July 10, 2013

Bangor Savings plans matching donation program for Black Mountain

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Efforts to save Rumford's Black Mountain Ski Area from closure will receive a big boost Thursday when officials from Bangor Savings Bank plan to announce a matching $25,000 donation program.

The Maine Winter Sports Center has run Black Mountain of Maine since purchasing the area, with funding from the Libra Foundation, in 2003. A decision to slash alpine ticket prices to $15 last winter resulted in the area's best year to date, but the non-profit MWSC still projected a loss of $80,000 this year.

Given the history and importance of the area in the Nordic skiing world – from junior high to college and up through the national championships, which Black Mountain hosted in 2011 and 2012 – two fund-raising efforts have produced about $80,000 in two weeks.

"I'm trying to come up with a plan to keep the mountain open," said Andy Shepard, head of the MWSC. "It's too important to Western Maine as an economic engine and an epicenter of a healthy outdoor lifestyle."


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