Kate's Mountain, WV
In February, Greenbrier owner Jim Justice sold Wintergreen Ski Resort to EPR Properties, a real estate investment trust based in Kansas City, Missouri. Justice purchased Wintergreen in 2012 and has made no secret of his hope to bring skiing to the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Notwithstanding some chatter and a few false alarms, the Greenbrier has been tight-lipped about the potential ski resort.
Wintergreen marked Justice's first foray into the ski industry (besides the purchase of Glade Springs Resort near Winterplace Ski Area). Some industry experts have speculated that the sale of Wintergreen was a necessary prerequisite for the Greenbrier ski resort project because it freed up capital for use at the potential Greenbrier ski area.
So what could a potential Greenbrier ski resort look like?
Kate's Mountain boasts a summit of around 3,300' and the valley floor has an elevation of approximately 1,800' - theoretically a 1,500' vertical drop would be possible. Justice owns a massive tract of land on the mountain with north to northwest exposure featuring a potential vertical that could be close to the largest in the region (Snowshoe's Western Territory has a 1,500').
At just 3 hours from Washington, DC metro area and with a massive hotel already in place, the Greenbrier could be a major player in the Southeast skiing scene if and when the resort decides to move forward. The addition of a ski area would also greatly enhance the resort as a winter destination, when occupancy and room rates at the golf-, tennis- and outdoor-centric resort tends to drop.
Additional Stories on Ski, Esq.