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Laurel Mountain rebuild delayed until 2015....make that 2016. - Page 2

post #31 of 43
Thread Starter 

One of the first commercially successful snowmaking plants, First use of grooming machines. Doc DesRoches, 10th Mountain vet, Laurel Ski School Director, CEO of Laurel Mountain Slopes who Bon Beattie, US Ski Team Coach whose racers, Billy Kidd and Jimmy Heuga, won the first US men's Olympic medals said that the Team's would not have been successful without Doc's fundraising efforts. Doc made the SIA the industry trade organization and in a way gave Phil and Trekchick a nice way to sample all the new ski goods. Yep, Laurel's history reaches right into EpicSki. :D

post #32 of 43
Thread Starter 

The main thrust of the Save Laurel Mountain Facebook group was to organize a letter writing campaign aim at local politicians to enlist their support to move this project forward. Letters were also sent stating our support for Laurel Mountain to Mr. Robert Nutting, lease holder of Laurel Mountain, owner of Seven Springs, Hidden Valley in addition to the MLB Pittsburgh Pirates and Ogden Newspapers Inc. Mr. Nutting replied with assurances that he was deeply committed to the revival of Laurel Mountain and that his management tea and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA State Parks) were working to ensure Laurel's long-term viability and are doing everything possible to ensure a 2016 - 2017 re-opening. He also announced the planning of an event in which he could meet with Laurel Mountain supporters, and I quote, (to) "share stories about this beloved treasure and meet with our team and me". The full text can be read by clicking the link above.


Members of the Save Laurel group are very pleased that Mr. Nutting spoke directly to our concerns and proposed hosting a meeting of supporters. By far this is the most significant statement Mr. Nutting has made about Laurel Mountain since purchasing the privately held assets of the ski resort and agreeing to lease terms with the PA DCNR.


More about Laurel's pending upgrade and historical background can be found on Laurel's EpicSki resort page:



post #33 of 43
Thread Starter 

The largest Pittsburgh daily newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, picked up the story and ran it today, 3/14. Snowsports reporter Larry Walsh covered the letter in his Saturday column:


 Laurel Mountain plans moving forward?


The print version of the story's headline reads, Nutting Committed to Laurel.

post #34 of 43
Thread Starter 

The latest news concerning the once again delay of bidding out the work required to rebuild Laurel Mountain infrastructure involves a third party review by an experienced consultant in ski lift construction who has not been identified and whom state spokesman, Troy Thompson, said,"It's not something that we're rushing them on, because we want to make sure that we have this done properly so that when the project goes out (to bid), it is something that can be done.”


Mr. Thompson went on to say that the project is still a go and people should not get nervous and official believe the project would go out to bid soon. No word on what will become of the project if the consultant determines the work cannot be completed under budget.


With no timeline established the previous estimated targeted opening is apparently in doubt. This news is coming after yesterday's report of support for the project by Robert Nutting, Seven Springs and Hidden Valley owner and lease holder for Laurel Mountain.


Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/7942659-74/project-ski-thompson#ixzz3UT7x4900 

post #35 of 43
Thread Starter 

Robert Nutting will host a meeting with Laurel Mountain supporters and PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources tonight at Seven Springs. LM supporters will hear an update on the project as well as have an opportunity to ask questions. I will report details tomorrow.

post #36 of 43

Laurel Hill Crazie although your enthusiasm and angst are boundless in hoping to get Laurel Mountain open again you should not hold your breath. In case you missed it Pennsylvania inaugurated a new governor in late January Democrat Tom Wolf(yes he is a skier,or his family skis) he appointed Cindy Dunn(formerly head of Penn Future first environmentalist in at least 6 years) as secretary of DCNR her appointment is being held hostage by the Republican pa senate. Tom Corbett left the state DEP and DCNR just about bankrupt, Gov. Corbett's plan for this summer when he was re-elected was to charge Pa residents a cash fee to enter any State Park or State forests and to lay off employees. 2014 end of summer and fall many DEP and DCNR employees were on rotating furlough(work 4 or 5 days per week 6 for state foresters get paid for 4). Governor Wolf ran on a platform of ending corporate welfare especially for frackers energy companies and cronies of Tom Corbett(put the Nutting family and Bob Nutting at the top of that list). Plus where will that money come from???? If you want any info about how things work currently in State Gov't feel free to contact me off list.

post #37 of 43
Thread Starter 

Sang, the money for this project is already secured and the project is in the final phase of bid review and preparation. I guess Gov. Wolf can stop the project but I understand that once funds have been disbursed, $1.3 million for planning, permit acquisition, consultant fees and other bureaucratic niceties, that, by law, this project cannot be stopped. The law was intended to keep approved state capital spending projects from becoming a political football.


Also, your portrayal of this project as corporate welfare or crony capitalism can't be further from the truth. This project was moved forward by a grassroots effort by Laurel supporters, local businesses, non-profit organizations and local politicians that represent these groups. Do not confuse democratic participation with veiled special interests and political favoritism. Your comments denigrates the work and honest pursuit of policy by a motivated group of citizens that is so sorely lacking in our body politic.


Bob Nutting was awarded the lease well after we secured the funding. Another qualified leading candidate stepped back of their own accord.


I am well aware of the havoc visited upon the DCNR and the DEP under Tom "gaswell" Corbett and I deplore this as much as all outdoor loving, environmentally concerned citizens of our Commonwealth. I personally know hard working park employees that are being pushed even harder to meet the needs of the public.We are advocating green tourism that respects the environment and the historic nature of the Ligonier Valley on a parcel of land that has been a ski area, a very non commercial one at that, since 1940. Green tourism creates and sustains existing jobs that last compared to fracking which pollutes the environment, devalues property, poses public health risk and promote boom town jobs that disappear once the drilling is done. 


Contact me off list if you want to learn of the history of this project before you judge it on erroneous assumptions.

post #38 of 43
Article in Johnstown Tribune 9/22/15 says contracts for construction and electrical work are let, $5,000,000 worth, and work will begin soon for 2016-17 opening.
post #39 of 43

Man, reading the history was great. I cant wait to ski there!

post #40 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thanks for posting @evansilver . I thought I posted this information already but apparently not. Ligonier Construction was awarded the big general contractor bid for about $5.1 million and Merit Electric was awarded the electric contractor bid for about $370,000. I met the state's engineers that will oversee the project during a recent hike on the hill. There should be a general walk around with contractors soon but I don't think any major work will be done until next spring.


@levy1  where did you read about Laurel's history? I provided a narrative to the communication's director at 7 Springs, Kate Buchan and she edited down to for what will be the Laurel Mountain website:



post #41 of 43
i may be visiting in Westmont for a couple of days at the end of October or beginning of November and I'm thinking about dropping in at Laurel to see the progress. May even ride my bike over Ligonier Mountain on 271. Haven't been to Laurel since around 1983.
post #42 of 43
Originally Posted by Laurel Hill Crazie View Post



@levy1  where did you read about Laurel's history? I provided a narrative to the communication's director at 7 Springs, Kate Buchan and she edited down to for what will be the Laurel Mountain website:



You wrote it in your opening salvo! I am interested because so many Instructors came from the camps overseas in the day and started ski schools. We have our own near here in Columbus Ohio. Snow Trails out of Mansfield was operated for many years by Walter Neuron and escapee from the camps. He was Austrian and I was proud to work for him. Here is an excerpt;


Walter was an Austrian and he was Jewish. He and his family escaped to America in the late 1930s. He taught for Hannes Schneider in North Conway, New Hampshire, and served in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy. We spent hours on the hill trying to perfect the “Final Forms” of the American Ski Technique. Walter was relentless and he made young professionals of us all. 

post #43 of 43
Thread Starter 

@levy1, Duho! I guess I should have reread my first post. I'm in the process of researching and writing the second half of Laurel's history. I should have an article up here soon that will cover the Mellon years, 1939 to 1963. No timeline on part 2. 


@evansilver drop me a line if you would like me to meet you for a little hike on Laurel. I'm retired and free most days.

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