The deal is off.
On Tuesday evening, Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw delivered the sudden news that Alpine Ridge LLC, of Fairfield, PA, had pulled out of the deal to buy Powder Ridge ski area from the town for $1 million.
The announcement came after the Board of Selectmen met in executive session during a two-hour special meeting Tuesday afternoon.
"We're disappointed," said Brayshaw, who would not comment further.
The town did release the following statement:
"On Oct. 20, 2011 Alpine Ridge, LLC informed the board of selectman that it would not perform its agreement to buy Powder Ridge Ski Resort. Alpine Ridge's letter came as a great surprise to the board of selectman. Town officials had worked for months with Alpine Ridge to prepare for the closing. During that time Alpine Ridge gave no indication that it would not perform. The town satisfied or was prepared to satisfy every contract requirement within its power. Alpine Ridge's continuing failure to provide engineering plans for the intake facility and pump station prevented the town from obtaining an easement from the state to pump water from Lake Beseck to Powder Ridge.
The board of selectman is deeply disappointed with Alpine Ridge's unexpected decision. the town must now consider its options with respect to Powder Ridge in general as well as Alpine Ridge's refusal to perform in particular."
In May, voters the sales agreement which would have required Alpine to invest an additional $2 million in the property, as well as offer downhill skiing by Dec. 31, 2013.
But the deal, which would have created an estimated 200 jobs, was held up in recent months as both sides awaited approval of a water diversion permit — needed to withdraw water from Lake Beseck to use for snowmaking — from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
A closing date on the property, originally scheduled for Aug. 1, had been delayed three times. It was for Nov. 30.
In March, the town received . According to the agreement, the money was set aside during a 90-day due diligence period during which time either side could pull out of the deal and the payment would be refunded.
Today, Brayshaw would not comment on whether Alpine was attempting to get the money back.
Alpine President Dennis Abplanalp could not be reached for comment.