There will be MANY who will say that they saw this coming. I've already spoken with several people who all say confidentially that they saw the writing on the wall. I have to say that I too thought that SOMETHING needed to happen at Wolf Ridge Resort, however I have to admit that I didn't see Orville English selling the resort.
In our day to day affairs of running a ski industry website I have the opportunity to speak with community realtors and other business owners in the areas that surround these ski areas and I've heard rumors for over a year about some new people coming in and buying up "everything" – meaning the ski area, the restaurants, the property, etc. One such "rumor" was shared with me more than a year ago by a realtor client who told me anonymously, "Mike these new guys came in and told us that they were buying the resort and everything and that they would be making much more than just a ski resort out of it."
She added, "Right after that when we asked Orville (English) about it he said that they didn't have the money and that it was NEVER going to happen."
WELL IT HAS HAPPENED…if the Press Releases and periphery news is to be believed. We've posted the official press release at the link below although according to our contacts there will be an official announcement of the close of the deal on Thursday, January 10th, 2013.
As usual, we could not reach Orville English for any comment, and interestingly there is NOTHING on their website that indicates ANYTHING has or will be taking place. Their official website is www.SkiWolfRidgeNC.com and it has been woeful for years as to providing any real news or content. However we DID FIND a www.WolfNC.com (which IS a better website) and it speaks to all of the things that we've already shared.
I will say that the images that are on the website are kind of odd as they show skiers on mountains out west in their headers, etc.
See image …
According to sources the management team has already BEEN operating at least some of the resort's amenities such as the restaurant, etc. since Christmas.
“Customer service is #1 and everything in our business model is aimed at providing an experience to our guests like no other. The first thing people need to know is Wolf Ridge is not just a ski resort anymore”, said Reuel Wheatley, principal owner of Arthur Webster LTD.
That will be music to the ears of MANY long time fans and property owners around the community.
Photo from SkiSoutheast.com files from 2011-2012.
The NEW Wolf Ridge Resort plans to immediately start converting the resort into a year round destination. This includes enhancing the dining facilities by opening the new Mountain Top Grill 7 days a week, 365 days a year. “Our food and beverage head is one of the best in the industry, focused on delivering a great meal at a reasonable price. We believe our customers will be incredibly satisfied with our dining experience”, Wheatley added. Wolf plans on providing weekly entertainment at the Mountain Top Grill, as well as many other events throughout the year.
Interestingly they plan to offer "helmet cams" and offer bussing to and from Asheville to enhance visitor traffic to the ski resort. There's talk of offering on snow experiences such as Groomer rides like you can find at Snowshoe Mountain and more.
Wolf Ridge will now offer numerous spring, summer and fall activities such as camping, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hiking and more. The new Wolf owners have a very creative and ambitious business plan that encompasses 14 different business units and is focused on giving back to the community. Wheatley added, “Asheville is one of the most dynamic cities in the country. We are blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the region’s growth and success. With all of our plans, a strong management team and a dedicated staff, there is no question it’s a very exciting time at the Wolf!!”.
We've already go calls in to the new management team to see how this will all play out for THIS ski and snowboarding season. Obviously Wolf, like all of the resorts, is effected by the weather and thus far this new season they've only been able to open a limited amount of terrain. However there is talk of adding a terrain park that will be "one of the best in the region". They will have to go some to meet or beat those at Snowshoe Mountain or Appalachian Ski Mountain, but it all sounds great, doesn't it?
We'll share more as we have it.
Here's the link to the presser…
Email me your thoughts and reactions at: [email protected]
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