ROCKFORD, Mich. - A popular West Michigan winter sports park has been sold.
Pando Winter Sports Park in Rockford has just been sold to the operators of Cannonsburg Ski Area. The deal was just finalized Friday afternoon.
According to Alycia Choroszucha, Marketing and Development Coordinator of Cannonsburg, the owners had heard that Pando was for sale and they did not want the area to be added to a growing list of closed ski areas in Michigan.
“We know the history of the property, and believe it would have been a disservice to the community not to step in," Choroszucha told FOX 17 Friday. "A lot of ski areas are getting added to the 'closed ski areas list' in Michigan, to us, Pando should not be added to that list.”
Pando Winter Sports Park opened in the early 1960's as the first ski area in Kent County.
"We didn’t want to see it fall in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand, who doesn’t know the rich history Pando holds and their very strong presence in the community," said Choroszucha.
According to Pando's website, the park hosted the World Championships of Snurfing in the late 1970's, including 1979 when Jake Burton Carpenter won the first competitive snowboard race ever run.
It's that rich-history West Michigan skiers and snowboarders say they'll miss most, but Alycia maintains that history won't die.
"Nothing is going to be missing from the West Michigan winter sports community. We're going to have skiing, we're going to have snowboarding, we're going to have tubing. We just ask for patience as we figure out the plan right now," Choroszucha said.
Pando will likely be closed for the upcoming winter season and will be prepared for the 2016-2017 season.
As for Cannonsburg, we're told they will have ten tubing slopes this winter and hope to start making snow by Thanksgiving.