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Blacktail Ski Area sold to Washington resort company

| November 23, 2021 7:00 AM

Washington-based Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort on Thursday announced it has purchased Blacktail Mountain Ski Area in Lakeside.

Transition of the ski area’s ownership is set to begin immediately and all Blacktail Mountain staff will be retained. All 2021/22 season passes and other pre-purchased products will be honored. New benefits for season passholders will be announced in the next few weeks, Mission Ridge said in a press release.

“We are really excited to get to know the Montana ski community and feel that Blacktail Mountain is a great fit for our culture,” said Larry Scrivanich, owner and president of Mission Ridge. “Blacktail Mountain is a treasure of the Flathead Valley and loved by local skiers and snowboarders as well as folks from outside of the area.”

Steve Spencer, Blacktail Mountain founder and president said he, along with his three partners, Tom Sands, Dennis Carver and Jeff Sorg, “could not be more pleased about the sale of Blacktail Mountain to Larry and his team at Mission Ridge.

“They are proven ski area operators that are community-minded and see a bright future for Blacktail Mountain,” Spencer said.

Mission Ridge is located in North Central Washington, 12 miles south of Wenatchee.

“Steve Spencer and his team built this ski area from the ground up 23 years ago,” said Josh Jorgensen, general manager of Mission Ridge. “They have run Blacktail Mountain with a focus on quality and a family atmosphere. We are really honored that Steve and his team trust us to operate Blacktail Mountain into the future and plan to make him proud.”

SPENCER AND his partners put the ski resort up for sale in 2017 with a listing price of $3.5 million at that time. Mission Ridge did not disclose the sale price.

Spencer and his partners began operations at Blacktail in 1998, after securing the only special-use permit for a ski area on U.S. Forest Service land in 20 years. The land itself is owned by the federal government, while the business owned the improvements, including the lodge, maintenance shop and other buildings, a terrain park, two double-chair lifts, a triple lift and a rope tow.

In a 2017 interview with the Daily Inter Lake, Spencer commented that “the owners are all getting a little long in the tooth, I guess.

“We just thought we’d start looking for an exit plan, and hopefully we’ll find someone that will make the improvements to take it to the next level,” Spencer said in 2017.

Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling said in a prepared statement: “We have enjoyed working with Steve and appreciate his vision and hard work to create the Blacktail Mountain Ski Area on the Flathead National Forest, which has provided a great recreational opportunity for the community.”

Blacktail Mountain features a unique experience for skiers and riders, with its lodge and parking located at the top of the mountain. Offering more than 1,000 acres of north-facing slopes and 1,440 feet of vertical drop, Blacktail Mountain has been a family-friendly resort since it opened in 1998. Blacktail Mountain is the state’s youngest ski area.