Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Save Hidden Valley!

It's heart breaking and mind numbing and enraging. The only ski resort in the St. Louis region may be closing. I've come to love this hill and the people I've met there. With a roster of about 50 kids, the Hidden Valley Ski Team is producing some amazingly talented racers who compete strongly on the USSA, WIJARA, and FIS circuits, ages 6 to 18.

The problem is between Tim Boyd, the owner of Hidden Valley, and the City of Wildwood, where Hidden Valley is located. Mr. Boyd requested that the city issue HV a building permit to construct a 250-space parking lot on HV property. The new parking lot would accommodate visitors to a planned $1 million tubing park. The city responded by requesting a $251,000 fee, more than 5 times the cost of the parking lot, and requested that HV shut down the lifts by 11pm each night.

Besides the outrageous nature of the permit fee, Hidden Valley stays open until 3am on some nights, which Mr. Boyd says results in 20-25% of HV's revenue.

The City Council and Mr. Boyd have not been able to find an agreement. It is not clear if either party is making much of an effort. If Hidden Valley closes, Mr. Boyd will build a subdivision, and Wildwood will have a new property tax base.

In the end the only losers will be St. Louis area skiers and snowboarders.

Scott Baker has started a website at in an attempt to organize people interested in saving Hidden Valley.

If you are interested, please attend the City Council meeting on the 22nd!

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