Good Lord: Pittsburgh Pirates and Seven Springs Owner Looking at Hidden Valley Purchase?
By Tom Smith
Bob Nutting appears to be in acquistion mode. The majority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates was recently spotted checking out Hidden Valley Resort. As most of you know Nutting purchased Seven Springs in 2006.
If you want to know something personal, my first job was at Hidden Valley. It’s a special place for me, and I’m glad the walls don’t talk. The news that Nutting was interested in purchasing such a gem of a resort was a bit rough on me.
The only reason I feel that way is because what has Nutting done with Seven Springs? Built a sporting clays facility with a tremendous leader in Mike Mohr, added some serious snowboard parks, and upgraded the ten story hotel with locks that apparently malfuctioned leading to this distrubing lawsuit .
But that’s not enough, so we went to the popular DCSki website to see if there would be anything to back up my lackluster feelings about Seven Springs. It seems the comments are similar to how some Pirates fans feel:
"I cant believe that some people say this is a family resort. Seven Springs is probably the LEAST family friendly resort in the mid-a! The staff are rude, the prices are outrageous, recless skiers and boarders, icy conditions, bad ski school. I have been going to 7springs for years and recently it has badly declined. The blame is mostly focused toward the new owners of 7springs. 7springs use to be a great family resort where you could go and let your kids rome the mountain without worry."
Here is another:
"I could not believe how under staffed this mountain was. They had lift lines like you would not believe and lifts not opperating. They had nobody managing the long lift lines. i had to wait over 45 minutes for a bus to the parking lots.The food here is terrible. I had a turkey hogie that felt like a wet sock. I ate at Helen’s and could not believe how poor the food quality was and the portions or I should say lack of . The snow was great thanks to the man upstairs but I will not take my family to this over priced under staffed mountains ever again. I will look to go to Holiday Valley or Snow Shoe. Bob you need to find someone to help you. You know nothing about skiers."
And one more from a self described Seven Springs homeowner:
"” Bob you need to find someone to help you. You know nothing about skiers”As a homeowner at 7Springs I could not agree more. For all the “improvements” made since the Nuttings took over none have have improved the experience for regular skiers (unless you like parks/rails). They’re going backwards fast. No one manages the liftlines except for the Polar Bear and those folks seem to despise customers. HV now has better snowmaking equipment but 7S doesnt even utilize the antiquated equopment they have. Conditions are great this week due to mother nature. Once our normal cycle of cold/warm returns their conditions will again fall far behind Hidden Valley."
Joe Ryan tweeted me a link that details the entrire story of the recent walkaround by Nutting and officials at both resorts. The article mentions that Nutting is an accomplished skier. (What the hell does that mean?)
"But sources in the Laurel Highlands who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter said Seven Springs “is very interested” in buying Hidden Valley.Mr. Mauck’s “walking around” visit preceded a Dec. 31 visit by Seven Springs Chairman Bob Nutting, an accomplished skier. The Nutting family, which has a 25 percent interest in the Pittsburgh Pirates, bought Seven Springs in June 2006."
We spoke to a few Hidden Valley homeowners this morning, they have their own concerns especially considering property values.
So, how many days until Spring Training starts?