Ski landmark for sale in Liberty Township

2013-08-03T16:48:00Z 2013-08-03T23:48:29Z Ski landmark for sale in Liberty TownshipBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
August 03, 2013 4:48 pm  • 
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP | Cris Marshall figures there was only one winter over the last five years that would have provided the conditions needed for a successful season at the Pines Ski Area he owns along Meridian Road.

He interprets this lack of cooperation by Mother Nature as supporting his decision to shut down operations at the site in 2008, which was only the third season it had been closed since opening in 1962.

Marshall has a team of more than 20 snow-making machines, but he has said the conditions have to be just right to put them to use and even then, they are not cheap to operate and there is no guarantee the freshly made snow will stay put.

He continues to operate a ski shop at the site, but is seeking a buyer for the 36-acre parcel with or without its snow-makers, chair lift and various other equipment.

There has been varied interest in the property, especially since the new Porter Regional Hospital opened up shop last year at the nearby corner of U.S. 6 and Ind. 49, Marshall said. Proposals for the site have included a banquet center and restaurant, campground, mountain bike course, concert venue, zip lines, retreat facility and a high-end home site with a clear view of Chicago from atop the hill that rises 140 feet from the parking area.

"Some people want to do all of that," Marshall said.

He believes the site would make a nice addition to the county park system with its trails, varied landscape and fresh water pond.

"It's a bit of a landmark locally," Marshall said.

The site is also known throughout the region and Marshall said he has been approached while skiing out of state by people who learned to ski at the Pines.

"It's unbelievable," he said.

The Pines was the last ski hill operating in the northern end of the state, Marshall has said. The nearest options now are in Michigan.

 

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