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Indiana-Based Perfect North Slopes Purchases Timberline Resort
By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor
November 21, 2019

On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, West Virginia’s Timberline Resort entered a new era as it was purchased at auction by Perfect North Slopes. The family-owned Perfect North Slopes is a ski area in Indiana that has been in operation for over 40 years. Mid-Atlantic skiers and boarders greeted the purchase with enthusiasm, as it offers hope that the bankrupt Timberline will rise again and become a revitalized ski resort.

Timberline Resort changes hands, offering hope the resort will re-open as early as the 2020-2021 winter season.

Timberline Resort has had a bumpy road over the past few years. On February 20, 2016, the resort experienced a significant chairlift malfunction that injured multiple skiers. The cross-arm of one of the lift towers on the fixed-grip Thunderstruck lift separated from the lift tower, landing onto the ground.

Following that incident, trust began to erode between Timberline’s owners and its customer base, and more issues faced the property.

In 2018, Timberline Four Seasons Utilities — which provided water to the resort and many nearby properties — faced a procedural Boil Water Notice (BWN) after the loss of a Class 2 operator amid allegations of billing and tax issues. On December 13, 2018, the prior co-owner and managing partner of Timberline Four Seasons Resort was arrested in Tucker County and charged with 12 counts of failure to pay hotel-motel taxes. Meanwhile, multiple J1 foreign students who arrived to work at Timberline last December ended up going home or moving to other resorts, contributing to a labor crunch at the resort. The resort also faced health code violations that shuttered its on-site restaurant.

On top of all these issues last winter, the resort struggled to make snow and open slopes, resulting in a significant drop in visits. Ending its season early, many area skiers wondered if Timberline would ever re-open.

The resort filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and ultimately landed on the auction block. News that an experienced ski resort operator would be purchasing the resort was welcome news to Mid-Atlantic skiers, who feared an eventual buyer might not be interested in using the land as a ski resort.

Based out of Indiana, Perfect North Slopes has 23 trails, a vertical of 400 feet, multiple surface lifts, and five chairlifts, including two quads and three triples. The ski area was started in 1979 by the Perfect family, and has been privately run since then. Clyde “Chip” Perfect took over operations of the ski area after his parents retired and runs the ski area today. In addition to overseeing the resort, Chip Perfect serves as a Republican member of the Indiana Senate, representing District 43. Skiing is in his blood: he previously served as a former president of the Midwest Ski Areas Association.

Indiana isn’t known for its mountains, and the 400-foot vertical at Perfect North Slopes is fairly modest. But the ski area has continually made investments over the years, building a loyal base of supporters. Thanks to its snowmaking system, Perfect North Slopes has already managed to open some trails for the 2019-2020 winter season.

It will take some time — and significant investment — for Timberline to bounce back. The ski area will not be open for the 2019-2020 winter season, but the new owner aims to prepare Timberline for a 2020-2021 re-opening. Stay tuned to DCSki for continuing updates on Timberline’s new ownership and plans to re-establish the resort.

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JimK - DCSki Columnist
21 days ago

Hip, hip, hooray!  I’m happy for all those who live and/or ski in Canaan Vallley.  I had some great times at Timberline and looking forward to more.

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