Phoenix a "no go"???

I’ve gotten a LOT of email about the "Phoenix Ski Resort Project". Anytime it looks like there’s a real potential for a new ski area…people take notice! I HAVE spoken briefly with Eric Hunter and hope to be meeting with him soon, however the MORE I learn, the more it seems that Mr. Hunter is allowing his dream to die. We had reported the Sheldon Good & Company were holding a closed bid auction on October 15th and that they were heavily promoting the sale of the land as a ski resort. NOW, the auction has been pushed BACK until November 15th and in discussions with Sheldon Good & Company reps, as well as in ALL of the promotional data and website…ALL references to pushing the sales as a ski resort have DISAPPEARED!!!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that there’s been no REAL interest in purchasing the land and NONE from persons willing to develop it as a ski resort. It’s hard to have an auction if you only have one or two people interested to any degree. That’s not to say that there haven’t been any tire kickers. The tires on that baby are bruised! However, if Sheldon Good & Company had ANY serious bids forthcoming they would not have changed there approach in mid-stream.

Reps are now stating that the reason for the delay until November 15th is to allow potentially interested bidder the opportunity to see the "NEWEST INFORMATION" about Phoenix. That "newest information" is simply the fact that the Town of Jefferson has agreed to place NO ZONING RESTRICTIONS on the land…AND that they have committed water to the property to easily service 1800 residents and an inn of some nature. Sounds more like another Linville Ridge or Hound Ears – without the golf course…and most importantly to snow lovers around the region – NO SKI RESORT. Makes you kind of wonder if the talk of a ski resort was to create a bit of a stir (local Ashe County) such that would have the town fathers ready to supply and provide anything to see the county grow. Truth is though…there won’t be much of a trickle down affect to improve the lifestyle and commerce of the county if Phoenix becomes "just another resort community".

Our sources (and a little common sense) are telling us that NOBODY has come along, done the organized tours and such, that has an interest in seeing Phoenix Mountain as a ski resort. A FEW have come along with interest to develop it…but nothing more than semi-interested tire-kicking. Hence the November 15th delay.

…I’ve got to get that call in to Dr. Tom Brigham! Unless Mr. Hunter makes some moves to see his dream to fruition…we think Phoenix Mountain will be a nice mountain getaway…with beautiful views of the valley below. Perhaps from that high up he won’t be able to see all of the locals CRYING.

We have at least ten people who emailed me with interest in "buying a piece of dirt" up there if that mountain became a ski resort. Wonder how many would still be interested in a nice lot. Wait a minute. Are there not SEVERAL developments over that way having a little trouble moving lots? Enough said.

Meteorologist Brad Panovich of WCNC and SkiNorthCarolina/SkiSoutheast fame has sent us his Winter 2005-2006 forecast. Be sure to visit the site tommorow and we’ll post it!

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.