The tenuous future of Sno Mountain just south of Scranton, Pa., appears to have solidified. The ski and ride area that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year is to be purchased by a group that has no experience in snowsports.
WNEP Television in the region reported that real estate developer Charlie Jefferson, of Jefferson-Werner LLC, is about to get the resort and accompanying water park for about $8 million. When they do, the SnoMountain name will disappear. The new owners reportedly will revert to the previous Montage moniker that conjures up a previous era of better economic times for the facility. It was called Montage for over 20 years.
The new owners have been a real estate development company for that time period. Jefferson-Werner brings their background in hands-on asset management to the new Montage. They have made their mark in some notable re-development projects in the local community.
Austin Burke, president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, welcomed and lauded Jefferson’s work in a Times Tribune story. “I can’t think of anyone I would more happily entrust the future of Montage to than Charlie Jefferson and his group,” Burke said. “Look at the work he has done in Scranton. It is all first-class.”
Jessica Kalinoski will run the resort. According to the company’s website, Kalinoski heads Jefferson-Werner’s sales and marketing efforts. She and her Jefferson-Werner team have wasted no time in ascertaining employee input and strategizing Montage’s future.
Kalinoski told WNEP that “Montage is back,” and that SnoMountain’s problems, in her estimation, resulted from bad marketing. SnoMountain held that name since the 2006-2007 winter season when it was purchased from Lackawanna County by a Philadelphia-based firm. It was Montage from its opening in 1983 until 2006.
There were two other bids. At auction in February, Montage Mountain Resorts bid $4.5 million but was trumped by DFM Realty, which is owed nearly $9 million in two mortgages extended to SnoMountain’s previous owners. DFM’s $4.6 million bid, according to the paper, looked good until Jefferson emerged.
The site, which ended its season in late March, has 1,000 vertical feet, and over the years, has appealed to all levels skiers and boarders.
The Dave Matthews Band plays a one-night gig in the Toyota Pavilion kicking off a season of events and activities May 29. The resort’s water park, formerly known as the Sno Cove, is slated for a late May opening.