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Will the Bear Valley community buy and run Bear Valley California?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Feel free to discuss the following written by BV local Oliver K:


"The Bear Valley Resort Community Ownership Town Hall Meeting took place yesterday.


A very well attended event that outlined some general ideas about the community buying and thus taking over Bear Valley Mountain and the Village. There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm in this idea and I for one very much enjoyed the presentation. I’ll try to lay out some important points here:

The leading point was that outdoor sports on the rise in popularity in California, Bear Valley is in a place to take advantage of this. This includes back country skiing, cross country skiing, etc… Bear Valley has it all.

The idea: Community ownership of Bear Valley. For sale now: Bear Valley Mountain, the Village, real estate, and rights to build Village Lift. Options:

  • A few people buy the mountain (ownership similar to Sugar Bowl)
    • Pros:
      1. Most rapid way to purchase current assets (the mountain, village, real estate, and lift rights)
      2. A private company can contract with developers to develop real estate and fund future improvements (such as the Village Lift)
    • Cons:
      1. The major decisions may be made by a few people whose needs may not be compatible with the community at large
  • Coop ownership (ownership similar to Bridger Bowl and Mad River Glen)
    • Pros:
      1. Ownership of all assets by the community who with then accrue the greatest benefits
      2. The mountain will be owned by those that love to ski
      3. Village Lift will get done (!!)
      4. All governance and operations will be done by those elected by the community
    • Cons:
      1. Takes time to raise money and gain capital
      2. Public financing will take become complicated through the politics it requires
      3. Real Estate development still required
  • Best of both worlds: Lead community-oriented investor or investment group
    • Ski Corp or non-profit purchase mountain
    • Public financing pursued to build Village Lift
    • Community-oriented development partners made up of skiers, property owners, and community members

These are the ideas that were laid out in the meeting. It seems that right now the community has a very unique opportunity to take the mountain and finally build the Village Lift and build up the Village in general.

Of course the community buying the mountain comes with a price. It is estimated that Bear Valley would cost between six and eight million plus an additional six and a half to seven million to build the new Village Lift. However it was noted this number was attainable by paying over 25 years through a low interest bond. Once the mountain was purchased there would be unknown dues. However looking at Mad River Glen which is community owned, it costs $2200 to join the coop and the yearly dues are $200 (to give an example). Supposedly it is very rare for people to bail out of the coop once they are in.

Personally I think this is an amazing opportunity; Bear Valley has so much to offer and I feel this has not been fully taken advantage of. I was also very impressed with the presentation and organization of the meeting last night and have full faith that this plan may come to fruition.

If you are looking to get involved a good place to start would be at the facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1399658203606229/

Good luck to everyone involved!"

post #2 of 4

I wonder what the annual operating expenses for power, fuel, maintenance, employee salaries, insurance and capital replacement costs run?  Owning a ski area is more than acquiring the property and rights, it's extraordinarily expensive to maintain.  Capitalization of improvements to actually draw more visitors and generate revenue is a further investment.  I think it quaint that there are some private cooperative ski areas, but it would be a tough sell to me to invest considerable money with little probability of increasing the value of my investment.  


Anyone who has lived on a private road, or dealt with a homeowners association can attest to how difficult it is to get members to fund maintenance and improvements, or for that matter agree on what needs, or should be done.  Talk about herding cats.  There is a reason most ski areas are owned by corporations capable of making business decisions and funding them. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

The Murdochs are still part of a community model. So are founders and VPs of Fox, Roxy, Billabong, KPMG, Ripcurl and many more: the grandkids generation will pick up gold silver and bronze at Sochi too: and many are from 'battler' families that are sponsored through foundations. It can work, and be tax free. The 80 year olds are selling their community-based interests for $500,000. They weren't stupid in the 60s and they're not stupid now. And they ski free with shareholder passes like these:  how can a resort give away life time season passes and make money? It can be done.


post #4 of 4
Hi all,
this is off subject but i would like to know if Roger Test is still alive and still teaching at Mt Reba. In my youth i bounced from Mt Hood summer camps to Mt Reba winter race camps. I still can hear me him tell me " rurts are our friends " and " there are no friends on a powder day"
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