The prospective buyers now hope to close on the deal by the end of the month.
Saturday, October 22, 2016, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
The long awaited change in ownership at Magic Mountain has been delayed by due diligence issues, according to an Alpine Update posted yesterday. The sale was originally slated to be completed in late September or early October.
According to the post, the delay is due to permitting concerns, but Ski Magic LLC has "worked closely with the State of Vermont and we have a viable path forward."
The update goes on to state "Magic will be open this year and our transaction will be going through with the current ownership."
The group hopes to now wrap up the transaction by the week of October 31.
In the meantime, the group has been working on a feverish pace to get the area ready for a December 17 opening. Volunteers have been working to mow trails, paint lifts, and clean up glades.
Located in Londonderry, Vermont, Magic Mountain was originally opened in 1960-61 by Hans Thorner. In recent decades, the area has been plagued by financial problems, including a 6 year closure during the 1990s. Since reopening in 1997-98, the ski area has seen multiple owners and operators.
John "Larry" Nelson, whose family had owned a home at the mountain for decades and was reportedly owed $1 million, purchased the area with four partners in August 2002 for a reported $500,000. Nelson passed away in April of 2009, leaving his stake to his family.
Three main entities are involved in the ski area: an asset owner/mortgagor, a ski area owner/borrower, and a ski area operator.
According to sources, Nelson's family technically owns the ski area land and assets. The family is the primary mortgagor of the ski area, with a firm named Magic Mountain Management LLC ("MMM") serving as the borrower. Magic Mountain Resorts LLC ("MMR") then leases the ski area from MMM.
According to a source, the Nelson family transferred their stake in the MMM entity to minority owner Thomas Barker two years ago. Robert Lyszczarz is reportedly the majority owner of MMM while Thomas Barker is the sole proprietor of MMR. The Nelson family has expressed its goal is to see the property sold because they "want Magic to get back on track and to flourish as a ski area."
On May 6, 2015 former Vice President of Marketing at Magic Geoffrey Hatheway formed Ski Magic LLC. While a tentative agreement was struck that summer to take over ownership and operation of the ski area, MMM backed out of the deal in September 2015. Ski Magic LLC has remained an active Vermont business entity since then.
Meanwhile, MMM was unable to pay its 2015 property taxes amidst mounting debt. MMR operated the ski area during the "dismal" 2015-16 season from January 16 to March 13.
Sale negotiations resumed in the spring of 2016. A Purchase and Sale Agreement was signed in August.