Sudbury

Wisconsin-based firm buys Searchmont Resort

An American resort company is buying Searchmont, the popular ski resort in Sault Ste. Marie.

Resort purchased for $2 million, company says

Searchmont Resort has been sold for $2 million to Wisconsin Resorts Inc., an American company. (Facebook/Searchmont Resort)

An American resort company is buying Searchmont, the popular ski resort in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

The company announced today that Wisconsin Resorts Inc. purchased the ski hill from the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation for $2 million. The deal, which includes all land, buildings and equipment, was finalized on November 1.

According to its website, Wisconsin Resorts Inc. currently owns and manages four ski hills in the United States.

In a news release, Joseph Kosik, president of Wisconsin Resorts, said they are excited to be purchasing Searchmont.

"It is a fantastic mountain, and we look forward to working with all the local community to develop and expand this ski area," he added.

The city of Sault Ste. Marie had been owner of Searchmont since 2014.

Searchmont Ski Association, which has been running the resort for the past decade, is set to dissolve in the near future, the city said in the release.

"When we were established as a non-profit organization, our goal was to manage the ski hill until a new owner and operator could be found, and we're happy to see that time has come," Tyler Epp, president of the association, said.

According to the release, the group oversaw improvements made to Searchmont Resort, including the reopening of the quad chair lift, hill remediation work causing less snow to be required to open runs, new signage, renovations to several slopeside villas, upgrades to the hill's snowmaking system, a new roof on the main chalet building, and the purchase of newer groomers and other equipment.

They also reported that 2017-2018 visitations were up 27 per cent and total revenue was up 22 per cent from the previous year.

Mark Capancioni, with the Sault's economic development corporation, told CBC News that the city made no profit on the sale.

"We came out pretty well even from what we bought the resort for and put into it over the past four years," he said. 

The ski hill is expected to open for the 2018-2019 skiing season.

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