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Everything must go! Powderhorn Ski Resort to be sold at auction

Powderhorn Ski Resort is set to hit the auction block on August 4, 2011, with everything from the mountain and chairlifts to the lodge and resort condominiums set to change hands at the bang of the auctioneer's gavel. SNEWS wonders what's the hurry? And who might be the new buyer?

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Powderhorn Ski Resort, including 600 acres of skiing, 44 trails and four chairlifts will be sold at auction on Aug. 4, 2011, according to executives at the ski area.

Located on southwest Colorado’s Grand Mesa, the resort encompasses 1,600 acres in total, including approximately 750 acres of real estate, a lodge, the Inn at Wildewood with 16 guest rooms, as well as a mountain operations building and an administrative building. 

Resort spokesperson Sarah Allen told SNEWS® that this is not a distress sale. Rather longtime Powderhorn CEO and President Steve Bailey, who is in his 70s, is looking for a quick turnaround on his property as he plans to retire.

“This option was the one that accelerated the whole market process,” Allen said. “It offers a quick turnaround in time for Powderhorn to continue its winter operations next season. And at the end of the auction we will know who the new owner is.” 

Bailey retained J.P. King Auctioneers, an Alabama-based company that specializes in selling high-end properties, including ranches, condominium complexes and retail centers. Bailey said in a release, “We’re excited for what the future of Powderhorn can be, and we know the potential that it has, so we’re working with the leader in high-end real estate auctions to ensure a quick and positive experience for us and for the future owner.”

Caley King Newberry of J.P. King told SNEWS that since they only just signed a contract with Bailey, she did not have information as to the potential valuation of the resort. She said the lots, lodge and ski hill will be sold separately, with “no minimum and no reserve,” meaning that the seller has not established a minimum price for the sale. She added that a minimum bid had been established for the real estate, however, which is across the road from the resort. 

As to who might be expected to show up at a ski area auction, Newberry said, “Anyone from investors to someone who is in love with skiing, and maybe this is a dream of theirs.” While as to the rarity of ski areas being put up for auction, she added, “The benefit of an auction is really the time frame. Powderhorn will be sold on August 4th, while I believe there are other ski areas that have been on the market for as much as three years now.”

Back at Powderhorn, Allen said the management group has been conducting weekly meetings to keep the staff informed of any developments regarding the pending sale. Planning has next season remains on hold, however, as Allen said, “Normally I would start my season pass sale on August 1, but obviously that will wait until the August 4th, when learn who the new owner will be.” 

She said news of the sale has certainly been providing plenty of marketing for Powderhorn, however, and that “Today is certainly the busiest day I’ve ever had in the 10 years I’ve worked here.”

–Peter Kray

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