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Marshall Mountain sale confirmed, ending weeks of uncertainty

(KPAX) The uncertainty is over, with the Marshall Mountain Ski Area staying in local ownership.

Attention now turns to developing a long-term arrangement to continue public access with the sale closing this week.

The ski resort closed in the early 2000s but has remained a popular destination for mountain bikers and backcountry skiers.

That informal arrangement was upset this spring when long-time owners Bruce and Kim Doering moved to sell the 156-acre property at the head of Marshall Canyon to a doctor and his family from Missouri.

But the sale fell apart after local user groups expressed concerns about losing trail access, and the new owners couldn’t agree on continuing those easements.

Two weeks ago, Missoula developer Rick Wishcamper submitted a backup offer, and Tuesday the sale closed. Wishcamper plans to own the property for now, but ultimately turn it over to public ownership, probably by the City of Missoula.

In the meantime, Wishcamper said he’s hoping the city will help manage continued access.

“I think what the plan is that we’ll look to the city to manage it on our behalf and on behalf of the community in the interim. So I think we’d be looking to have some sort of arrangement for the city to provide that management and maintain that access.”

Wishcamper and his partners have backed a number of local projects, including the renovation of the Wilma Theater just over a decade ago.