Mt. Spokane Expansion Approved

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SAM Magazine-Mead, Wash., May 24, 2011-The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has approved Mt. Spokane's proposal to add a chairlift and seven runs to the northwest quadrant of the ski area at Mt. Spokane.

The decision in favor of the not-for-profit ski area was made last Thursday in Spokane, and included a blended land classification for the 850-acre portion of the ski area known as the Potential Alpine Ski Expansion Area (PASEA). The PASEA was the only land not classified during the 1999 land classification process at Mt. Spokane State Park. The proposal by the ski area, dubbed MS2000, has been working through the process for classification and expansion approval since 2003.

In Thursday's Commission decision, a large portion of the PASEA was classified as Natural Forest Area, which would set it aside for wildlife habitat and forest protection. The proposed ski runs and lift, at approximately 80 acres, will be classified as Recreation and the remainder will be classified as Resource Recreation, which would allow for backcountry skiing.

Mt. Spokane will begin the permitting process immediately, and the resort hopes to begin construction in the summer of 2012.


A long, long history

Mt. Spokane has been a ski area since the 1930s. It was the site of one of the very first chairlifts in the country. It was transformed into a non-profit, community-run area in 1998. As such, all profits are returned to the recreation area.


Bogus Basin? Bridger Bowl? These operations outclass most of the "for profits" by far.

Industry observer

I am concerned when I see a ski resort that is a "not for profit". In my experience, the track record of municipal and not for profit resorts is less than stellar. It is very tough to compete with in an industry that requires ongoing significant capital investment in conjunction with mangement that is nimble, dynamic and well seasoned. I wish the best of luck to related parties and I hope that they prove me wrong.