Zrinko Amerl, President and Owner of Fortress Mountain, plans to open the ski hill this winter despite squabbling with the provincial government over permits, building codes, and road repairs. Amerl intends to proceed with permits for a new space that he says will be ready by Oct. 31, while negotiations over the old lodge continue with the government. "Our investment was too great as were our losses of revenue over the first two years," said Amerl. "They are substantial enough not to allow the hill to stay closed for yet another year." Amerl plugged away on repairing the curvy, 12-cornered access road to Fortress Mountain during the past year. The company rebuilt corners and culverts, removed brush, added safety barricades, reclaimed ditches, and installed reflective corner signage. Work continues on the bridge repairs. Although the government halted the sale of Fortress season passes last year, the ski area plans to sell them this year, but only to pass holders of the past two years and only after the government permits the lodge and certifies two chairlifts for use.