An upstate New York developer has pulled out of negotiations to buy the Powder Ridge ski area from the town of Middlefield. WNPR's Ray Hardman reports.
Last week Middlefield town officials were feeling confident that a deal to sell and resurrect the Powder Ridge ski area was imminent. Windham, N.Y.-based CDF & Associates had been negotiating with the town to buy the 250-acre property and convert it into a year-round recreation area. And just two weeks ago the state kicked in over a half million dollars to upgrade the facility's infrastructure.
What a difference a week makes. On Wednesday the developer pulled out of the deal citing the state's high cost of electricity and business property taxes, and Middlefield, who bought the property in 2008, is back to square one. First selectman of Middlefield Jon Brayshaw is disappointed but says he understand CDF's decision:
"He indicated that the cost of electricity in NY was half the price of electriciyy in Connecticut, and he was not used to the type of taxation on personal property, so it is a very risky business, and we can't make someone take that risk."
Brayshaw says the town learned a lot from this deal, and is optimistic other developers will surface:
"Yesterday, the phone rang off the hook, there wasn't a single person who was down on it, and so we have all intentions of seeing it through. There's no question we're going to re-up, get the committee going again, and we're looking forward to moving on and looking for a new perspective developer."
Brayshaw says broken deal will not affect, at least in the short term, the $540,000 grant the state has promised. The 50 year old ski area has been closed since 2006, when it's previous owner, Whitewater Mountain Resorts filed for bankruptcy protection.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.