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SAM Magazine--Scranton, Pa., May 10, 2004--Montage Mountain Ski Area, owned by Lackawanna County, is for sale. The minimum sale price is $9.6 million in cash. Three potential bidders have shown interest, including one group led by Joe Aichholz Jr., owner of nearby Blue Marsh Ski Area. A northern Poconos ski area is also said to be interested. The county commisioners have asked bidders to submit offers by June 4.

Montage opened in 1984 and has been county-owned since 1991. The 400-acre resort in the northwestern Poconos offers day and night skiing on 140 acres and a 1,000 vertical. The area has 21 trails, 5 chairs, two surface lifts, plus a waterslide and tubing hill. The trails are 100 percent covered by snowmaking, but county commissioners estimate the system needs $4 million to $5 million in improvements.

Interested buyers must guarantee they will operate the ski resort for a minimum of 10 years, retain 20 full-time employees, make needed capital improvements and detail family recreation programs for county residents. \