A non-profit organization said it has reached a deal with the owner of Whaleback Mountain in Enfield and will open the small, community-based ski area this season.
The Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation has launched a website and said it needs to raise $100,000 by Oct. 22 for plans to move forward.
The 85-acre Whaleback Mountain hugs Interstate 89 just east of Lebanon. It operated for eight years but closed last season, after accumulating more than $1 million in debt, according to the on-line ski magazine First Tracks!!.
The Randolph National Bank acquired the assets in an August auction, First Tracks!! said.
The Upper Valley group immediately started discussions with the bank, the group said. A lease and purchase agreement, signed in September, calls on the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation to take control of the property in late October.
“UVSSF members first came together in the spring of 2013 on the heels of Whaleback Mountain shuttering operations. Like our fellow residents, we recognize the importance of Whaleback as a community asset and started our journey to purchase and operate the mountain,” reads a statement on the website, www.whaleback.com.
Opening day is set for Dec. 26.
Whaleback is selling season passes ranging from $165 for a midweek pass to $999 for a family pass. It hopes to offer a winter camp, after-school groups and a ski team, the website said.
It said that IRS approval of its application as a 501(c)3 non-profit entity is pending and is expected next year.