Former World Cup skier hopes to develop Ski Cape Smokey
ways, rock climbing, summer concerts and elder hostels, if all his plans succeed.
“ That’s really one of the best ways that you can run a ski area rather than have everything sit for five to seven months a year.” he said. “I think the main business could actually be during the summer. I mean, we have over a million people going by the front door in the summer there and you don’t even have to advertise to get them.”
Mahre’s winter plans for the ski hill could include adding additional chair lifts, expanding the downhill runs, developing some lengthy trails for snowmobiles and offering competitive snowmobile competitions.
He thought the Ski Cape Smokey project would require about $1 million to $1.5 million to get started but he couldn’t be as clear on the long-term cost for his ambitious proposals.
Ski resorts are making money all around the world, especially when they have year-round operations, he said.
Mahre, who was on the U.S. national ski team and skied the World Cup circuit, lives in northern Washington state and is the executive director of a non-profit group called the Pacific Northwest Ski Association, which organizes skiing competitions in several U.S. states.
Local volunteers working through the society hope to reopen several runs at Ski Cape Smokey this winter using natural snow, which so far has been in short supply.