Snow King Mountain has been on a roller coaster ride for the past year. But upgrades to the ski area seem to indicate that it will open this winter despite the fact that it has been put up for sale.
Manuel Lopez, managing partner of Snow King Resort, wanted to separate the ski area from the resort and gave locals until May to pony up a solution to keep the ski area operating. The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole scrambled to create the Friends of Snow King to help. The group and the resort were hammering out details of an agreement, when talks broke off in June, Lopez then announced that the resort would be running the ski area this winter after all. In August, Snow King Resort, along with the ski area, was put up for sale.
"We made investments in lift upgrades, such as replacing an outdated drive panel in Summit Chairlift, and bought a snowcat that we were renting," Base Area Manager Jim Fulmer said. "The local ski club is functioning expecting winter up here."
Season pass prices, which are usually on sale in August, have yet to be announced.
"The ownership hasn't decided yet what the season will look like," Fulmer said. Fulmer assured us that season pass rates would be posted as soon as the owners decide the schedule for the length of the season, days of operation, night skiing and lifts to run.
Snow King Mountain is the only Jackson Hole ski area to offer night skiing in the past. Photo courtesy of Snow King Resort.
Lopez told the Jackson Hole News and Guide that the ski area loses about $500,000 per year. But he plans to run it "as usual" this winter even though it has been put up for sale.
Snow King Resort is for sale with Hospitality Real Estate Counselors in Chicago in cooperation with Prudential Preferred Properties in Gillette, Wyo. No price has been listed yet. The resort includes a hotel, conference center, condominiums, the ski area, an alpine slide and a tubing hill on 465 acres of property. The upper part of the ski area is leased from the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Snow King is Wyoming's oldest ski area. It started serving skiers in 1939.
The Summit Chairlift (right) got an upgrade to the drive system this summer. Photo courtesy of Snow King Resort.