Dodge Ridge owners

Three sets of owners of Dodge Ridge Ski Resort include (from left) Karl and Audrey Kapuscinski, Sally and Frank Helm, and Leslie, Ralph and George Purdy, whose family sold the resort to the Helms in 1976.

The new owners of Dodge Ridge Ski Resort in the Stanislaus National Forest are preparing for their first snow season in charge of one of Tuolumne County’s premier winter attractions, after recently gathering together three generations of ownership to celebrate the occasion.

The previous owners for 45 years, Frank and Sally Helm, announced the sale of Dodge Ridge to Invision Capital, owners of Mountain High Resort in Southern California, and Karl Kapuscinski, president and chief executive officer of Mountain High Resort, in August. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Dodge Ridge, also known as Dodge Ridge Wintersports Area, operates in the Stanislaus National Forest under a Special Use Permit from the U.S. Forest Service. 

The Helms and members of the Purdy family, which owned Dodge Ridge before the Helms purchased the resort, welcomed the new owners at the resort on Oct. 2.

The Helm family purchased Dodge Ridge from the Purdy family in 1976. Today, the resort offers 862 skiable acres, 1,600 vertical feet, 68 trails, and 12 lifts. Earl Purdy founded Dodge Ridge in 1950, and the resort’s 70th anniversary was celebrated last year.

On Oct. 2, the Helms welcomed Dodge Ridge’s new president and chief executive officer, Kapuscinski and his wife, Audrey, and members of Invision Capital. Three of Earl Purdy’s children, Ralph, George and Leslie, gathered with the Helms on the deck of Creekside Lodge to look back on the resort’s history of family ownership.

“After 45 years of hard work, Frank and I felt it was time to pass the torch on to new owners,” Sally Helm, the former Dodge Ridge chief executive officer, said in prepared remarks. “The new owners truly appreciate the family-oriented culture that has made this resort special for over 70 years, and we are excited about their future plans for our beloved mountain.”

Kapuscinski said he and his group are proud the Helms chose them as new owners of Dodge Ridge, and it was an honor to celebrate the history of Dodge Ridge with the Helms and the Purdys.

The new owners of Dodge Ridge will assume control of all resort facilities, including the USFS Special Use Permit, and operation of USFS campground complexes at Pinecrest, Clark Fork and Brightman Flat.

The Helms have retired, and they have announced they plan to enjoy their retirement in Tuolumne County.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.net or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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