Opinion

Willing to help with Squaw Mountain

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To the Editor;

Note: This letter is in response to the Jan. 9 article on the Squaw Mountain lawsuit.

I am a fully certified ski professional PSIA Alpine Level III and have been involved with the ski industry in varying capacities for over 50 years. I learned to ski at Squaw in 1964 and taught there for several years in the 1970s the mountain before the transfer back to the state (a land swap between Scott Paper and the state) I have been watching and researching issues and solutions at Squaw for the last five years.

“Friends of Squaw Mountain” (FOSM) has worked on a shoestring budget and has done a good job getting the lower mountain up and running! Thank you! I also commend Piscataquis County and Somerset County for joining the law suit!

About the suit, there are a couple of points that need to be looked at carefully:

1. Confalone, Moosehead Mountain Resort, Mountain, Inc, OFLC and The Carmen Rebozo Foundation (501c3) are legally tied through mortgages and security.

2. The charge of “Unjust Enrichment,” who wrongly made money off the loans that were taken out in the name of “The Ski Area”? (“…Defendant Moosehead Mountain Resort, Inc., its agents, employees, and those acting in active concert with it…”). The list of names gets pretty long and interesting when you consider the real estate sales, the logging and the sand and gravel operations which couldn’t have happened without the initial loan from Bangor Savings Bank. (rescued by Rebozo before foreclosure). Follow the money!

Any attempt to get the upper mountain running before a transfer of ownership away from Confalone is a bad idea ….. here are the three main reasons:

1. Any attempt to improve the upper mountain will make it harder for a potential buyer to get the property away from Confalone. As of today I know Confalone is deeply in debt and getting deeper by the day.

2. Buying and/or trying to redevelop just the 1,216 acres of “Mountain, Inc” is stupid and would leave Confalone in charge of OFLC (Old Florida Land Company) the property which surrounds “the ski area” and contains the farm and “Fitzgeralds” Pond. Confalone must be completely removed from any forgoing business possibilities at, in or around “the ski area” before any redevelopment on the united property (OFLC, Mountain, Inc, Moosehead Mountain Resort) should go forward.

3. The present lift and building alignment has been tried since 1967 and has never worked financially and is unlikely to work in 2019. A complete redesign is needed to compete in the 21st century market. A smart investor must save what can be used … which isn’t much.

For starters the old upper lodge and lift are beyond repair and need to go. The snow making system is antiquated and the snowmaking pond is insufficient. The sewage system is 25plus years outdated and needs to be completely replaced to comply with 2019 code.

Several new lifts are required and need to be correctly placed, base buildings built, the trail network needs to be reestablished and greatly expanded which will include cutting, blasting, grading, bridge building and etc. and the installation of a new greatly expanded snow making system.

I’m willing to help.

John F. Hussey
Greenville

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