For a quarter the price of a corner lot in Aspen, you could own your very own ski area. New Hampshire's Whaleback Mountain, a little under two hours from Boston off the side of I-89, is going up for auction next month with a reserve price set at $848,000. The mountain was bought eight years ago by Olympic mogul skier Evan Dybvig with the hopes of turning it into a year-round action sports training center, but a lack of capitalization meant the owners of the small hill "fell on our face pretty hard right out of the gate," and weren't able to recover the million or so dollars in debt accrued. The ski area will go up for auction August 1st, with potential buyers required to submit their interest, along with 2% in cash, to Randolph National Bank by 11 AM.
The 154-acre property in spaced out over two parcels, and the ski area itself comes with a double chairlift providing 700 vertical feet of skiing on thirty trails, 80% of which are lit for night skiing, and 85% of which can be covered with snowmaking. The place also comes with a baselodge, bar, a magic carpet learning area, a rec center, and terrain park infrastructure. The formers owners claim that getting investment capital to run the mountain as a for-profit ski area isn't realistic due to the return on investment, and think it's more ideal for a non-profit candidate to take over and provide affordable ski program for local residents. The Hanover, NH-based Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation has publicly stepped forward as a candidate to buy the place, and as of early July, was in the "quiet stage" of fundraising for the purchase, and laid out a very basic plan for the mountain in a July 17th op-ed. They maintain they don't have the resources to compete in a bidding war for the ski area, so yes, actually going in to buy this place and outbidding the UVSSF in order to establish your own private ski area will be branded as a dick move. Although we suppose they'd be open to a large potential donor requesting one private weekend a year, don't you think?
· Bank postpones auction of shuttered Whaleback Mountain [Valley News]