- Associated Press - Friday, December 11, 2015

LIGONIER, Pa. (AP) - Unusually warm weather is helping a southwestern Pennsylvania ski resort that has been closed since 2005.

Ligonier’s historic Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, was closed for about a decade before 1998 when its former owner George Mowl promised the state - which still owns the land today - that he would rebuild it in exchange for a long-term lease through at least 2033.

A bank foreclosed after that fell through, and Seven Springs Mountain Resort bought most of the resort’s non-land assets.

A local construction company won a renovation contract in September with a bid of more than $5 million. The contract calls for site clearing and tree removal trees, as well as upgrades to snowmaking equipment, and electrical services. The plan also calls for regraded ski trails and a new ski lift.

Ligonier Construction supervisor Bryan Berkebile told The (Somerset) Daily American (https://bit.ly/1meEgzM ) that the warmer weather has allowed crews to continue working. About 25 percent of the project is completed.



Alex Moser, Seven Springs marketing director, said the resort is happy with the progress.

“They are much farther along than I anticipated,” he said.

The entire project is expected to be completed in September. The resort is scheduled to open for the next ski season.

The resort has one of the largest vertical drops in the state. The property was once part of the Rolling Rock Club, but was handed over to the state in 1962 by Richard King Mellon, the conservationist chairman of Mellon Bank. Skiers at the former playground for the wealthy once rode to the top in horse-drawn sleighs instead of chairlifts.

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Information from: Daily American, https://www.dailyamerican.com

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