After weeks of uncertainty Marshall Mountain Ski Area has been sold and is staying in local ownership. Attention is now focused on developing a long-term arrangement to continue public access with the sale closing this week.
KPAX reports the ski resort closed in the early 2000s but the slopes remained a popular destination for mountain bikers and backcountry skiers. That informal arrangement was upset this spring when long-time owners Bruce and Kim Doering, moved to sell the 156-acre property at the head of Marshall Canyon to a doctor and his family from Missouri.
Ultimately the sale fell apart after local user groups expressed concerns about losing trail access, and the new owners couldn’t agree on continuing those easements.
Two weeks ago local Missoula developer Rick Wishcamper submitted a backup offer, and Tuesday the sale closed. Wishcamper plans to own the property for now, but will eventually turn it over to public ownership, probably by the City of Missoula. In the meantime, Wishcamper says he is hoping the city will help manage continued access.
“I think what the plan is that we’ll look to the city to manage it on our behalf and on behalf of the community in the interim. So I think we’d be looking to have some sort of arrangement for the city to provide that management and maintain that access.”