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Monday, October 24, 2011

Ski season looks bright at recently bought Peek'n Peak

The coming ski season is looking bright -- and white -- thanks to the sale of a financially struggling regional resort and the reopening of another.

Western New York's Peek'n Peak Resort and Spa, operating in bankruptcy for the past year, was recently purchased by the Erie, Pa., family that owns the nearby Splash Lagoon Indoor Waterpark.

"It's a fantastic resort," said new owner Nick Scott Jr., vice president of Scott Enterprises, which also owns a dozen hotels and restaurants in Erie. "It just needs a little TLC."

The Clear Fork Ski Resort near Mansfield, closed since 2006, was purchased this year by four Richland County men, who plan to reopen the 191-acre park in December.

Though the resort has appealed to skiers and snowboarders primarily from the Columbus area, marketing manager Heidi Flynn said, "We're hoping to bring people here from all over Ohio."

Regional skiing info

Peek’n Peak Resort and Spa in Findley Lake, N.Y.: 716-355-4141. Clear Fork Resort in Butler, Ohio: 419-883-2000. More ski information: The 2011 Cleveland Winter Sports Show is next weekend at Lakefront Arena, 5310 Hauserman Road, Parma. The event — which will feature information from dozens of resorts, plus sporting goods outfitters and more — runs 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30. Admission is $5; free, children 12 and younger. For information: or 216-496-4685.

Changes at the Peak

Peek'n Peak, 90 minutes east of Cleveland and a favorite destination for Northeast Ohio skiers, was purchased in 2006 by Chardon real estate developer Paul Kiebler, who never was able to fund his grand plans for the resort. In 2010, he filed for bankruptcy, citing $28 million in debt.

The property was auctioned in August, when the Scott family emerged as high bidders, paying $11.3 million for the resort and its 1,150 acres.

Top priority for the new owners: fixing the roof and making other improvements to the Inn at the Peak, the 107-room hotel; adding new grooming and rental equipment; and upgrading the sewer and water systems.

Longer term, Scott said, he hopes to add more four-season attractions to the resort, including a zipline course, mountain biking trails and more.

In the meantime, Peek'n Peak has lowered the price of its season passes (hurry -- the deal is good only through October) and has already begun creating links between the resort and Splash Lagoon, which is about 20 miles west of Findley Lake.

Despite the bankruptcy, Scott said Peek'n Peak had a good year last year, drawing 225,000 skiers. "It's been a very special place for a lot of people," said Scott, who himself learned to ski there.

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1 comment:

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