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Greek Peak facelift on schedule for winter opening

Greek Peak undergoes upgrades in preparation for ski season.
September 30, 2013

The new owners of Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland have invested $4 million on ski area improvements that are on schedule to be completed by opening day in November.

After purchasing the resort at a bankruptcy auction in March for $7.5 million, local businessmen John Meier and Marc Stemerman set about upgrading the skiing and snowboarding experience.

“We are all in on this deal,” Meier said. “We’re entrepreneurs and risk comes with reward. If you can’t sleep at night making those kinds of decisions—if you can’t sleep at night knowing that your wife’s diamond ring is collateral with the bank—then this is probably not the business for you to be in.”

Improvements include a new $2 million high speed quad chairlift, the first of its kind in central New York, as well as a new grooming machine and snowmaking capabilities. The on-mountain restaurant and tuning center are also receiving upgrades.

Despite setbacks due to recent flooding, all of the current construction is scheduled for completion before the winter season.

An abnormally warm winter kept skiers and snowboarders off the slopes two years ago and helped contribute to the decline into bankruptcy. But Meier and Stemerman hope the new upgrades will help keep snow and people on the mountain.

“Our snowmaking capabilities are going to give us the ability to make a good year into a very good year or a so-so year into a good year,” Meier said.

The enthusiasm of the owners is creating renewed optimism about the resort, Robert Shepherd, an Ithaca resident who has been skiing at the mountain for eight seasons, said.

“The new investments sound great. It is a positive sign that one of the first actions the new owners made was to put money back into the mountain,” Shepherd said.

The community connection is key to the resort’s future, Wes Kryger, president of Greek Peak, said, and the new owners have these connections. Meier is the president of several machining and tool companies, and Stemerman is the president of a family-run highway supply company. They both live in Elmira.

“The new ownership and myself want the local community’s participation and them to be proud of this facility in their backyard,” Kryger said. “The local community’s participation is critical to our success as we move forward.”

Meier and Stemerman said the investment was a personal one.

“It’s very important to both of our families as well as all the other families involved in this,” Stemerman said. “We are extremely excited to be the new owners and to be able to save Greek Peak.”

Travis MacDowell, the director of marketing for the mountain, said that opening day is projected for November 26.


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