***UPDATED BELOW*** at 1:06 p.m.
A proposed land deal that would have reduced the Bolton Valley Nordic Ski Center from 100k to 6k of trails has fallen through. In an email dated March 17, Larry Williams, owner of Redstone, the commercial real estate development company that owns Bolton Valley, indicated that the potential buyer is no longer interested in the 1000-acre parcel.
As reported in Seven Days last week, Bolton Valley is on the market and could be sold piecemeal or in its entirety. An unnamed buyer expressed interest in purchasing 1000 acres of property owned by Redstone and its partners that would include the Nordic ski area and considerable backcountry terrain. The provisional sale agreement did not require the new owners to create an easement for the ski trails, thus substantially limiting the resort's Nordic skiing options.
While this particular deal has collapsed, Williams confirmed in his email that the land is still up for sale without easements. Williams, an avid skier, said Redstone would prefer to sell the property to someone who would maintain access to the ski trails. The price has been set at $2000 an acre and the development company is currently reaching out to potential buyers who had expressed interest in the parcel in the past.
Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic, a group of concerned skiers, has begun mobilizing to preserve access to skiing. They have reached out to Vermont Land Trust, Green Mountain Club, the Nature Conservancy and other land conservation organizations to explore ways to keep the land open for recreation. With the collapse of the pending land sale, the group now has time to figure out a strategy. There may yet be ample Nordic skiing next year at Bolton Valley.
UPDATE: According to Redstone owner Larry Williams, the potential buyer of the 1,000-acre parcel is reconsidering his interest in the property. Initially, Williams wrote in an e-mail that the buyer they had lined up had pulled out. Now that buyer is indicating that he might still be interested in the land deal. Williams noted in a recent phone interview that this "might be an opportunity to marry what [the Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic's] goals are with [the potential buyer's] goals."
Photo courtesy of Bolton Valley