Thursday, September 19, 2013

NJ's Hidden Valley Ski Resort Up for Auction

Hidden Valley Trail Map (photo credit: Hidden Valley Club)

According to a report published on NorthJersey.com, Hidden Valley ski resort in Vernon, NJ is headed to the auction block. The resort's assets will be sold on October 1, 2013 to satisfy creditors. Any sale resulting from the auction is subject to approval by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.

The second largest of the Garden State's three ski resorts, Hidden Valley boasts 14 slopes spread over 620 vertical feet.  Hidden Valley has been run as a private club in recent years. The resort is a popular choice for families and race programs. The forced sale of the mountain puts those race programs (and future operations at the resort) in jeopardy. However, the report cited above notes that a number of prospective bidders have registered and many of those bidders have ties to the ski or resort industries, increasing the likelihood that the winning bidder will decide to continue ski operations at the resort.

The resort is close to major population centers of New York City and Northern New Jersey. However, it has always languished in the shadow of its nearby competitor - Mountain Creek. While Mountain Creek has pumped millions of dollars into new lifts, lodging, base area development and infrastructure, Hidden Valley has remained largely unchanged. For many this "old time" feel was a welcome change from increasingly corporate Mountain Creek.

It will be up to any prospective buyer to determine whether the resort will operate for the 2013-2014 season. Consequently, no news on the subject should be expected until after Bankruptcy court approval. With the auction scheduled for October 1, the new owner will be forced to scramble to open by the all-important Christmas vacation period. However, the new purchaser will be aided by the fact that there was no gap in operations at the resort and presumably much of the equipment will still be in working condition.

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