EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › White elephant for Sale ?!?! do any Bears want there own hill??
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White elephant for Sale ?!?! do any Bears want there own hill??

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
i thought this related well to some of the other recent threads on this subject,, i had no idea how much a small hill would cost but here it is ..

http://www.uniqueproperties.ca/skism...ID=54&TypeID=7

ski smithers is a small ski area in Smithers, British Columbia, Canada. I have never been there.. smithers is about 1100 km north from Vancouver. and about the same distance west from Edmonton,, So in other words its in the TOTAL MIDDLE OF NOWHERE....

the area is listed for sale at 1.5 million $$ (canadian funds) and contains:

MOUNTAIN STATISTICS
Base Elevation: 3,700 ft (1,128 m) Summit Elevation: 5,500 ft (1,676 m) Vertical Drop: 1,750 ft (533 m) Skiable Area: 292 acres (118 hectares) Annual Snowfall: 200 in (508 cm) Number of Lifts: 4 Uphill Lift Capacity: 2,900 per hour Types of Lifts: 1 Handle Tow
2 T-Bars
1 Triple Chair Number of Trails: 35 Longest Run: 10,560 ft (3,219 m)
(ski hill is on land leased from the government)

so at 300 acres and 1700 FT Vertical,, this sounds decent to me,, and given the price of on hill accommadation in most places, 1.5 mil for all this is a deal right ??? too bad this is so far away,,

My dream is to buy this and start a heliskiing operation based out of the ski hill.(the pictures of surrounding moutains look amazing) The provincial government in B.C. looks much more favourably upon cat/heli ski operations starting up now then they have in the past.
so if i hit the lotto i will let u guys know what my plans are,, ,,

but just in case i dont are there any deep pocketed bears looking for some recreational property?? might be a white elephant i have no idea whther or not it makes any money,, i presume that it doesnt,, but i do know it would be fun ,,
post #2 of 21
post #3 of 21
I am drawing a blank- name of the New York State area?
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimer
I am drawing a blank- name of the New York State area?
Are you thinking about Big Tupper in Tupper Lake, NY? It just closed a couple of years ago. I learned to ski there in the mid 1960s. I was heartbroken to hear it had closed.
post #5 of 21
One day we will get together a form a consortium and open EpicSki Resort!
post #6 of 21
If only it was still "the good old days" when $1,500,000 Canadian was like $200 US
post #7 of 21
Well I just bought a Powerball ticket today, so when I win, I'll be snapping this up!
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimer
I am drawing a blank- name of the New York State area?
I know from another message board that one of the Ebay ski areas was Swain.
post #9 of 21
I'd buy but I already own a white elephant which I would happily sell for $1.5 million to pay for my new ski area. However, Ski Smithers is perhaps the worst name for a ski area I've ever heard--well, perhaps it gets second to Beef Trail. My point is, it needs a new name. Any suggestions?
post #10 of 21
How about 'Epic'?
post #11 of 21
Ahem... Since I'm apparently the only one posting here from Smithers, I'll venture forth with some additional information. It's actually even worse than Ski Smithers. It was changed to Ski & Ride Smithers a couple of years ago to cater to the snowboarders. You couldn't come up with a cheesier moniker than that in a million years! My favorite nickname for the area is Ski & Sit On Your A$$ Smithers. I guess even they were so embarassed about it that the real estate listing doesn't mention the ride bit.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Horse
My favorite nickname for the area is Ski & Sit On Your A$$ Smithers.
Nice!!! :-))
post #13 of 21
Sounds like Dark Horse might have a snowboarding issue!

So, DH, tell us what you can about this mountain. It reports 200" per year (or is that cm). It also looks like "you can't get there from here". Does it have any good terrain?
post #14 of 21
Dark Horse,

Can you tell us more about expansion possibilities on the mountain and whether the likelihood of a snowcat or heli-ski operation in the area might have some appeal?

Does the ski area actually 'own' any of the land it sits on? What are the possibilities for real estate development associated with the business?

...Also, what is the condition of the 20 mile gravel road to access the area?
post #15 of 21
The 1.5 million CAN$ sounds very attractive, but the operating cost may out weight the purchase price, unless there is some way to sell lift tickets at a price to balance the cost or make some money. I know of a small ski area in California is also for sale, but that place lost money every season, I guess this joint is losing money as well, thus the low price. Besides, who the heck is going to that middle of no where place to ski? Never mind expansions, now a days, each lift is going to cost millions to build.
post #16 of 21
Jack,

I hope you remember your 'middle of nowhere' comment when the shift has been completed to BC as the North American skiing mecca. There isn't anything in the US to effectively compete with it, and names like Kicking Horse, Mount McKenzie, Jumbo, Red Mountain, and others will draw enough of the high profit business off of the US mountains that many will sit up and take notice.

...Other developing ski areas and regions further north will likely get some attention as sideline trips, if the lure is sufficient. ..I think it reasonable to inquire as to the possibilities of this area having some 'boutique' attributes.


P.S.- I agree with your assessment of its remote situation at the moment, but development during coming years might change that.
post #17 of 21

Ski & Schh..lide Smithers sold! for sure, maybe....

Word is that the place is as good as sold. They are supposedly finalizing a deal with 20/20 Properties, a real estate developer; surprise, surprise. But past experience tells me this could fall through. The last deal that fell through was with The Cliffs, a developer from the Carolinas, maybe when they realized that summer is bug season up there where they wanted to put condos.

In answer to your questions:

200" a year sounds about right, and due to the low traffic, powder tends to accumulate rather than getting tracked up. We are just east of the coast ranges, so the amounts are reduced, but the snow is normally very dry and light. The terrain is about 75% beginner to advanced, 25% ungroomed expert.
Out of bounds is possible, but can be risky due to avalanche danger and one way (down) gullies.

Expansion possibilities are mostly in the downward direction, but snowmaking would be required. There's another 3000 vertical feet to the peak, but above treeline most of the terrain is perennially windswept or extreme angle terrain; you fall-you die. Best left to folks with mountaineering gear.
I can't give you an answer about heli or cat skiing other than to say that there are protected areas nearby (caribou) and other users (snowmobiles and ski touring) already established. Someone tried to start a heli operation several years back and it never got going. The closest heli operation is Northern Escape in Terrace, about 60 air miles west, or 127 miles by highway.

The land is leased.

Real estate development possibilities are too complex for me to assess.

The road is a major pain. It can be smooth when frozen, but breaks up around early March into bone jarring washboard. Last winter Disney filmed the movie "Antarctica" on the plateau above the ski area, and the heavy trucks hauling buildings, trailers, etc. tore it up badly. It cost my trusty vehicle about 10 normal years worth of shaking damage. I'd pay an extra $600 on my season pass for a gondola from downtown, and be money ahead. It even managed to bite the ass of a certain high profile actor on a snowy day in February. ("Wow, looks like you're gonna need a tow truck, man! Anyone hurt? No? Great. Hey! You're M.G.! Too much! Hey, I gotta go, powder waits for no man. The tow truck should have you going in an hour or so") :

Sometimes the middle of nowhere can be a good place to land, especially if you happen to own a G-IV jet and have a day to kick back.

BTW, the place makes money, despite the owners' neglect. They can likely make more running it as a filming location than as a ski hill. It has enough flat treeless expanse above the ski area to build an airstrip to handle a Turbo Otter on skis and provide vast treeless vistas for the cameras.
post #18 of 21
Thanks for the 'heads up' on your 'home' area. ...It doesn't sound like a ski developer's dream come true, but I do hope a good buyer can straighten up a few of the nagging problems(especially the road) for you.

..The interest an area of this type is getting just highlights the level of interest BC is getting from the rest of the skiing world these days.



~
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by feallen
Jack,

I hope you remember your 'middle of nowhere' comment when the shift has been completed to BC as the North American skiing mecca. There isn't anything in the US to effectively compete with it, and names like Kicking Horse, Mount McKenzie, Jumbo, Red Mountain, and others will draw enough of the high profit business off of the US mountains that many will sit up and take notice.

.
In your wettest dreams!!



MTT
post #20 of 21
Ski Smithers is ONLY 875 Km North of Kamloops, really in middle of no where that is too far to be considered as part of the BC's or AB's "ski belt". The expansion possiblity is limited or uneconomical and will be difficult to attract the average skiers from Vancouver or any major metro center. The owner knows about it and thus the price.
post #21 of 21
In addition, the round trip cost to fly to YYD (smithers) from YVR is around $504 or you can pay $16 less if you take the 7:30am flight. Since the hill is no where close to become a destination resort, the only people will ever go there is locals.
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