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$20 million ‘Ski Liberty’ project approved

(9/12) The Carroll Valley Borough Council granted unanimous conditional approval at their September 10 meeting to a $20 million resort overhaul proposed by Liberty Mountain Resort & Conference Center.

The plan were submitted to the council as a combined preliminary and final plan with the recommendation of conditional approval forwarded to the council by the borough Planning Commission.

The conditions placed upon the approval by the council dealt primarily with stormwater-related issues.

Resort management is planning a multiple phase overhaul of its resort complex, including the recently acquired golf course enterprise, the first phase of which is scheduled to commence in January 2014.

Liberty Mountain representatives were seeking approval of only the phase one portion of their multi-year overhaul.

Eric Flynn, president and general manager of Liberty Mountain, told the council that the ski and golf business has developed a master plan which will serve as "our road map of what improvements we would like to make at our resort."

The overall objective is to improve upon the reports year-round offerings, rather than focusing solely on winter activities.

Some of the objectives of the plan, he said, were to produce a uniform look between the ski side and the golf side of the resort "to allow the golf to fit in with the rest of the resort," improve pedestrian and traffic flow, and dealing with "an awful lot of maintenance (with the golf side) we knew (existed) going into this."

Phase one of that plan, which was conditionally approved by the council September 10, is calls for the demolition of the existing club house.

The removal of the club house will then pave the way for a new "grand lodge" with will include a conference center, ballroom, two restaurants, an indoor pool, and the addition of 30 additional hotel rooms.

A drop-off area for guests will also be constructed to avert traffic congestion issues on Sanders Road, and service vehicles, such as truck delivering supplies, will have their own access drive. Pedestrian crossing improvements are also planned for County Club Trail, which bisects the resort complex.

Flynn told the council the overall goal of the changes is to "improve guest experiences and make it (their stay) as pleasing as it can be," as well as to "have both sides (ski and golf) look architecturally consistent."

"We think it’s (the overall outcomes) going to be very attractive," he said.

Phase one is expected to be completed by April 2015. Flynn told the News-Journal following the meeting that the estimated cost of phase one would be around $20 million.

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