(There IS an 11am update shown at the bottom of this column)
We are in the last three days of the 2005-2006 ski season unless somebody pulls a last second surprise on us. We hinted yesterday that Cataloochee MIGHT do just that, but we’re thinking that’s not going to happen.
We’ve had a lot of people email us asking that we NOT post Spring Flowers as the final photo of the season, so we’re digging in our archives for the “Photo of the Year” to post until the snowguns crank up in November. We’ll post this coming weekend’s closing photos on Sunday and Monday, then post the best of the crop for the off-season. So you guys can relax now. There will be NO Spring flower photos!
Ending the Season – Like we Started the Season – Talking About Phoenix Mountain!?!?!
For the record, we HAVE heard all of the talk (AGAIN) resurfacing about
We’ve gotten a truckload of emails this past two weeks inquiring about any new news…and we’ve replied to each one honestly. What we “knew” was not anything new. Back on September 27, 2005 we wrote about the
During our only server crash in ten seasons, we lost the article we wrote, so we’ll have to re-write the story again to satisfy all of the questions that we’re getting about this potential project. However, we’d chosen to stay quiet about the “news” despite the fact that some local papers are already reporting the project as a done deal. However, since we’re getting asked by many about this AND since some messageboard posters have pasted the newspaper articles on the board…our hand has been forced.
Here is what WE CAN tell you —-
I have a call in to Blowing Rock real estate broker, Jay Vincent. When he contacts me, perhaps we can divulge even more. However I have spoken with Ernie Horsley of Prestige Builders Group and Mr. Horsley was very forthcoming. However what he told me should raise as many questions as answers.
When I asked if he could share any insight into the plans and purchase, etc. he said, “Mike, we’re VERY, VERY early in the inspection stage of the project. We have only met once last Friday (a week ago today) with county and city commissioners, county planners and other Ashe and Jefferson leaders. It is so very early and while we have every intention of TRYING to develop there – it is very premature to begin promoting the project with ANY kind of details as to what it will be.”
He also stated that Prestige and Vincent were “considering all of the options” and Horsley DID say that they wanted to develop what the people of
In case you guys missed that important bit of information – THEY HAVE NOT EVEN CLOSED on the deal. So ANY talk of what
Back in September we reported that the nation’s largest real estate auctioneer, Sheldon Good & Company was involved and had been trying to sell 700+ acres of land owned by local millionaire Eric Hunter, AS a potential ski area. However, several calendar deadlines passed without a strong bid. Hunter owns some 1200+ acres on
It is obvious that Hunter and his team of marketing pros kept the search going for development partners and Jay Vincent and Prestige stepped forward. However, any INITIAL excitement that has been created in the local papers and amongst the people of Ashe County (and over-enthusiastic snow lovers) should be tempered a little while longer as the development partners are not married to ANY idea just yet.
Ernie Horsley did leave me with this comment, “Mike, our FIRST option IS to build a beautiful community that WILL include some slope or slopes. However I wouldn’t want to go any further than that because things are so much so in the early stages and we certainly don’t want to disappoint anyone.”
We have played phone tag a couple of times with local project partner, Jay Vincent as we’ve traded and missed calls from each other and as soon as we speak, we’ll update you guys further.
11am Update: I just spoke with Jay Vincent and he pretty much mirrored the exact comments above and it was obvious that he was not aware that Mountain Times and The Jefferson Post had already posted stories inferring that this was a done deal. Vincent also stated that they have only met with commissioners and discussed some "what ifs" and part of those what ifs include the potential for a three mile long slope…but as Mr. Horsley said earlier…everything is ALL in the preliminary stages.
Jay Vincent did share some comments that he ask that we not print just yet and we’re honoring that request. He did say that he was soaking up input from as many parties as possible (including SkiNC) and that he anticipated a PRESS RELEASE in about 30-40 days which he would share with us as part of the regional media. Until then…I think it’s safe to say that THE INTENT to develop a community and associated ski area is there. However it us too early in the process for anything more than speculation.
He did mention the prospects of the three mile trail, but stopped short of being able to discuss "how many" slopes the area might be able to provide. When we know more…you guys will know it.
Until Next Time…