March 28, 2013

After Facing Bankruptcy, Greek Peak Sold in Auction

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Snow sports enthusiasts say they were pleased to learn that the Greek Peak Mountain Resort — a popular skiing and snowboarding location — will remain open after a federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of the resort last week.

The resort filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August after its primary lender, Tennessee Commerce Bank, closed, according to The Ithaca Journal. Greek Peak had faced financial difficulties partly because of the unusually mild winters in recent years.

The Cortland County resort was purchased by Elmira-area businessmen John Meier and Marc Stemerman in a $6.76 million bid during a private auction held Mar. 19, according to The Associated Press.

Alex Koeberle ’13, a member of Cornell’s Ski and Snowboard Club, said he was excited for the resort to see a change in ownership.

He added that he is hopeful the new owners will be able to revitalize the resort.

“A change in ownership was definitely needed,” he said. “I think if they invested in their park, they could definitely attract more people.”

The new owners of the resort hope to make various improvements over the next few years to the ski resort, including adding a lodge pub and installing a faster four-person lift, according to The Ithaca Journal.

Koeberle, a senior, said he is sad he will not be around to see such improvements put in place at the resort.

“It’s a shame that I’m graduating; I’m not going to see any of these changes,” Koeberle said.

Brendan Brown ’15, president of the Cornell Outing Club, said that many Cornell students — including members of the Outing Club — utilize Greek Peak’s facilities. The resort, he said, is convenient to Cornellians because it is closer to Ithaca compared to other mountains.

Brown said that he is hopeful the resort, with its new ownership, will expand in the future.

“Relative to other mountains, [Greek Peak] had no crowds, leading me to believe they have space for new clients,” Brown said.

Charlie Schwartz ’14, vice president of the Ski Club — who is also a member of the ski team — said the ski club had internally discussed moving their practices to other local mountains before the resort was bought.

Currently, the club has an agreement with the Greek Peak Resort that provides it with group rates and perks — including weekly buses to transport Cornellians from Ithaca to the resort — if they sell a certain number of passes, Schwartz said. The deal is likely to stay in place under the new ownership, he added.

Students, however, are not the only individuals pleased that Greek Peak will keep its doors open. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement lauding the judge’s decision after the sale was approved.

“I am pleased that our efforts to work with the [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] and give Greek Peak a second chance have paid off, and now I want to make sure that the potential new owners have a viable plan to keep the peak open, and keep its nearly 1,000 workers on the job for many seasons to come,” he said.

Original Author: Tyler Alicea