(WBNG Binghamton) New York Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Thursday he has secured a commitment from the new owners of Greek Peak in Cortland to preserve the nearly 1,000 jobs at the resort and add new ones during an expansion that is being considered.
According to a news release from Schumer's office:
Schumer has long fought to keep the resort and all of its employees up and running during weather-induced poor ski seasons and a financial hardship caused by a failed private lender. Schumer has repetitively said, allowing Greek Peak to shut down its slopes would leave thousands of Central New York residents and tourists who frequent the region to lose a popular family destination. In a phone call to Marc Stemerman who recently purchased the resort, Schumer received a firm commitment that the new owners plan to keep the existing employees on the job, while hopefully adding new ones.
“After a successful auction and ski season for Greek Peak, the new owners’ commitment to preserve the nearly 1,000 jobs and hopefully even add new employees will help carve a successful future for this Central New York Resort,” said Schumer. “I have fought hard to keep Greek Peak open during tough ski seasons and financial hardship, because it’s too important to lose; this resort has attracted thousands of tourists to Cortland each year for over five decades and served as a major employer in Central New York. I will continue to advocate for this Upstate New York winter wonderland and its employees, and I’m pleased to announce that the chair lifts will keep running for years to come.”
Schumer noted that there are still some formal steps required to finalize the recent purchase by Marc Stemerman and John Meier ahead of the deal’s expected closing on April 19th, and he will keep a close eye on the process and offer any assistance necessary in the coming weeks.
Since 2012, when Schumer learned that a warm winter and a failed private bank put Greek Peak at risk of shutting its doors, Schumer pushed the FDIC to provide operating funds to the ski mountain and resort in Cortland so that it could make it to this winter’s season. The FDIC has since provided the Peak roughly $2 million in loans, which kept nearly 1,000 employees on the job. The Peak filed for bankruptcy, as part of the protection plan that Schumer helped shepherd, and was required to participate in an auction of its total operation.
In January, Schumer visited the Greek Peak Resort in Cortland, which was at risk of shutting down just last summer, to celebrate a successful early ski season and provide updates on the tourist destination’s future in the ongoing sale process with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Schumer also pushed for the FDIC to work quickly and thoroughly with the Greek Peak Resort through the sale process, and to seek a long-term resolution that ensures the ski resort remains open for the long term, keeping employees on the job and locals and tourists on the slopes. Schumer’s efforts helped put the resort in a stronger and more valuable position for the recent auction.
Last year, Greek Peak’s primary lender failed and was put into conservatorship by the FDIC, who took over the company’s loans. Senator Schumer successfully urged the FDIC to expedite a critical lifeline that allowed this Cortland County tourist destination keep its doors open until the winter ski season arrived. This winter will prove critical to Greek Peak’s future – the resort may not survive another dead ski season.