NEAR OLIVER, B.C. – Dire financial problems have caught up with a South Okanagan ski hill.
Mount Baldy, 35 km east of Oliver, B.C., has been put up for sale by order of the B.C. Supreme Court.
Stark B.C. Ventures LLC, a Washington State based company, is owed $4.4 million and is foreclosing on their mortgage against Mount Baldy Real Estate ULC, Winter Recreation ULC, Mount Baldy Ski Corp, Robert Boyle, Brett Sweezy, Brent Baker, Laura Baker, Vantageone Credit Union, BC Opportunity Fund, the Attorney General of Canada as representative of Crown Land, and the owners of Strata Corporation KAS1840.
Besides Stark B.C. Ventures lawyer, only a lawyer for the B.C. Opportunity Fund attended the application hearing July 14th in Vancouver.
Stark B.C. Ventures has hired G-Force Group to market and sell the property and the mountain’s assets, including four development lots totaling 44 acres, ski lift equipment and a master plan approved by the B.C. Government to develop the resort into a four-season recreation area.
But G-Force Group is strapped for time. Its deadline for offers is less than a month away.
Before a deal can go through, it must be approved by the province, the court, Osoyoos Indian Band and Mt. Baldy strata council.
“In a short time frame, you hope that everyone will be reasonable and not unrealistic and think ‘Oh, there’s a big pot of gold to negotiate for,’ because there isn’t,” says Gary Powroznik, managing director of G-Force Group.
He explains why the sale has no listing price.
“By putting a price tag on something complex like this, you’re doing it an injustice because if it’s too high it will scare people away; if it’s too low, you’re giving it away.”
Mount Baldy was developed in the late ‘60’s and is home to 120 cabins and condos and a day lodge.
The expansion plan includes adding 13 more chairlifts.
Back in December, Mount Baldy management posted a letter to their customers on their website expressing difficulty with financing that prevented the mountain from opening for the 2013/14 season.
President Brent Baker seemed optimistic at the time they would find the help they need to re-open in short order, which never happened.
“…if we all hold on to a positive attitude, we believe it will just make the sliding all the more enjoyable once the bull wheels start turning!” said Baker.
Baker and his wife live in Idaho.