You may recall earlier this season we ran a story on Missouri's Hidden Valley and its woes with the city of Wildwood. When owner Tim Boyd proposed to the city commission last year he wanted to add a tubing hill and parking area, a new maintenance barn, and some other minor improvements, he was told that for a small tract of his 250 acres and a quarter-million dollars it could be done. Needless to say he wasn't happy and considered closing the 26-year-old ski area selling the land to a home developer.
Thousands of supporters came out in a grassroots effort and urged him to reconsider. They even started a Web site called Save Hidden Valley. Apparently all has been resolved and the ski area's future looks bright.
Boyd went to the city commission this past winter, where close to 400 people packed the little city's chamber quarters spilling out into the street. He told them if they would sign off on a 10-year master plan, Hidden Valley was prepared to grow instead of close. He proposed adding more ski runs and ski-in, ski-out condos, which is a new concept for that part of the country. He also told the city council the property would be placed in a conservation agreement that would allow the property to be used only for skiing in the future or revert to public use.
Recognizing a good deal when they heard it, the commission members voted unanimously to accept the proposal and dropped the earlier payment demands. The crowd was overjoyed, reported Boyd.
"I heard what I wanted to hear," Boyd was reported saying. "Obviously the public's reaction to this has been overwhelming. Sometimes you kind of lose sense of how important something is to people. I think this whole exercise opened our eyes as to how important Hidden Valley is to this region."
Midwesterners love their "hometown" ski hills. The grassroots support by hundreds of local skiers and riders showed the city fathers just how important this ski area was to them and what it meant to the area. Most would have had to travel hundreds of miles to ski and ride if Hidden Valley were no more. All of those supporters and Tim Boyd deserve a big kudos for saving the Valley.