Teton Pass Ski Resort in Choteau, MT just sold for only $375,000 to a local Choteau resident Charles Hlavac this month.
The former Montana Ski Areas Association VP, as well as former manager of Teton Pass, purchased the defunct ski area located at Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest from New Zealander, Nick Wood and several other investors for a reported $375,000 dollars.
Wood originally was asking for $3 million and ended up selling Teton Pass Ski Resort for only $375,000.
Hlavac hopes to open the ski resort to the public in the 2019/20 season.
“As of right now, I am hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to get the work done and operate for the coming season; however, I don’t want to over promise and under deliver. There is a literal mountain of work ahead of us, and we are very late to get started.” –Chuck Hlavac
Hlavac, who managed the ski area from 2010 to 2017, announced a ‘contract-for-deed’ arrangement had been reached with Wood’s resort company and hopes to be able to open the ski area for 2019/’20 winter.
“My vision for the future of the ski area is that we need to go through a growth period. And I believe that starts with becoming sustainable.” – Charles Hlavac
According to Consultant Claire Humber with SE Group, Teton Pass Ski Resort can comfortably serve 530 guests per day. Humber went on to report that the last season the resort was open the use rate was only 17% of capacity and they’d need to hit 25% to 35% to be financially viable. Humber also reports that a resort the size of Teton Pass needs about 15,000 skier days annually to survive financially and their season-high of 7,000 skier days is less than half of what would be needed for viability.
““I do believe that Teton Pass can stand on its own two feet, operate in the black from year to year and be a small ski area that supports the employees who live and work and want to ski here and all the people who want to ski here.” – Charles Hlavac
One big problem facing Teton Pass Ski Resort is that there is already a Teton Pass Ski Area in Wyoming.
They likely need to rename this Teton Pass Ski Resort in MT to avoid confusion.
Teton Pass Ski Resort History:
- 2010: major renovation of lodge and facilities by Wood & Investors
- 2016/’17: critical failure of electric generator (6-figure repair cost estimate)
- 2017: resort closure due financial set back
- 2019: new ownership & plans to reopen
- Operations upon 402-acres w/special-use permit
- Three lifts
- Lodge, restaurant and liquor license
- Rental shop, ski gear
- Several outbuildings
- Original asking price: $3 million. Sale price: $375,000
- Ski Area could accommodate 530 guests per day
- Approx. 30 percent usage needed for profitability
- $500,000 gross revenue expectation
- 15,000 skier days expectation
- Hlavac will focus on improving efficiency in ski area operation while growing community support and build the business to bring in more skiers.
- Future, sustainable improvements could include additional chairlifts or summer operations.
- First big change: new name. (There’s already a ‘Teton Pass’ ski area, in Wyoming)