ski season.

A new ownership group is “within days” of announcing its plan to resurrect Mount Baldy for the upcoming ski season, according to the head of the company tasked with selling off assets of the hill’s former operator.

“We’re very close and we recognize that some of the (other) mountains have early-bird passes, so this is really for the skiers who want to ski Baldy to tell them we’re very close,” said Gary Powroznik, managing director of G-Force Group, whose company publicized the pending deal this week.

“We’re expecting an announcement within days,” he continued. “And we recognize that people are kind of  watching and wondering what’s happening, and I want people to know that we’re working really hard to make this happen.”

G-Force Group was appointed in July by a B.C. Supreme Court judge to sell off assets of the Mount Baldy Ski Corporation to pay a creditor who sought a foreclosure order.

Since then, Powroznik has been working on gathering various elements needed to reopen the hill, such as a new owner, lenders and agreements with creditors.

“Bringing these deals together is often related to financing and the timing of it. That’s the glue that holds it together,” he explained.

“It’s a complicated situation, given the history of Baldy, but we kind of simplified it and we’ve got everybody lined up. We just need that glue.”

While he wouldn’t disclose the names of those involved in the deal, Powroznik said the “key operator” is a Canadian who is “very experienced with regional hills like this and really likes the opportunity.”

Equally important, he continued, is the new group’s desire to work with previous resort manger Matt Koenig, who couldn’t be reached for comment but has reportedly agreed to stay on in that capacity despite the hill not operating last winter.

Koenig did a good job “with very few resources from the previous owners,” said Powroznik, “but he needs some help and some further resources, and we think we’ve lined that up.”

Assets included in the foreclosure include four development lots totalling 18 hectares, ski lift equipment, plus other intangibles, like land tenure agreements with the B.C. government.

Mount Baldy, with two chair lifts serving 35 runs, is about 35 kilometres east of Oliver. There are also 120 privately owned cabins on the hill.