resort owed the school under a previous
“The school partnered with Goldberg immediately, and the results have
been amazing,” said Steve Berlack.
“Clearly, the mountain is our biggest risk
— we can’t move the school — so having somebody there who knew the value
of what we could provide and wanted to
work with us was incredibly important.”
The resort, too, sees value in marketing Burke as a destination resort
for high-caliber ski racers. The Burke
Mountain Hotel and Conference Center offers visiting ski teams a place to
stay when they come to the mountain to
train and will likely be booked by visiting
athletes early in the ski season or during
midweek through the winter. Because
of the niche nature of alpine ski racing,
Mack says Burke Mountain isn’t necessarily branding itself strictly as a “racing
mountain,” but he and others know that
it adds a touch of stardust.
“Having the same mountain that potential Olympic-level skiers are training
on open to the public is a pretty good
selling point,” said Laura Malieswski,
chamber administrator for the Burke
Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s definitely helping to create some buzz.”
Throughout the history of Burke,
there are moments of robust optimism
running headfirst into the harshness of
fiscal reality. For years, Burke Mountain
Resort has struggled to remain afloat.
Bankruptcies and various ownership
changes have scarred the area’s history
since it opened in 1955 — the most recent
investment scandal only the most high-profile of them all. According to Mack,
another sale of the resort is highly likely
once the financial picture finally settles
and the federal probe into the scandal is
closed. For now, no buyer has yet stepped
forward publicly, but until one does, anything that adds value to the area is an asset. While it is difficult to quantify how
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