[R354R, Seven Springs Mountain Resort] has closed on its agreement with Somerset Trust Co. to purchase their ski assets at Laurel Mountain State Park. The closing, which took place in late November, represents the next step in the local community's push to revitalize skiing operations at the currently dormant ski area at Laurel Mountain State Park.

 "This is another positive step forward in the process of reopening the ski area to local skiers and visitors to the region," said Bob Nutting, Chairman at Seven Springs. "There is still much work to be done to fulfill the vision of many local community leaders of reestablishing Laurel Mountain Ski Area as a community asset that will bring with it new jobs and activity. We will not stop working hard toward this goal until the first skier takes the first run down Lower Wild Cat, the steepest slope in the Commonwealth."  

Seven Springs continues to work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the State of Pennsylvania to revive skiing operations at Laurel Mountain, a state-owned facility.

Gov. Rendell's office is considering an infusion of state funds from the Commonwealth's capital budget for renovation and improvements to help restore the facilities on the mountain.

"DCNR is extremely pleased to once again have an operator at Laurel Mountain State Park Ski Area," Bureau of State Parks Director John Norbeck said.  "Seven Springs knows the mountain and runs a class operation and we are excited to work with them to craft an agreement that will meet the needs of our neighbors, the community and the recreating public to bring active winter sports back to Laurel Mountain in a sustainable way and to add to the local economy."

 "We look forward to partnering with DCNR and the State to greatly enhance the skiing infrastructure at Laurel Mountain and create a great recreation opportunity for the community," said Eric Mauck, CEO of Seven Springs.  "While we remain increasingly optimistic, we need their continued support to move this project forward.  We have a great amount of faith that all parties will come together to get it done."

The ski area at Laurel Mountain State Park, which borders Westmoreland and Somerset counties, has been closed since 2004-2005, when Seven Springs operated it on a trial basis.