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Station de Ski Val Neigette Closing


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A bit of downer news yesterday out of the Rimouski Quebec area that the ski area there, Val Neigette, looks as if it will be closing and the hill will be selling off it's lift, snowmaking equipment and other items as per the link from French CBC as per below.

http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1039993/demantelement-installations-val-neigette-station-ski-rimouski 

I have yet to find an English link to this story. If there is one available it will be posted. Anyway, in either language it's a sad story for the Quebec ski industry.

 

Paul 
  
  
  

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I saw that on Facebook today as well. Very disappointing. It's always sad to see a place close down. Incredible how at one time in the past there were well over 100 ski areas operating in Quebec, and now it hovers around 70.

Hopefully something can happen that would turn things around before it's too late and equipment and infrastructure get removed.

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An update to the Val-Neigette Story:

http://www.lavantage.qc.ca/actualites/economie/2017/6/21/les-eventuels-acheteurs-se-retirent.html 

Apparently there is a little controversy in this story. There had been a potential buyer that has now recently pulled out of the picture in purchasing Val-Neigette. They are now looking into investing into the Val d'Irene Ski Area instead.

A quote from the article in regards to a comment made by the leader of the consortium that wanted to invest in Val-Neigette:

"We are a consortium of investors interested in entering into an agreement with Val-Neigette, but to have an agreement, we must be able to discuss. Now, the people of Val-Neigette did not want to discuss. They had their idea in mind. It seemed to go in the direction of selling the assets".

At this moment it doesn't look good for the future of the area. Full details on the story via the link above.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Some more news, not good news on this topic. The group that was to take over Val-Neigette have pulled out leaving the current administration not a lot of time to settle their debt, or risk placing the hill's equipment up for sale. Not a promising situation to be in. The Rimouski region is on the verge of losing their ski area. The link below outlines the situation, but is from a French media source.

http://www.iheartradio.ca/rouge-fm/rouge-fm-rimouski/nouvelles/exclusif-l-acheteur-potentiel-de-val-neigette-se-retire-1.3167996

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Very sad news. Hoping things can turn around before it becomes too late. It is always sad to see ski areas close, and even worse when a region loses the only one they have.

Amazing there was a time in Quebec when there were well over 100+ ski areas and now... in the low 70s and falling. 

Let's hope for the best.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There seems to be somewhat of a happy ending to this story but still a lot of work to do for the current administration at Val-Neigette. It has been confirmed that the mountain will open this season but on a modified schedule. While the owner is working on making arrangements with creditors, this new schedule is a part of the new plan moving forward for the 2017-18 season.

On their website, season pass sales will commence shortly and their hours of operation will be Wednesday nights, Saturday, Saturday nights,and Sunday during the day only, and closed during the week. This seems to be part of the plan in restructuring to allow the mountain to open for the up coming season. 

https://www.skivalneigette.com/

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  • 6 months later...

News out of Ste Blandine, QC (Rimouski) is that after Easter weekend, Val Neigette, who have had financial difficulties over the past little while will be closing, and equipment such as the lifts and snowmaking system are to be sold. It was at the beginning of this season that It’s was on the cusp of not opening as a deal to purchase the area fell through. Since then, there was a bump in the road when the electricity was interrupted one weekend because of a missed payment. That was regulated with an arrangement between the hill and Hydro-Quebec. It had been noted that 3 different parties showed interest in purchasing Val Neigette, but none of them have presented any offers. This has lead to a decision to close and sell off the lifts and snowmaking equipment. 

Below is a link to a local newspaper in The Rimouski area on the subject.

https://www.lavantage.qc.ca/actualites/2018/3/17/val-neigette---vente-impossible-et-un-demantelement-a-venir.html

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Sad news. Another ski mountain to close in Quebec. And one in a more remote location as well that potentially leaves local skiers with nothing in close proximity. 

Thanks for sharing Paul. 

With aging infrastructure for a lot of mountains and tight profits there could be more that fall over the coming years , those who need new equipment but don’t have the means to pull it off. 

Hooing for the best. 

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  • 1 month later...

The lastest on the fate of Val Neigette. The mountain closed for good the weekend of April 9th after 55+ years in operation. Quebec Superior Court ruled that the mountain be auctioned off, and the date of the auction would be determined next week. The link below is from CBC’s French affiliate Radio Canada with a small detail of the story. 

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fici.radio-canada.ca%2Fnouvelle%2F1096064%2Fval-neigette-ski-faillitte-dette-station-sainte-blandine&h=ATMrm9GcOV9o4V8D7sW6D5ga-6Zys5NyUdm98zcdD17PhKQRueWHQ_9aJSvFN3-gTuAE6L-q6SEwBwt5OZgdvYTpBBnvt_Am4-WL43GpZa_O&s=1

 

 

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Unbelievable. Very sad news. It would seem that time has indeed run out and the mountain has passed the point of no return. 

Very sad to see this happen. I know I've said it many times before but hope this type of fate doesn't happen to other mountains in the near future. Many operate on razor thin margins and as such can find themselves in a continually precarious position, especially with equipment and infrastructure replacements as things age.

Disappointing that some level of government didn't step in to assist more than this, with all the investment news of late.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is the latest update on the Val Neigette file. Looks like it is confirmed that it is the end for this ski area near Rimouski, QC. Nearly 60 years of ski history in this mountain. The details are from the local newspaper L'Avantage and translated with Google Translate:

Publicity
The Dufour family announces that it has resolved the imbroglio on the debts of the station, about 180 000 $, and that it will initiate the dismantling of the installations during the next days. It is more precisely Raynald Dufour, the father of the last owner, Mathieu, who confirms the news to L'Avantage, refusing however to send additional comments.

Mr. Dufour Sr., who bought the station nine or ten years ago and then sold it to his son for the last four years, appears very bitter in the face of the lack of support from the City of Rimouski in particular and the users and economic development organizations in general.

Bailiff Pierre Blier, involved in the case with colleagues, confirmed to L'Avantage that an offer of settlement was filed by the Dufour family, but that this offer is conditional on the payment of the sums in the coming days. This prevents the seizure and auction of facilities and equipment in Val-Neigette.

Obviously, it's only a matter of days before the chairlift is dismantled and transported by a buyer in Ontario, according to Mr. Dufour. The value of the chairlift should cover the debt. The artificial snow system and snow cannons, as well as land and buildings, will likely be sold by fall.

All this saga will put an end to the nearly 60-year history of the Val-Neigette station, located in the Sainte-Blandine district. Without a chairlift and all its other equipment, the value of the station, which is $ 1.1 million on the municipal evaluation, will be reduced to a trickle.

Here is the link to the actual article in French: https://www.lavantage.qc.ca/actualites/economie/2018/5/5/le-dossier-de-val-neigette-serait-regle-une-fois-pour-toutes.html

It will be interesting to hear which mountain in Ontario purchased the fixed grip Quad chair from here. Any news rumbling about on any new projects at any Ontario ski areas?

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Sad news, I agree, it would definitely seem to be the end for Val-Neigette. Once the chairlift is gone that's it. The municipality and region should hold some shame for having let this happen. For whatever reason to withhold help or support, it's the skiers and snowboarders who called that mountain home who are the ones to lose out. While a lot of us are fortunate to live in regions with a large choice of places to ski, others aren't so fortunate, often with one mountain in any reasonable proximity.

It will be interesting now to follow (if possible) which mountain gets the lift. The funny thing about skiing in Ontario is that other than Calabogie, Mount St Louis Moonstone and the mountains in Collingwood, the rest are for the most part 300feet vertical or less. Despite the flat terrain, I am happy that there are places for one to ski, several in places that would seem very unlikely. 

For this, there are three great sites to follow for this type of info. 

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Well, there seems to be a turn of events in the ongoing Val-Neigette saga. There now seems to be a possible sale of the area to a group out of Rimouski and partner from Montreal. The sale and demantling of the quad chair has been put on hold for the time being while this group examines the finances of the area and then makes their proposal. They have 10 days to do so. There may be hope yet in saving the mountain, and we will see if the deal goes through. Below is the link to the story from Radio Canada in French.

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1100127/val-neigette-telesiege-entente-possible-acheteur 

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  • 5 weeks later...

New development. There was a group interesting in acquiring Val Neigette. They put forward an offer but Dufour (the current owner) claims it is insufficient. Without going into detail, they state that the offer is several hundred thousand too little to be accepted, as the value of the property of $1.1 million, and the chairlift are worth more.

The Dufour family have until June 30th to decide on the offer.

Details on Radio-Canada in French : https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1106270/val-neigette-vente-ski-rimouski-station

** I'm really confused on this whole saga and what is going on at this point. It seemed like a few months ago that the mountain was definitively done for, and that the imminent dismantling of the lift was to occur. The point of no return seems to keep getting pushed back and never passed. I do hope something good happens to save the mountain, but I'm just very confused. I think the news reports in the media lack alot of the details to help it make sense.

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Maybe the Ontario "hill" that was going to buy the quad pulled out. Its really not worth the effort or cost to remove it if you don't have a buyer.   If Madawaska Mountain ever reopened they could use the lift. Its still for sale on Realtor.ca $599,000!

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