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Ski resort to buy golf course

April 07, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, PA. - Whitetail Resort and its parent company, Snow Time Inc., are purchasing a golf course for $3.75 million to realize the resort's original master plan calling for year-round outdoor recreation.

The 250-acre Whitetail Golf Resort shared the "Whitetail" name since opening in 2000 but retained separate ownership until now.

A hotel and conference center are planned on the portion of the course across from the clubhouse, according to Don MacAskill, president of Whitetail Resort.

The resort's master plan developed in the late 1980s included the ski facilities, golf course and hotel and conference center. Yet, the Whitetail Resort, which opened in 1991 on Blairs Valley Road in Montgomery Township, had only operated with skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and fly fishing.

"Now we saw this opportunity, with the golf course for sale, to draw the project back together. I think there's a lot of opportunities to share resources," MacAskill said.

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While under initial construction in 1998, the original owners of the golf course sold it to the Dauphin County (Pa.) General Purpose Authority.

"In Pennsylvania, any authority can own a piece of property that's not in their geographic territory," MacAskill said.

That authority in 2000 sold the property to the Hummelstown (Pa.) General Authority, which sold bonds to four school districts - North Penn, Red Lion, Perkiomen Valley and Boyertown Area.

The bonds went into default, and the school districts and Hummelstown General Authority offered the golf course for sale in spring 2005 with an asking price of $4.5 million.

The purchase by Whitetail Resort and Snow Time Inc. "will go to help satisfy some of the indebtedness," MacAskill said.

Snow Time Inc., which purchased Whitetail Resort in 1999, also owns Ski Roundtop in Lewisberry, Pa., and Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, Pa. This is its first golf course.

"The Whitetail Golf Course is a first-class operation, and we look forward to moving into the golf business with this acquisition," Scott Romberger, president of Snow Time Inc., said in a news release.

The golf course features 13 links-style holes and five wooded holes, creating "a diversity of different types of play," MacAskill said.

"It's a very beautiful course in terms of the mountain views," he said.

The golf course opened for the season in late May last year but met an early March opening target this year.

"The number of folks golfing has been quite significant," MacAskill said. "We've had some pretty nice days."

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