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Residents, Skiers Hope To Become Bear Valley’s New Owners

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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BEAR VALLEY (CBS13) — An iconic ski resort is looking for a new owner, and local ski lovers and homeowners are joining forces.

Bear Valley is halfway between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park off of Highway 4.

It’s a ski resort that locals say is as picturesque as it is pristine, and that’s how they’d like to keep it.

“Well one, we don’t have a Starbucks,” said Bear Valley GM Jim Gentling.

After another potential buyer for the resort backed out, a group of homeowners and skiers are stepping up to form a co-op and buy the resort themselves.

“It was really the idea of one homeowner,” said Paul Petersen.

And what started small is gaining serious publicity.

“All of a sudden, this thing starts growing a set of legs, and two town halls later, and websites and logos and Facebook pages,” he said. “We’re just getting incredible feedback.”

He says they’re aiming for at least 500 people to invest $2,500 apiece. He says that would get them a seat at the table with Bear Valley’s current owners.

The resort says it could be a great fit—a local ownership group that appreciates what makes the resort unique.

“We hope they do become viable contender and pull the financial side together, because they certainly have the passion and the enthusiasm to make it work,” Gentling said.

There’s plenty of passion in the mountain town between Yosemite and Tahoe for a decades-old ski resort that once hosted the likes of Clint Eastwood.

“It keeps gaining momentum, so I do think we can pull this off,” Petersen said.

Now it’s time for locals to put their money where their mouths are.

If all goes well, the cooperative hopes to begin negotiations in the next few weeks and take ownership of the resort before next winter.

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