Indianhead Mountain, which was in the process of acquiring nearby Big Powderhorn and neighboring Blackjack, has announced that all closing activities and discussions have been terminated. The deal was set to close prior to the new year.
A couple of people associated with the Big Powderhorn Lodging Association and an association home owner have filed a suit in the local County Circuit Court alleging that Powderhorn initially agreed to sell the ski facility to the association. The lawsuit asks that the ski area be required to follow through with that earlier agreement, and a lien has been filed to encumber the property until the lawsuit is resolved.
A disappointed Barry Bolich, Indianhead general manager, said, "Our vision of a combined resort with better economics and more attractive features and amenities has been blocked by this lawsuit. We feel that the ultimate success of our business and the Western Upper Peninsula ski resort industry as a whole have been potentially impaired by this lawsuit."
The sale, as reported earlier at OnTheSnow, if it had gone through, would have created a mega western UP ski resort with close to 100 runs and multiple facilities. The resorts are within minutes of each other and one can see Blackjack's slopes from Indianhead. The Hill Hopper Pass, which allows you ski all three ski areas with one lift ticket, will still be available for at least this season, according to Indianhead Marketing Vice President Dave Nyquist.
Speculation this summer was that Blackjack would not reopen this season as an individual ski resort. If the merger had gone through Indianhead was going to operated the facility Friday through Sunday. Now, it most likely will not be open for the 2008/09 season, which is my own speculation. The skiing and riding is good at both Indianhead and Powderhorn with some of the Heartland's longest runs and biggest verticals. The three resorts really do belong together. It makes sense on so many levels.