Iron Mountain, MI, April 14--Three local residentsannounced they were scheduled today to close a deal purchasing beleagueredPine Mountain and would reopen the Upper Peninsula ski area on May 1 as afour-season resort. Richard Abraham, Richard Meade and Jeffrey Meadepurchased the area after it had been closed for about 16 months.
"It bothered me immensely when the ski area shut down," said Abraham today,noting the ski area's untimely closing in January 1999 left the communitywithout a valuable draw for tourist revenue. "It's a beautiful, beautifulfacility and I'm awestruck when I think of the possibilities. We will saveit."
Abraham and Richard Meade will spend "as much time as necessary"working on the resort without a paycheck-they are both retired-to helpmanagers turn it around. Abraham said immediate plans are for refurbishingguest rooms at the 39-room hotel, making some minor improvements to theresort's three restaurants and bars and sprucing up its grounds.
Tentative summer plans include a two-day concert festival in July andadding mountainbiking, a waterslide, kayaking and guided fishing trips.Adjacent to the resort property is the Timberstone championship 18-holegolf course. And since the area is half a mile from the Wisconsin borderand its abundant forests, Abraham says the Pine Mountain Resort would makea fine base camp for hunters in autumn. For the 2000-2001 ski season,Abraham says a handful of new snowmaking guns are in order, as is across-country center and possibly snowmobiling.
Pine Mountain has a 450-foot vertical drop accessed by a triple chair, twodoubles and two surface lifts. It employs about 60 people and is home to a120-meter ski jump that was recently put back on the World Cup schedulebecause of a ski jumping tradition that goes back to the 1930s.