Ski debts to be paid

LOCAL BUSINESSES should be soon getting money owed to them by the Shames Mountain Ski Corporation.

  • Dec. 28, 2011 5:00 p.m.

LOCAL BUSINESSES should be soon getting money owed to them by the Shames Mountain Ski Corporation.

It’s part of a leasing deal reached between the Shames Mountain ski facility’s new operators, My Mountain Co-op, and the current owner, Shames Mountain Ski Corporation.

While the co-op and the corporation have yet to strike a final sales deal, an agreement worked out in the meantime gives the co-op operating rights in exchange for an undisclosed amount of money.

“Part of that agreement was for them to release some of the funds that were part of the sale agreement to pay some unsecured creditors,” said corporation president Gerry Martin.

The lease amount paid by the co-op will be subtracted from the final purchase price, he continued.

The purchase deal still hinges on the reduction or extinction of two outstanding debts owed to the province.

“A far as the agreements, nothing has changed,” said co-op director Curtis Billey.

Martin explained that things in the government take time, and it’s likely such a request will have to be voted upon in some capacity.

But getting the hill open for the holiday season was a big priority, he said.

“We didn’t want them to have to wait any longer and we didn’t want them to miss the school holiday season,” Martin said about My Mountain Co-op.

(The Christmas break is a key money-making opportunity for ski operations.)

Martin added it’s likely the debts won’t be dealt with until January or February.

The first debt is a  long-standing tourism loan owed to the ministry of finance, and the second is owed to the forest ministry for unpaid lease payments, which amount to 2 per cent of chair lift revenue.

Staff from both ministries have said negotiations are ongoing, but the status of each has not changed.

The shames mountain ski facility started its yearly operations December 16.

“We had a fabulous opening with 900 people,” said Billey, continuing that parking lots were full and cars were lined up and down the access road.