A deal to sell the Shames Mountain ski facility remains in limbo pending a decision on how to treat debt owed the provincial government.
And until there’s a resolution, the Shames Mountain Ski Corporation, which owns the facility, will more than likely renew a lease agreement with My Mountain Co-op, which wants to buy the operation.
The two negotiated a sales deal last year but it has yet to be finalized because of debt owed the province.
One portion of the debt amounts to nearly $420,000, which was borrowed by the ski corporation from the province years ago.
A second portion amounts to $150,000 and represents unpaid chairlift royalties owned to the province. This amount was originally incurred by the ski corporation but was taken on by the co-op as part of the sales agreement.
As one part of a purchase agreement signed Nov. 16 2011, the two outstanding debts owed to the provincial government were to be satisfied before My Mountain Co-op could purchase the facility from the Shames Mountain Ski Corp.
Those conditions were first hoped to be met by Dec. 15, 2011 for the deal’s closing date, but waiting on the province meant drafting a new lease deal so it could be run in the meantime and then extending that deal in April prior to this extension.
While the process has moved along at glacial speed, co-op directors have not lost hope.
“We’re very confident it will happen,” said co-op director Jamie Hahn about the mountain’s purchase.
“We’re just waiting on the government administration side to complete its process.”
Shames Ski Corp. president Gerry Martin said debt resolution has been slower moving than initially expected and that both local parties are waiting for the province to respond with a firm answer.
“We’re trying to run it down now to find out why its taking so long,” said Martin.
“This should have been done a long time ago but it has been caught up in government bureaucracy,” said Martin. “I guess it just hasn’t been a priority for them like it is for us.”
It might not be a priority right now, but provincial talks have sounded good, said Hahn.
“Everyone supports this, everyone’s optimistic that this will happen, we’re just waiting for the administrative wheels to get moving,” he said.
“As far as we’re concerned, it’s business as usual and we’re continuing to invest in the mountain.”