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MAGIC MOUNTAIN HAS BEEN SOLD!! - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

 

That's exactly what we're doing. 

Point taken.  Come visit and see for yourself.

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

 

That model doesn't work either.  Trust me, Sugarbush is teetering on the brink because they are privately owned.  The only way places can win with the methods you mentioned is to have huge corporate money backing the inevitable losses.

 

I'm not sure I follow what you're getting at there... my point in referencing the viability of resorts that are "places to escape the crowds" is that profit is hard to come by without crowds, unless you have other revenue streams. You either make enough from skiers via high volume and/or high ticket prices, or you find other revenue streams (shops/village, real estate, etc.). 

 

Huge corporations only back losses at resorts if the tangential or associated businesses are bringing in more than the losses. Usually a lot more.

 

I'd think places that do neither - attracting crowds, or having multiple revenue streams - are going to be very difficult to make profitable. I.e. reasonably priced resorts with no frills catering to advanced/expert skiers tend to not be money makers.

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
 

Every privately owned ski area in Vermont is teetering on the brink after last year.  Sugarbush reported skier visits down 30% last year. 

 

Are you saying Sugarbush didn't have lift reliability issues last year?  They had way more failures than Magic did.

 

Sugarbush is hardly "teetering on the brink" and had it's second best ever early season pass sales through May of this year.  I probably skied more days at Sugarbush last season than Magic was open and saw limited issues with lift reliability.  Doesn't Magic only have two lifts and one of them hasn't run for the past two years ?  I think that's a solid 50% failure rate.

post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

I'm not sure I follow what you're getting at there... my point in referencing the viability of resorts that are "places to escape the crowds" is that profit is hard to come by without crowds, unless you have other revenue streams. You either make enough from skiers via high volume and/or high ticket prices, or you find other revenue streams (shops/village, real estate, etc.). 

 

Huge corporations only back losses at resorts if the tangential or associated businesses are bringing in more than the losses. Usually a lot more.

 

I'd think places that do neither - attracting crowds, or having multiple revenue streams - are going to be very difficult to make profitable. I.e. reasonably priced resorts with no frills catering to advanced/expert skiers tend to not be money makers.

 

You do realize that Magic has no intention of being a successful "resort" but " SKI MAGIC will stay true to what has made Magic Mountain special: its unmatched ski terrain in southern Vermont; a “throwback” experience without the soul-crushing crowds found at mega resorts; and a laid-back, welcoming ski community culture."

 

I think their other key revenue streams include snow tubing and a bar with a family friendly atmosphere featuring a shotski which are sure paths to long term sustainability.

post #35 of 57

Those investors should buy the Upper Pass lodge.  And make it a hostel.  $40/ni would multiply my visits 5-fold!!!!

post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
 

As I said above, perhaps you shouldn't believe everything you read on the interwebz. How many times did the Red Chair fail last year?  The year before?  The correct answers are 0 and 2 and 1 of the 2 in 14-15 lasted a whole hour. With the exception of a couple of weeks for trips to Utah and NM, I have skied at Magic every weekend and holiday since 2010. I can recall only 1 major incident 4 years ago when the lifts failed during Christmas week when there was a ton of snow. The issues last year were based on a lack of cash to pay for the minimal maintenance that needed to be done on the Red Chair and miserable communication from the previous owners; but the Red Chair was fine.  The Vermont Tramway Authority has looked at the Black Chair and says it can easily be repaired so it can be certified (those repairs are ongoing as I type); the Red Chair will be certified in a couple of weeks (less the inspection that requires snow).

 

I mis-wrote on the profit issue...the business plan calls for all profits in the first 5 years to be re-invested in the mountain.  After that, the profits (rightfully) will go to the investors after they put aside money for improvements and operations.

 

You are correct...the previous owners, while good-hearted (one of them anyway), were so cash poor they couldn't do what needed to be done just to get the place open.  This time it really is different: no mortgage (paying cash), money set aside up front for improvements and operations after paying for the property and assets.

Well, they have 2 chairs. One hasn't ran in a while, and there was plenty of mystery about the "certification" of Red last year, from what I recall. If they need a round of applause for being able to keep one double chair running from opening to closing days, well...that's pretty funny. 

 

Look forward to seeing things turn around for that hill. 

post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post
 
Quote:

Well, they have 2 chairs. One hasn't ran in a while, and there was plenty of mystery about the "certification" of Red last year, from what I recall. If they need a round of applause for being able to keep one double chair running from opening to closing days, well...that's pretty funny. 

 

Look forward to seeing things turn around for that hill. 

Funny thing about it though, even with one running, there's never much of a wait.  But: even when both running lifts are running and there are holiday crowds (yes...it's happened a few times :)), you can still manage to ski an entire run only seeing one other person...or none.  I odn't know if it's the layout, the way the runs are cut, or something else...but Magic not only has great terrain, but it skis great also.

 

I look forward to stability at Magic (and I hope this is it) b/c that will be a great thing for a great place to ski!

post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by WWF-VT View Post
 

 

You do realize that Magic has no intention of being a successful "resort" but " SKI MAGIC will stay true to what has made Magic Mountain special: its unmatched ski terrain in southern Vermont; a “throwback” experience without the soul-crushing crowds found at mega resorts; and a laid-back, welcoming ski community culture."

 

I think their other key revenue streams include snow tubing and a bar with a family friendly atmosphere featuring a shotski which are sure paths to long term sustainability.

 

I don't actually realize anything about Magic. :D As I said before, I'm not familiar with it beyond a brief look at the trail map. (For that matter, I'm not very familiar with the New England ski market in general.)

 

But I am familiar with business plans... and it sounds like the goal here is for some investor return after the first few years, meaning they would have to be profitable. And I'm just speculating that Ski Magic staying "true to what has made Magic Mountain special" may, unfortunately, mean that it's not actually profitable. 

 

If someone is willing to run it just to keep it open on no profit, or even at a loss... then great! Many folks will enjoy it. But that's not typically viable for very long. 

post #39 of 57

The first thing Magic needs to do is get the word out, aka marketing. Doesn't have to be much other than to let the locals know it's open for skiing. 

 

Magic is a great hill but no body knows whether it is open or not for sure.

I have a place 4 mile form Magic for the past 33 years and most years we still ask the same question, "Is Magic open?"

No one knows, even the local ski shop folks don't know. 

 

Maybe that is their version of crowd control. :nono:.  

post #40 of 57

dbostedo,

 

I would like to ski at Magic one day.  I like the name of the trails (the trail names could really be marketed) and it does not seem too far of a drive for me from NJ.

 

Like any business it needs positive cash flow to remain in business. I think more ski areas have resorted to other activities throughout the year to keep revenue in the black. These other activities help when there is (as in winter 2015/2016 ) a poor ski season,

-

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

I don't actually realize anything about Magic. :D As I said before, I'm not familiar with it beyond a brief look at the trail map. (For that matter, I'm not very familiar with the New England ski market in general.)

 

But I am familiar with business plans... and it sounds like the goal here is for some investor return after the first few years, meaning they would have to be profitable. And I'm just speculating that Ski Magic staying "true to what has made Magic Mountain special" may, unfortunately, mean that it's not actually profitable. 

 

If someone is willing to run it just to keep it open on no profit, or even at a loss... then great! Many folks will enjoy it. But that's not typically viable for very long. 

post #41 of 57

Once again, to try to clear up rumor control...Magic actually made a profit in 14-15.  Because they can't afford their own accountants, they ask some of the long-time pass holders to pitch in so the figures are well-known to some of us. Pretty sure no mountain in the NE made a profit last year but I can't be sure because I don't get to see their books.  I do know that just about every ski area in VT laid off workers.  Magic did not...maybe they should have but the crew is pretty efficient with no fat.

 

Magic actually has 3 chairlifts...one has never run (it was never completed or certified) so I guess that makes the reliability 33%?  My yardstick for a lift failure is if the lift is supposed to run or does run and then fails.  If others measure differently, then we're comparing apples and oranges. That 3rd chairlift will make a resurgence next year.

 

We had a great volunteer day yesterday but there's tons more work to do...come join us on Oct 8 and Oct 22 and see what all the hype is about.

 

The comments on the marketing gaps are exactly dead on.  One of the things the mountain is going to do is start passing out vouchers to the guys that work the local shops (Stratton, Okemo) to try to get them to talk the place up.  As others have noted, the terrain is so good for such a wide array of skills, once we get the pros to come sample the wares, the word will get out.  Hoping to use other avenues like Groupon and LivingSocial to get people to give the place a try.

 

Hey Smarty, well done on the Beast race today.  One of the current owners of the mountain owns the UPL.  It actually makes money so unlikely he's willing to sell that.

post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
 

Once again, to try to clear up rumor control...Magic actually made a profit in 14-15.  Because they can't afford their own accountants, they ask some of the long-time pass holders to pitch in so the figures are well-known to some of us. Pretty sure no mountain in the NE made a profit last year but I can't be sure because I don't get to see their books.  I do know that just about every ski area in VT laid off workers.  Magic did not...maybe they should have but the crew is pretty efficient with no fat.

 

Magic actually has 3 chairlifts...one has never run (it was never completed or certified) so I guess that makes the reliability 33%?  My yardstick for a lift failure is if the lift is supposed to run or does run and then fails.  If others measure differently, then we're comparing apples and oranges. That 3rd chairlift will make a resurgence next year.

 

 

 

Did you mean the 2014-15 season or 2015-16 ?  2015-16 was reported as "dismal" from a post at New England Ski Industry.com on April 8, 2016.

 

"As was the case with most New England ski areas, Magic Mountain's 2015-16 opening was postponed in part due to weather. However, opening day was further delayed until January 16, due to lift issues. While the Red Chair finally passed its inspection, the Black Chair remains uncertified. The ski area closed for the season on March 13.

 

The 2015-16 was "dismal" and every employee has been laid off, but final results have not yet been computed. MMR is operating the ski area on a 5 year lease. 2016-17 season passes have not yet been announced.

According to multiple sources earlier this season, Magic Mountain has been operating without liability insurance for years. Requests for an update on this situation have not been returned.

Town property tax bills are sent to MMM. According to the Londonderry Town Treasurer, as of Wednesday MMM has not paid the 2015 property taxes, which were due on October 1, 2015."

 

Maybe the ski operations and bar was profitable for MMR,  but when you pay for accountants, liability insurance and taxes the financial picture is closer to the real operating costs faced by other mountains.

post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by WWF-VT View Post

Did you mean the 2014-15 season or 2015-16 ?  2015-16 was reported as "dismal" from a post at New England Ski Industry.com on April 8, 2016.

"As was the case with most New England ski areas, Magic Mountain's 2015-16 opening was postponed in part due to weather. However, opening day was further delayed until January 16, due to lift issues. While the Red Chair finally passed its inspection, the Black Chair remains uncertified. The ski area closed for the season on March 13.

The 2015-16 was "dismal" and every employee has been laid off, but final results have not yet been computed. MMR is operating the ski area on a 5 year lease. 2016-17 season passes have not yet been announced.


According to multiple sources earlier this season, Magic Mountain has been operating without liability insurance for years. Requests for an update on this situation have not been returned.


Town property tax bills are sent to MMM. According to the Londonderry Town Treasurer, as of Wednesday MMM has not paid the 2015 property taxes, which were due on October 1, 2015."

Maybe the ski operations and bar was profitable for MMR,  but when you pay for accountants, liability insurance and taxes the financial picture is closer to the real operating costs faced by other mountains.

This is the kind of thing that makes me skeptical. We have one person saying "Magic turned a profit for 14-15," then we find out Magic didn't pay its property taxes for the year in question. I'm no accountant, but in my book, you haven't turned a profit if you have outstanding bills yet to pay for the time period in question. The liability insurance is concerning too. Although that info isnt from the horses mouth like the tax info.

I feel like the hole may be deeper than even the new owners realize.
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

 

Hey Smarty, well done on the Beast race today.  One of the current owners of the mountain owns the UPL.  It actually makes money so unlikely he's willing to sell that.

Thanks man!  I'm still sore.  It was a lot of fun though. 

 

He should make it a Hostel then! :)

post #45 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

I'm not sure I follow what you're getting at there... my point in referencing the viability of resorts that are "places to escape the crowds" is that profit is hard to come by without crowds, unless you have other revenue streams. You either make enough from skiers via high volume and/or high ticket prices, or you find other revenue streams (shops/village, real estate, etc.). 

 

Huge corporations only back losses at resorts if the tangential or associated businesses are bringing in more than the losses. Usually a lot more.

 

I'd think places that do neither - attracting crowds, or having multiple revenue streams - are going to be very difficult to make profitable. I.e. reasonably priced resorts with no frills catering to advanced/expert skiers tend to not be money makers.

 

 

You're correct on the relationship of factors in drawing a profit, but again- you skimmed right over the part where I pointed out that Magic has probably the lowest operating cost of any actual mountain around.  In years past their break even point for day passes was like 60 or something absurdly low, and even in their long term plans they're only looking to attract ~1% of SoVT skiers to become profitable.  They primarily run one chair to the top unless it's super busy, employ minimal staff and now won't even have a mortgage to pay...  With cash contingencies set up to hedge against the worst case scenario and extremely well laid long-term plans, any other outcome aside from four more months of summer should net healthy operational gains.  Furthermore, the insistence on focus is on developing sustainability and reliability- while operating a stable and profitable business is also obviously important, the fact that they know they need to dial product before they can expect a real ROI is encouraging for the long term operational viability of the mountain.  They know there's a lot to do and a lot of money to spend to set things right first and foremost, and I for one am very excited to see that realistic perspective on it from them and not just "They should do a, b & c and then everything will be rainbows and sunshine" I seem to hear from people online.  Escaping crowds can be a function of the relationship between trail engineering and lift capacity, it doesn't need to be about people not going there...  Just ask MRG.   

 

So far the info Magic has posted on FB alone include major upgrades to the main snowmaking pumps/drives/motors, snowmaking pipe repairs, nonstop work on the chairlifts, heavy equipment repairs, tons of trail work and volunteer day chatter.  Even by those minimally informative tidbits, it's not exactly a stretch to say they are moving fast and it's in the right direction.   

 

I really hope everybody makes a point to come out and see for themselves, the amount of work being done in such a short amount of time is pretty insane and they're doing it for you!  :beercheer:  

post #46 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post


I feel like the hole may be deeper than even the new owners realize.

 

 

 The fact that you honestly believe a team of motivated investors with direct access to every debt, lien and financial hiccup of the place in front of them for literally years at this point would be somehow bested by 13 seconds of internet sleuthing on AZ for something as obvious as taxes is both hilarious and somewhat infuriating.  

 

The fact that you both bring it up as if it's some kind of news is sort of of amusing, but seriously guys- you aren't breaking any cases open here.  It wasn't Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick.  We've already got the culprit with eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence, you can give up your search.  ;) 

post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post
 
  It wasn't Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick.  We've already got the culprit with eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence, you can give up your search.  ;) 

 

That's good to know, as I am ALWAYS Colonel Mustard...or I take my game and go home....aside: I also refuse to play monopoly unless I'm the Scottie Dog.

post #48 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post
 

 

 

***

 

I really hope everybody makes a point to come out and see for themselves, the amount of work being done in such a short amount of time is pretty insane and they're doing it for you!  :beercheer:  

 

Do Work,

 

If I have time, and Magic® is fully up and running, then I would love to drop by and ski the slopes. Was hoping to go last season, but poor weather helped to close most of the mountain trails.

 

I never skied there, but I really like the name of the place and the trails.  From online, it seems that the place is a very good place to ski. (Especially when conditions are good)

post #49 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post


 The fact that you honestly believe a team of motivated investors with direct access to every debt, lien and financial hiccup of the place in front of them for literally years at this point would be somehow bested by 13 seconds of internet sleuthing on AZ for something as obvious as taxes is both hilarious and somewhat infuriating.  

The fact that you both bring it up as if it's some kind of news is sort of of amusing, but seriously guys- you aren't breaking any cases open here.  It wasn't Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick.  We've already got the culprit with eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence, you can give up your search.  wink.gif  

People make ill conceived and poorly thought out investments all the time. Plenty of investors have bought into a project only to find afterwards that it was a dud. Is Magic in this category? I definitely hope not.

It is clear you have more information on this topic. That's great. But here is what those of us who don't have such access see- Magic has been in serious financial trouble for decades. During getting those decades, we repeatedly hear of a new arrangement, or new plan or new... something that is finally going to SAVE MAGIC! Then that plan falls apart, and Magic is back in the same crappy situation as before.

That kind of pattern breeds skepticism. The only way to break that skepticism is to actually show us a difference. It talking about it does nothing. Being patronizing and vaguely insulting when people raise concerns certainly does absolutely nothing to dispel that skepticism.

Magic has done a great deal to earn a heaping helping of skepticism when it comes to its financial solvency. Getting mad at the skeptics does you no good. In fact, it does the opposite. I've been skiing Vermont for a long long time, and worked in the Vermont ski industry for a while now. Do you think I'm more or less likely to visit Magic after a self-professed insider there has, in not so many words, told me I'm stupid? I'll give you a clue... It's not more.
post #50 of 57

Freeski has a point there.  Some smart people have tried to make Magic a success in the past and did not have so much, uhm, success.

 

 

I wish Magic the best.  As a skier who loves VT and lives in CT and has no love for Mt. Snow, Stratton, etc.  I am thrilled to have Magic available.  I ski there on the rare powder day.  As a skier driving north I have 3 words of advice for the new management:  snowmaking, snowmaking, snowmaking.

post #51 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

Freeski has a point there.  Some smart people have tried to make Magic a success in the past and did not have so much, uhm, success.

 

 

I wish Magic the best.  As a skier who loves VT and lives in CT and has no love for Mt. Snow, Stratton, etc.  I am thrilled to have Magic available.  I ski there on the rare powder day.  As a skier driving north I have 3 words of advice for the new management:  snowmaking, snowmaking, snowmaking.

 

Those 3 words are accompanied by another 3 words : money, money, money

post #52 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post



It is clear you have more information on this topic. That's great. But here is what those of us who don't have such access see- Magic has been in serious financial trouble for decades. During getting those decades, we repeatedly hear of a new arrangement, or new plan or new... something that is finally going to SAVE MAGIC! Then that plan falls apart, and Magic is back in the same crappy situation as before.

That kind of pattern breeds skepticism. The only way to break that skepticism is to actually show us a difference. It talking about it does nothing. Being patronizing and vaguely insulting when people raise concerns certainly does absolutely nothing to dispel that skepticism.
 

 

 

 

FWIW "Such access" was only what Magic has shared as publicly as possible on their FB, and is no secret whatsoever.  They've literally been "actually showing you the difference" since the Purchase & Sale was announced if you were actually watching with the sincerity your stance implies.  Pointing that fact out to you is not "patronizing" or "vaguely insulting", it's more of a slow underhand pitch over the plate, as what you're supposedly looking for has already been happily provided as much as it legally can be and that has been reiterated here.    

 

 I'll gladly give you all I can, just work with me here!   :beercheer: 

post #53 of 57

I guess I'm confused on what's really happening there with "AMAZING, "BEYOND HUGE", "KILLER SHAPE" being thrown around. Facebook page looks like some glade cleanup, painting a lift shack or two, mowing the lawn, standard repairs and weedwacking.....ummm, cool? :dunno

 

This is SOP for running a ski hill. I get it, when you're used to incompetence for so long, just showing up is applauded, but in the grand scheme of ski industry investment, this is dare I say....underwhelming. I'm not sure how this moves the needle to get some people showing up. Maybe they have some big things planned in the future, like a new chair, or getting some new groomers cut, or demolishing a lodge, new snowmaking lines, I'm sure this will be disclosed in time. 

 

It's been like 9 years since I've been to Magic, so I get it if my opinion means as much as used toilet paper, feel free to disregard. 

post #54 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post
 

 

 

 

FWIW "Such access" was only what Magic has shared as publicly as possible on their FB, and is no secret whatsoever.  They've literally been "actually showing you the difference" since the Purchase & Sale was announced if you were actually watching with the sincerity your stance implies.  Pointing that fact out to you is not "patronizing" or "vaguely insulting", it's more of a slow underhand pitch over the plate, as what you're supposedly looking for has already been happily provided as much as it legally can be and that has been reiterated here.    

 

 I'll gladly give you all I can, just work with me here!   :beercheer: 

 

Showing the difference is having a few successful seasons, getting skier visits up, getting revenue streams up, and increasing the overall good operation of the mountain. What you are doing is telling me the difference. Words are wind. As far as Magic's facebook page, I concur with @COBillsFan. Pretty much all of their posts have to do with routine maintenance. The mere fact that they're highlighting routine maintenance so heavily like it's a big deal is concerning in and of itself. At most mountains, that kind of thing is just assumed, not something to be celebrated by the marketing department. "Look guys, we mowed the lawn!" Um, okay. Great... and? 

 

The patronizing bit is when you use a dismissive and somewhat mocking tone to imply that I'm being some kind of bumbling, incompetent detective for voicing some very well founded doubts and concerns about Magic. Those doubts aren't going to go away until Magic gets snow on the ground, spins some lifts, puts butts in those lift chairs, and gets skis on snow... and the KEEPS doing it consistently. 

 

I think you just need to accept the fact that Magic's track record over the past 20 years is working strongly against it, and its going to take real, tangible results to win a lot of people over. No amount of talking will do it. 

post #55 of 57
Thread Starter 

Bahahaha...  Well at least I know I'm wasting my breath here, seeing as you two will apparently be pleased by nothing less than being taken over by Vail as a sign that good things are happening...  I should have known better tbh, this is completely my fault hahaha ;)

 

 

 

To anyone else here that is genuinely interested in Magic's progress, I suggest using another ski forum like TGR, AZ, NYskiblog or the mountain's FB, alpine update etc.  I certainly won't be participating over here any longer.  Cheers to a great coming season and be sure to ask around for DW if you do come out :beercheer:  

post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post
 

Bahahaha...  Well at least I know I'm wasting my breath here, seeing as you two will apparently be pleased by nothing less than being taken over by Vail as a sign that good things are happening...  I should have known better tbh, this is completely my fault hahaha ;)

 

 

 

To anyone else here that is genuinely interested in Magic's progress, I suggest using another ski forum like TGR, AZ, NYskiblog or the mountain's FB, alpine update etc.  I certainly won't be participating over here any longer.  Cheers to a great coming season and be sure to ask around for DW if you do come out :beercheer:  

 

:dunno

 

Seems to be getting awfully worked up over me just saying I hope it works out but want to actually see some progress before I pronounce it a success. Am I off base here?

post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

 

:dunno

 

Seems to be getting awfully worked up over me just saying I hope it works out but want to actually see some progress before I pronounce it a success. Am I off base here?

 

Freeski919,

 

I do not find "a wait and see" position to be wrong.

 

I would like to see Magic fully up and running this season and be financially solvent for many years in to the future.

 

Last season I often checked the trail status at Magic and was disappointed.  I do not blame anyone for the poor winter weather (for skiing/snowboarding) last season (winter 2015-16) but I will not travel over 3 hours to a ski area that has most of its trails closed.

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