Resort for sale

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat /

Bear Valley Mountain Resort and surrounding developments are listed for sale and a resort spokeswoman said an ownership change is a lock.

The asking price is not included in a listing at cbremarketplace.com, a site operated by Los Angeles-based commercial real estate broker CBRE.

"The number is not public," said Bear Valley spokeswoman Rosie Sundell. "The brokers are working with interested investors on a case-by-case basis."

Operations at the 1,700-acre ski resort, leased from the U.S. Forest Service, the 53-room Bear Valley Lodge hotel, restaurants and retail shops in Bear Valley Village, a 9,000 square-foot employee housing complex and 11 acres identified for condominium development are included in the listing.

Alpine County approved a development plan in December that will permit construction of more than 300 condominiums, a new lodge, a chair lift from the village to the mountaintop and an outdoor amphitheater after about seven years of planning and environmental review.

The Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, based in TwainHarte, withdrew opposition to plans for expansion of the ski territory in December, paving the way for that work to move ahead as soon as the summer. The Forest Service previously approved the plan, which includes two new chairlifts to provide service between Bear Valley Village and the resort, upgrades to the Super Cub chairlift, addition of 174 more parking spaces, construction of a 12,500 square-foot lodge and addition 85.5 acres of developed trails.

In January, Bear Valley management announced it is seeking investors to begin the approved village expansions.

"As a result of the entitlements received, we now have the opportunity to realize a vision for Bear Valley that has been talked about for over 30 years," Sundell said. "This is a very exciting time for the community if the capital is achieved ... our ownership group always planned to go out for additional or alternative capital when (project approval) occurred."

What the ownership group will look like if and when construction begins is unknown but Sundell said it will be different from the current partnership of equal thirds held by Colorado-based Dundee Resort Development, San Jose-based developer Toeniskoetter, Breeding & Halgrimson and Palo Alto-based Radar Partners, a venture capital firm.

"A transaction would take place that could include a completely new ownership group if the offer made sense to our current owners," she said. "The end result could also be one or two of our current owners. At some point the current three partners will change."

The future of Bear Valley is important to residents and merchants of the Highway 4 corridor in eastern Calaveras County who rely on winter tourism generated by the resort.

"It's an integral part of the Ebbetts Pass corridor. What happens in Bear Valley absolutely affects the economy of the upper Ebbetts Pass corridor. A lot of second-home owners get their homes because of Bear Valley," said Calaveras County Supervisor Merita Callaway, who represents the area. "I'm excited. Bear (Valley) just needs an influx maybe of some of new energy."

11899775
The Union Democrat
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