Monday, June 10, 2013

Talisman Update

Talisman Ski Resort

The sad case of Talisman Ski Resort continues to be a blot on the landscape of the Beaver Valley.  I wrote about this once before - see Aug. 11, 2011.  For a ski resort that employed 100 people locally, and ran for decades, attracting especially school children from all over southwestern Ontario, it's a remarkable and unfortunate business failure.  It's particularly frustrating for the people who own chalets on the edge of the hill and now have to go elsewhere to ski, to say nothing of their property values collapsing.

 Equipment on the hill has been simply abandoned, and is rapidly deteriorating, as this photo of one of the ski lift control rooms indicates.  There are huge amounts of back taxes and bank loans owing, but the asset is declining in value, and isn't enough to cover the money owed in any case.  So the municipality had a tax sale, but there were no bids high enough to cover the costs.  

There are two separate smaller parcels to the south and north with no facilities (the old Old Smokey Ski Club and the old tubing park), which I understand did sell.  But the main ski resort still sits there unused and unmaintained.  (Old Smokey to the north is another abandoned ski hill - but it's been abandoned for about 30+ years).

This view of the hill, unused, was taken during the winter.  You can see the main buildings along the bottom of the ski runs, slightly to the left of centre in the picture.

When you go down there, the situation looks even worse, as this shot of the entrance to the main lodge shows.  With no ongoing maintenance (and for all I know no heat over the winter), the buildings are deteriorating badly.  Word in the community is that they are now not worth saving.

So the municipality has just announced a second tax sale, to be held this summer.  According to the local newspaper the deadline is July 8th.  So if you have a few million $$ to spare, come and pick up a ski hill cheap! 

The original signs advertising the real estate development the former owner was hoping for still stand at the bottom of the hill.  All round this is just a sad situation, which everyone in the local community hopes will improve soon!

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