When Toohey Runs The Ski Resort

Fed up with the new municipality’s continuing red tape with his business, a ski resort owner in St. Louis County plans to close shop:

The St. Louis region’s only ski resort will close after this winter because of a dispute with the city of Wildwood, the resort’s owner said today.

“I would basically characterize it as blackmail,” said Tim Boyd, president of Peak Resorts Inc., the company that owns the Hidden Valley golf and ski resort in Wildwood.

Hidden Valley applied for a permit to build a snow tubing area and parking lot to accommodate it. But the city’s planning and zoning commission last week told the resort it would need to meet additional requirements before it could expand.

The resort needed to get its hours of operation approved by the city, and either pay a nearly $252,000 fee to the city for a new parking lot or dedicate some of its land as public space.

The resorts hours of operation are not currently restricted by the city because it was built 26 years ago, before the city was incorporated in 1995.

A new story indicates that maybe the city just expected him to roll over and give them what they want, and now it’s scrambling to reverse the decision:

Two City Council members met with the owner of Hidden Valley Golf and Ski on Wednesday in hopes of persuading him to keep the resort open, but the owner says he is still determined to sell the property.

The council members say Wildwood doesn’t want Hidden Valley, the region’s only ski resort, to close after this season.

Sadly, the municipality won’t learn that it should just get the hell out of the way of businesses; instead, it will learn that it has to ingratiate itself to bigger businesses that threaten to close and continue to stick it to business people too busy doing business to lobby on their own behalf to be left alone by local, state, and federal busybodies.

On the plus side, at least Wildwood isn’t forced to pay businesses to stay in Wildwood, unlike the city of St. Louis.