By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor
December 24, 2012 — A downturn in the real estate market forced Wisp Resort to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Fall of 2011, but thanks to a new ownership structure, the Maryland ski area has emerged from bankruptcy and is charging forward. On December 21, 2012, Wisp announced that Salt Lake City based Everbright Pacific, an affiliate of Pacific Group, would take over as the new operator of the resort. Pacific Group operates ski and golf resorts in New England, Canada, and throughout the West. A nondisclosed buyer has purchased a large portion of the real estate development land formerly associated with Wisp, allowing Wisp to instead focus on its mountain operations.
“To say we are excited to emerge from bankruptcy with a healthy financial situation and lots of opportunities in front of us would be a major understatement,” said Wisp General Manager Tim Prather. Prather and his management team will retain their positions under the new ownership.
“I’m so very proud and appreciative of the way our whole team hung together through this very difficult year,” he added. “To have the additional support we now have, from both a knowledge base and financial perspective, will allow us to give our guests the best mountain resort experience in the Mid-Atlantic region.”
Wisp is now planning enhancements for next summer, but guests this winter season will find some welcome improvements. In order to relieve congestion on busy holidays and weekends, beginning next week, Wisp will provide ski and snowboard rentals at the top of the mountain in the building that houses the Pumphouse Cafe. Food service will also be expanded to that location.
“By eliminating the shuttle ride back down the mountain to the base for rentals and lessons, our guests will get more time on the snow and have a much better experience,” explained Prather.
On Christmas Eve, Wisp was operating with an average base of 11 inches on 7 open trails.