Earlier this month a Berks County bank took financial control of the ailing Sno Mountain Resort. For local tourism, and local skiers the question still remains as to what this will mean for next season and the future of the resort.
DFM Realty was the high bidder with $4.6 million. Only two others made offers, one being Camelback Mountain with a low ball $1 million dollar bid. DFM Reality is an affiliate of National Penn Bank, Boyertown who were Sno Mountain’s mortgage holders.
The question is, now that the bank owns the resort free and clear, who will step in and invest in this operation’s future. It has always been a struggle with low snow years of recent, mother nature was of no help to bring riders and skiers in. This coupled with the worst economic conditions the Scranton area has seen since the depression, and a much higher unemployment rate than the national average sending the ailing resort into bankruptcy.
Recognizing the local base is on the low end of wage earnings, Sno Mountain had some outstanding Mid-Week specials, which were very successful in filling up the parking lot. Unfortunately the realization came far too late.
Given the proximity to the Philadelphia area, as well as triangulating neighboring NY and NJ within two hours, the resort should have enough of a weekend day trip base to realize a steady business. Skiers and riders are typically not afraid to get in their car to travel to resorts. In addition, this is a more affluent group willing to spend some time in our area and contribute to the tourism industry here. Let’s hope our resort falls into the hands of some clever marketers who recognize the local skiing base’s needs as well as providing the weekend crowd with a quality experience.
It is the end of the lift line for Sno Mountain who are expected to close shortly for the season. Our hopes hang in the balance for owners that understand the needs of the locals as well as catering to the weekend crowd. Right now we are more concerned with the resorts survival than how robust our skiing experience will be in the future. An auction is scheduled to take place at the end of this month.