New ownership at Brian Head Resort .

Last modified on Oct 17, 2013

New ownership at Brian Head Resort and a partnership with Cedar City Leisure Services is building excitement among local skiers and snowboarders.

On Thursday, Brian Head Acquisition Partner, LLC, a company with ties to California and Missouri, completed the all-cash purchase for an undisclosed amount of money.

“We have been enthusiastically awaiting this transition and are highly confident that the new ownership will bring increased vitality to Brian Head Resort,” Burke Wilkerson, Brian Head Resort’s vice president and general manager, said. “We are looking forward to exciting new changes and planned improvements that will substantially enhance the guest experience and take the resort to an even higher level of winter and summer recreation.”

The resort was first put up for sale in 2008 after the death of the previous primary owner, Jim Trees. Trees acquired the resort in 1992 and was responsible for many improvements over the years, including a ski bridge and snowmaking capabilities.

After Trees' death, the resort was placed into a family trust and partnership with the intent to sell. In April 2010, the resort began to be actively marketed, with a price tag of $34.75 million. The price was reduced to $29 million in June of the same year. In March 2012, the resort was put into receivership with Wells Fargo Bank.

The resort property includes two mountains, nine lifts, 640 skiable acres, 53 runs and a snow tubing park.

Rich Morris from Las Vegas visits the resort “several times a year” and says he is happy to hear the news of new ownership.

“I think things have been in limbo there for a few years,” Morris said. “It’s still my favorite place to go, but I’d like to see some improvements.”

Morris said the top improvements he hopes to see are better training for employees and a greater variety of activities to enjoy after a day of skiing.

According to Wilkerson, the resort — now in its 48th year of operation — will continue to operate at its current schedule and rates.

In an effort to attract more Iron County residents to the slopes, Cedar City Leisure Services and Brian Head Resort have partnered to form the Ski and Snowboard Club, which offers Iron County residents discounted rates for ski and snowboard packages and shuttles from Cedar City to the resort.

Becca Lunt, sports and recreation coordinator for Cedar City Leisure Services, said the club was created, in part, because so few Iron County residents ski or snowboard.

“It’s disheartening because we have a great resort in our own back yard and we don’t use it,” Lunt said, adding that most customers at Brian Head come from Southern California and Las Vegas.

Registration is now open for up to eight trips to Brian Head Resort starting Jan. 5, 2013. Residents can chose from four different packages, which range in price from $10, which just includes transportation, to $65, which includes a lesson, rentals, lift tickets, transportation and a shirt.

Lunt said the packages are only open to Iron County residents with proof of residency. Participants must also register at the Cedar City Aquatic Center one week in advance.

“We really want to get kids up to the slopes but we know what the costs are,” Lunt said. “We made the packages affordable so parents can afford it.” Written by Josh Huntsman

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