Everbright Pacific, an affiliate of the Pacific Group, has been named to manage Wisp Resort in McHenry, Md., which recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (see SnoCounty story). Wisp General Manager Tim Prather and his team will remain in their current positions.

A bankruptcy court judge in Greenbelt, Md., had approved the sale of Wisp, the state’s only ski resort, for $23.5 million. The buyer was Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT) Ski Properties, a unit of EPR Properties, a Kansas City real estate investment trust (REIT). The group owns movie theater megaplexes and golf courses, as well as 11 other ski areas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, N.H., and Missouri leased to Peak Resorts for operations. Pacific Group partnered with the real estate investor on the transaction.

“To say we are excited to emerge from bankruptcy with a healthy financial situation and lots of opportunities in front of us would be a major understatement,” Prather said. “I’m so very proud and appreciative of the way our whole team hung together through this very difficult year. To have the additional support we now have, from both a knowledge base and financial perspective, will allow our guests the best mountain resort experience in the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Prather added that a number of improvements are planned for next summer. But, effective immediately, ski and snowboard rentals will be available in the Pumphose Café building at the top of the mountain and food service will be expanded, alleviating weekend congestion.

The ski area, Prather notes, has always been healthy, but “when the real estate market turned down, real estate development activities associated with the property had adversely affected the whole company.” An unrelated entity purchased a large portion of the real estate development land in the bankruptcy settlement.

Salt Lake City-based Pacific Group has been involved in numerous projects, including developments at Whistler Blackcomb, Squaw Valley, Mammoth, Snowbasin, Copper Mt., and Solitude among many others.

Photo: Wisp Resort (SnowForecast.com)