My Mountain Co-op finalizes ownership of Shames Mountain

My Mountain Co-op announced on Jan. 11 the formal completion of the deal that gives them ownership of the Shames Mountain Ski Area.

On Dec. 21, 2012 the provincial government’s forests, lands and natural resources ministry transferred the operating agreement for the ski facility from the ski corporation to the co-op.

That move followed the payment by the ski corporation to the province of $125,000 to close the books on an unpaid tourism development loan that dates back years. Paying the $125,000 to wind up the loan was a condition of the operating agreement being assigned to the co-op.

The payment was part of an agreement released in November 2012 which cleared the way for the non profit co-op to purchase the ski facility. The province wrote off the remaining part of the tourism loan, which is approximately $400,000, in return for the $125,000 payment from the ski corporation.

Shames Mountain Ski Corporation president Gerry Martin said the $125,000 was part of the purchase price paid by My Mountain Co-op in late 2011 to the corporation.

“It was being held in trust so that we could pay the government,” said Martin.

The transfer of the operating agreement is about the last of the official transactions between the co-op and the ski corporation, he added.

Although the ski corporation dropped its original asking price drastically so that the co-op could make the purchase, Martin said the purchase to the co-op was the “best solution” to keeping the mountain open and in local hands.

“The co-op has had good support from people, from businesses and local governments. It’s had a good response from the public because they feel a part of the ownership,” Martin continued.

“It’s good for all of the communities in the area.”

Martin said good snow conditions last year and this year have helped the co-op establish itself.

Also owed the province was $130,000 in unpaid royalties and interest, an amount that was reduced to $88,579 when $46,767 in interest was written off by the province. The co-op agreed to take on the $88,579 debt and will repay it with interest over the next 10 years.

The co-op had paid the ski corporation $360,000 in 2011 to buy the ski facility and has been operating it under a lease pending a resolution of the money owed the province.

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