Anthony Lakes thriving, officials say

May 20, 2013 01:44 pm
BAKER CITY — After almost three years, quasi-public ownership of Anthony Lakes ski area no longer seems like an experiment to Alice Trindle.

Trindle, a longtime skier, ski instructor and one of five members of the board of directors for the nonprofit Baker County Development Corporation, which owns the ski area 35 miles northwest of Baker City, believes the switch to public ownership has proved its merit.

During the 2012-13 ski season, the third since the resort’s former owners turned it over to Baker County, which then transferred the operation to the nonprofit corporation, Anthony Lakes employed more than 100 people with a payroll of $400,000, and it bought almost half a million dollars in goods and services from businesses in Baker and Union counties, said Trindle, who lives near Haines.

And those figures don’t include money that visiting skiers spent in local motels, restaurants and other businesses, she said.

The “Stay and Ski” program, which has motel-and-ski packages for visitors, has proven popular, and helped to entice more skiers from the Portland area, Trindle said.

Motels in La Grande, Baker City and North Powder booked more than 300 room nights last winter through the program, according to a press release from Anthony Lakes.

Peter Johnson, Anthony Lakes general manager, emphasized the ski area’s economic benefits in the press release.

“There is no doubt that the communities of Baker City, North Powder and La Grande have seen a stabilization of their winter business due to the economic contributions of Anthony Lakes ski area,” he said.