Happy New Years one and all.

Next week I'll contact the Rio Grande National Forest to check in and see if there are any updates on the Village at Wolf Creek Village, Land Swap Environmental Impact Statement release.  

For now, I thought it would be appropriate to start the new year with a few cautionary tales of big dreams gone bust, leaving others to pick up the pieces.  Developers and investors always have the best of intentions, but details are glossed over, reality and budgets happen, and those 'over-looked' details come back to bite. 

Remember, we're dealing with an huge unspoiled watershed that is part of the headwaters of the interstate, international Rio Grande River, a river that is already under tremendous stress from many different directions.  

What there is at Alberta Park right now, is an extremely productive biological community and a nearly pristine watershed that deserves to be treated as the irreplaceable resource that it is.  

Alberta Park and Wolf Creek should be left alone in all its life giving glory!

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Sam Williams | Plumas County News, California | 9/14/2013
"Dyer Mountain, the site of a controversial proposed 7,100-acre four-season resort of ski facilities and luxury homes approved by almost 63 percent of Lassen County voters in 2000, could return to timber production soon. 
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, federal bankruptcy judge Thomas E. Carlson approved the sale of the Dyer Mountain property to Sierra Pacific Industries for $17.2 million “as is” subject to certain terms and conditions, according to a timberlands purchase and sales agreement mentioned in documents from the San Francisco court dated Aug. 30. SPI offered to purchase the property in May through what could be considered a short sale. ..." 
"The Dyer Mountain resort project has gone through several owners since its approval by the voters in 2000. CMR Mortgage Fund LLC filed voluntarily for Chapter 11 protection in November 2008. It filed two additional voluntary Chapter 11 petitions in March 2009. ..."
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By Chris Fell | Meaford Express | Ontario, Canada | Mar 04, 2013
"The long-awaited Talisman Mountain Resorts tax sale process ended with a thud on Monday afternoon (March 4) when the Municipality of Grey Highlands received no bids for the main piece of property on the auction block. 
A packed gallery in the Grey Highlands council chambers was stunned when Treasurer Karmen Krueger announced that the municipality had received no bids for the main Talisman property, the largest of three parcels of land being sold during the tax sale. ... 
"... The resort, located in Kimberley, was once a key community economic driver that employed hundreds of people.  Grey Highlands council now must decide the next step in the ongoing Talisman saga. ..."
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Erika Engel  | Blue Mountains Courier-Herald | Ontario, Canada | Apr 03, 2013
"... The bankrupt resort - once a thriving ski resort in the heart of the Beaver Valley – now sits wide open to the elements, to wildlife and to looters. 
The main hotel resembles a ghost ship in the Bermuda Triangle – table cloths and cutlery are still placed neatly on dining room tables, glasses hang above the bar, and many of the rooms still have their beds made, just waiting for guests to arrive. Rental equipment gathers dust in the pro shop. ..."
"Footprints track through layers of dust and animals have scavenged through the kitchen and dining rooms sniffing out what food was left behind. 
The Municipality of Grey Highlands, which the resort owes in excess of $2 million in property taxes, recently conducted a tax sale on three properties owned by the bankrupt resort. Two smaller properties sold for just over $400,000, but there were no bids on the main resort. 
After visiting the site, it was obvious that people are getting into the building, where there is no working fire alarm system, no lights in the dark stairwells, no fire extinguishers - save the ones lying discharged on the floor - and where there are many hazards including broken glass, doors locked from the inside and mold. 
Grey Highlands CAO Dan Best told The Express if people are entering the building it’s trespassing and a police issue. …"
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October 24, 2012 | Scranton, Pennsylvania

"The Sno Mountain Ski and Water Park Complex in Lackawanna County, is now in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. 
Ten days ago, a group of investors that owned the complex claimed it cost them a collective total of almost $10 million. 
This week they successfully have forced Sno Mountain into bankruptcy, and essentially forced ... the man who has been in charge of Sno Mountain since the investors bought the complex from Lackawanna County six years ago. ..." 
"... attorney stresses ... did nothing illegal, and that his departure was voluntarily, adding that a tough economy, and a warm winter last year, and not ... management are responsible for Sno Mountain’s debt..."
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West Mountain ski area files for bankruptcy protection

June 21, 2013  |  Jon Alexander  |  New York
"QUEENSBURY -- The owners of West Mountain ski center filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday, a possible precursor to a takeover of the mountain by a firm owned by a local stockbroker who was recently defrocked for fraud. ..." 
"The holding company is seeking Chapter 11 protection in federal Bankruptcy Court in Albany, after Zion First National Bank, of Salt Lake City, Utah, began foreclosure proceedings against the cash-strapped ski center, according to court documents. 
West Mountain owes $4.8 million to creditors, has no cash on hand and only the value of the mountain itself, $1.8 million, in assets, according to the bankruptcy filing. 
West Mountain owes $87,000 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, $210,000 in payments to National Grid and nearly $1.3 million to the mountain’s former owner, Mike Brandt, according to the filing. ..."
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By Lisa Uhlman - December 07, 2012 - Yellowstone Mountain Club, Montana
"A Montana bankruptcy judge on Wednesday finalized a ruling that requires Yellowstone Mountain Club LLC's founder to pay nearly $41 million for misappropriating the ski resort's funds from a $375 million Credit Suisse Group AG loan before it spiraled into bankruptcy.  
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph B. Kirscher entered a final order setting the damages against Timothy Blixseth at $40.9 million, significantly lower than the $286 million Yellowstone's liquidating trustee had sought and slightly higher than an original $40.1 million judgment in the case. ..."
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The Associated Press - December 18, 2012
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Boulder County-based developer of Pikes Peak ski resort files for bankruptcy
Resort at Pikes Peak LLC previously under scrutiny by state over possible securities violations

By Alicia Wallace | Camera Business Writer | Boulder, Colorado

"... Coming to fruition 
Four years ago, Ball proposed buying a 320-acre parcel on the backside of Pikes Pike to build a ski resort, 350 condominiums and, possibly, a 300-room hotel. Ball was progressing in talks to buy the land from property owner Harvey Carter, a Colorado climbing legend who long expressed a desire to bring skiing back to Pikes Peak. 
At that time, Carter told the Gazette newspaper in Colorado Springs that the ski resort was starting to come to fruition. 
"The people of Colorado Springs deserve a place to ski, just like I had growing up," he was quoted as saying in June 2008. 
Despite the securities investigation and complaint, Carter and Ball appear to have continued moving forward on those discussions. 
Teller County property records show that The Resort at Pikes Peak LLC purchased the 320 acres -- which consists of one 300-acre property and another 20-acre parcel -- from Carter on Dec. 30, 2011. 
Carter passed away at the age of 83 on March 13. 
The sales price was not disclosed, Teller County Assessor's Office officials said. The purchase price was estimated at $4 million, according to the 2010 securities complaint. 
As of Friday, no proposal has come before Teller's Board of County Commissioners, county officials said. The three commissioners could not immediately be reached for comment. ..."
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Maren Guse | Cortland, New York | 08.03.2012
"CORTLAND -- Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Central New York has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection. 
The ski resort near Cortland has been unable to secure alternative financing after its primary lender, Tennessee Commerce Bank, was seized by federal regulators in January. The filing comes after a slow winter with little snow. ..."
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Michael DeMasi | DyerAlbany Business Review | New York | Oct 21, 2013
"One of the mortgages on the bankrupt West Mountain Ski Center in Queensbury, NY, will be auctioned online. ... 
"If the mortgage is sold at auction, the new owner would become a creditor in the bankruptcy case, said Richard L. Weisz, an Albany attorney who represents East Slope Holdings. ..."
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Corin Hirsch - 10/10/12  -  Vermont
"This is the third winter that Ascutney Mountain Resort, one of Vermont’s oldest ski areas, will remain closed. In the summer of 2010, owners Steven and Susan Plausteiner — who had bought the mountain in 1993 out of an earlier bankruptcy — began defaulting on loans they were using to keep the resort running. By fall, it was clear Ascutney would not reopen. ..." 
"Some blame this former volcano’s steep, challenging terrain for the resort’s problems (a high percentage of Ascutney’s 57 trails were intermediate or advanced). Others point to the sporadic lack of snow; still others blame chronic mismanagement or what they see as a tangled financial arrangement. 
The Plausteiners ceded ownership of the resort from their company, Snowdance LLC, to a guarantor of one loan, an investment banker named Dan Purjes, who forced Snowdance into foreclosure and formed a liquidation trust to sell off the mountain’s infrastructure. (Calls to Snowdance, now under different leadership, were not returned.) Hopes that the mountain might soon reopen were dashed when the trust sold Ascutney’s high-speed quad lift to Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire. ..."
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In doing this research I came across this interesting website that includes yet more examples of potential morning-after side-effects of this gamble Mr. McCombs is asking everyone to support:

The only dedicated source for ski resort and skiing industry
chapter 11 bankruptcy news 
Gary H. Leibowitz, Esq.