(For more retail coverage, click GlobeSt.com/RETAIL and to read more on the debt and equity markets, click here.)

SCRANTON, PA-In a bizarre finale to a deal that has been in the works since 2004, a just-completed Lackawanna County-commissioned appraisal of the 400-acre Montage Mountain Ski Resort shows the Scranton property valued at $4.3 million or $10,750 per acre (25 cents per sf). The county sold the financially ailing property in July to Philadelphia-based Sno Mountain LLC for $5.1 million or $12,750 per acre (29 cents per sf).

A lawsuit filed by dissident commissioner Mike Washo, scheduled for Aug. 30, could delay the deal’s closing, city hall sources in a position to know tell GlobeSt.com. Neither Washo nor commissioner Robert C. Cordaro, who orchestrated the deal, could be reached by GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline.

However, Scranton commercial brokerage sources familiar with the protracted transaction, tell GlobeSt.com the appraisal was dated Aug. 16 and was prepared by New Hampshire-based ResortNorth Valuation for local appraiser Nasser Real Estate. The county paid $18,500 for the appraisal that was initially commissioned in June. However, it was still in the preparation stage when Cordaro, acting for the county board of commissioners, struck a sale deal in July with Sno Mountain LLC, a group of seven investment bankers, developers and accountants.

For the county, the disposition of the ski resort ends 15 years of losses averaging $1 million a year, city hall sources confirm for GlobeSt.com. The county, under a previous administration, purchased Montage in 1991 for $14.7 million or $36,750 per acre (84 cents per sf). The county still has $8.6 million in municipal bond debt outstanding from that transaction, county sources confirm.

Commissioners placed the property on the selling block in 2004, asking $9.6 million. York-based Snow Time Inc. and another bidder submitted low offers that were rejected and the property was then taken off the market, area brokers following the asset’s sale tell GlobeSt.com.

Ironically, in June of this year, Snow Time made another bid for the property, this time for $4.1 million. A month later, after a public hearing on the offer, Snow Time increased its bid to $5 million or $12,500 per acre (28.6 cents per sf). At that time, Sno Mountain LLC put in a bid for $5.1 million that Snow Time declined to top, brokerage sources who followed the bidding tell GlobeSt.com.

Besides getting Montage Mountain off its books, the deal with the Philadelphia buyers specifies the county will receive 10% of the profit from any real estate development directly related to skiing, such as mountain-side residential condominiums, and 50% of the profit from other development projects on the 400-acre tract, county sources tell GlobeSt.com.

To ensure the resort will not suffer the same lack of maintenance fate it endured for the past 20 years, the new owners have told the county they initially plan to invest $14 million in immediate upgrades to the entire property, including $8 million for a water park. That capital improvements plan could reach $20 million in the near future, the buyers have told the county. County commissioners laud the deal coming together at this time because Montage Mountain is considered an important component in an evolving tourist-based economy in the Scranton area, local development sources tell GlobeSt.com.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.