Ski Anthony Lakes is poised for a change in ownership. Owners of the northeastern Oregon ski area have gifted the resort to the county.

The current owners for the past 12 years gifted the ski area to Baker County, which formally accepted the stock and ownership in a July 28 vote by the county commissioners. "We're right in the final throes of the deal being finished," General Manager Bill Junnila told OnTheSnow.com, referring to the Nov. 1 closing date. "We're trying to accelerate the process to be able to make business decisions."

The goal of the gift is to keep the ski area open and eventually turn it into a nonprofit organization. Junnila does not expect the change in ownership to bring any huge immediate changes. "However, we're on the cusp of announcing good deals for skiers. It's all pending," he added.

Resort personnel are planning to run a fall season pass sale as soon as possible and attend the Portland Ski Show Nov. 5-7. Junnila wants to convey one message to Oregon's west side skiers and riders: "We are a really cool little niche area with awesome snow. We're what Telluride used to be in the 1970s."

Plans to convert the ski area into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization would make it similar in operation to Idaho's Bogus Basin. The ski area would be eligible for grants, fundraising, and donations. "There's public money and grant writers out there to go after capital to add the whip cream and cherries on top of the sundae," said Junnila. "We need that."

Information on a fall season pass sale will be announced as soon as possible.

More information.