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Owl's Head - New Ownership and Future Plans


Paul
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News out of the Eastern Townships, Owl's Head is to be changing hands. There is an intent to purchase the mountain from the Korman Family who have been at the helm since the mountain's founding 50 years ago, by Sommet Memphrémagog lead by Gilles Bélanger. The story details on the future of the mountain and the investments to be made by the group to improve the infrastructure and renovations to the chalet. The link is from a local French newspaper La Tribune with all the details. I will keep a look out for an English link should there be one available.oh1.png.57f1343f30fcd2500bc654b8742ab8a2.png

http://www.lapresse.ca/la-tribune/actualites/201708/08/01-5123027-owls-head-change-de-main.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

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Wow, that's big news. I know there was speculation for some time now of Owl's Head being sold. Hope they keep the same character and feel as before. Improvements to the chalet, and infrastructure would definitely be welcome. The mountain is stunning with an unforgettable view of the lake below. Definitely plenty of potential to improve on this and fully capitalize on the surrounding nature.

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  • 7 months later...

Hey Shane, your ears must have been ringing. I received a link via messenger late last night to an update on the story from a friend of mine. Will post the link after work today. From a quick glance, it is almost completed. 

The story in in the French regional newspaper la Tribune.

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Thanks Paul. I just found it online. Going to read it now myself.

https://www.latribune.ca/actualites/estrie-et-regions/la-vente-dowls-head-bientot-completee-4b0cdc777f58f73c294a094c2599723e

The article indicates the sale will be completed on March 28th. The new owner is not revealing details yet as the sale is still in progress but has mentioned that new lifts, new snowmaking and new lodging and housing are planned in the future.

Perhaps investment by the Quebec government is still a possibility, but was delayed due to the sale transaction still in progress.

No doubt, the end of March is hotly anticipated and awaited, so we learn of more details.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest OH skier

It is official.  Owl's Head ownership changed on Wednesday, March 28, 2018.  The new administration will take the reins on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.  The mountain will close for the season on Sunday, April 8.  There will be a meeting with the employees on April 9 to roll out the plan for the mountain, golf course and marina.  Stay tuned........

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More details on La Tribune (in French only)

https://www.latribune.ca/actualites/estrie-et-regions/gilles-belanger-aux-commandes-a-owls-head-705f5820011cc355450180b72bf59ee9

As mentioned by Guest OH Skier above, there will be a staff meeting on April 9th with more details and plans. They are calling for $200 in investments, notably for lifts, slopeside condos and houses, among other things. We will have to see what gets announced over the coming weeks and months for the following ski season.

It wouldn't surprise me if a new lift was already in the works. From past experience, Doppelmayr is pretty good at keeping secrets on new lifts on order so we will have to see what Owl's Head announces...

With the green chair being what it is and the summit quad being critical to the mountain, perhaps a new lift here in the near future to assure reliable summit access, after the issues this winter. 

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My first area of concentration would be replacing the Main Quad (1986-87) with a new detachable Quad, especially with the shape the Green Chair is in. At this point there is no backup to access the summit right now. Nothing has been said about the inspection results after the slide back of the chair on the cable earlier in the year. Chalet needs work as well. so this would probably be step one in the process. 

If the Green gets replaced at some point, you can't have another quad. Say if it was busy and both were running, you would not have the space for all the traffic at the top with 2 quads spinning at the same time. You are limited at the top. I remember days when both the Green and Quad were going, it was extremely crowded and I had to not only watch my lift, I had to direct traffic as well for my people getting off. A new triple at most to replace the Green double.

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New article about the coming projects at Owl's Head (in French only).

https://www.latribune.ca/actualites/estrie-et-regions/trois-projets-dhotels-a-owls-head-35bc25bb928118f5a48bef3352e44483

To summarize briefly:

-3 new hotels to supplement the existing 40 some rooms available on site.

  1. High range hotel of 150 rooms located by the Lac Memphrémagog. A spa will be attached to it.
  2. Family oriented hotel near the ski trails.
  3. A lodging near the golf course.

The rooms located in the actual ski chalet will be renovated over the coming months, and they plan to add an additional 40-50 rooms.

-A new ski lift will be installed on the West side of the mountain.

Overall $200 million invested by Destination Owl's Head over the coming years with $40 million for 2018.

Very exciting.

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