MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette Mountain and its surrounding 330 acres has a new owner who plans to build on the "Marquette experience".
Marquette Mountain in Feb. 2019 (WLUC image).
Peter and Lois O'Dovero sold the property to Eric and Sarah Jorgensen, according to a Thursday morning press release.
Eric is the President & CEO of JX Enterprises Inc., a second-generation family business that serves the heavy and medium duty truck transportation industry in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. His business, based in Hartland, Wisconsin, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
"I am extremely excited for the opportunity that Marquette Mountain brings to the community and outdoor enthusiasts," said Eric Jorgensen, in a statement. "I am especially thankful to the O'Doveros for working with me positively in this transfer, including their fortitude over the last 33 years and recent improvements."
Jorgensen says plans will unfold over the next few years to build on the Marquette Mountain Experience. Without mentioning specifics in the press release, he says the plans will cultivate the "uniquely diverse environment" and strengthen ties with Northern Michigan University and the City of Marquette.
Marquette Mountain General Manager Andrew Farron says Jorgensen's marketing approach is based on the "Marquette Experience".
"I truly believe this is a dream come true for Eric," said Andrew Farron, in a statement. "He's even quoted in his high school yearbook as wanting to own a ski area someday. He's worked tirelessly to become a successful Midwestern businessman, always putting integrity and compassion first. As an avid skier and mountain biker, he is well aware of industry standards and expectations, something that I believe will lead to very strong leadership. His entire marketing approach is based on the 'Marquette Experience'—focusing on the college, restaurants, hotels, trails, campgrounds and sights that make Marquette special. He believes this is fundamentally what makes Marquette Mountain so special."
NMU President Fritz Erickson says he's looking forward to working with the new Marquette Mountain owners.
"Marquette Mountain Ski Area is an important part of the Marquette community, and we are excited to forge a strong partnership with the new owners," said Erickson, in a statement. "A vibrant ski operation is an important part of recruiting students and employees to NMU. Additionally, we recently announced the addition of varsity men's and women's alpine ski team who will compete in the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association. Marquette Mountain will be their home training site."
Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli says he believes in Jorgensen's vision for the ski hill.
"The news that the Marquette Mountain Ski Hill has been purchased is very exciting and something that I see as only positive for the City of Marquette and the Marquette community," said Angeli, in a statement. "My time with Eric Jorgensen has convinced me that their vision for the ski hill will truly benefit the Marquette area and that Eric is the person to get the job done. The City of Marquette looks forward to working with him as we move forward."
Marquette Mountain opened in 1957 as Cliff's Ridge, operating under different ownership entities until the O'Doveros purchased the business assets and surrounding property out of receivership in 1987. In the past two years, the O'Doveros invested significantly in the infrastructure and equipment, greatly expanding snow making and improving overall capabilities.
Jorgensen says he's very grateful for Dave Mingay and Fran Sevegney at RE/MAX 1st Realty, Joe Havican and Boris Martysz at mBank and Adrianne Wolf, his local counsel from McDonald & Wolf, PLLC, for their tireless support.