Agreement reached in sale of White Pine Ski Resort
Brady Oltmans photo
PINEDALE – The owners of White Pine Ski and Summer Resort have reached an agreement to sell all assets of White Pine Resort to the owners of Lakeside Lodge, subject to certain conditions.
The agreement was announced on Monday and is dependent on conditions like the new U.S. Forest Service permit being issued to Audrey and Kyle Odermann to operate White Pine.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are excited for the opportunity and privilege to operate such an important recreational destination for the surrounding community,” Audrey Odermann said in a release. “White Pine is an important part of our winter operations and we have enjoyed our partnership with Alan (Blackburn, majority owner of White Pine) and his team since our first days at Lakeside. The purchase is a natural extension of our business strategy to provide recreational opportunities in the area.”
Audrey is currently the managing partner at Lakeside Lodge and will operate in a similar advisory role at White Pine. She noted different synergies between the two operations, which offer different outdoor recreational opportunities north of Pinedale. She said that she’s excited about integrating the White Pine team with existing staff at Lakeside Lodge and work together to find the best practices for each operation.
Blackburn acknowledged those same synergies.
“Already, we have many skiers that stay in the Lakeside cabins, and we also work together on summer activities, such as weddings and horse camps, to name but two,” he said. Alan is a majority owner of White Pine along with wife Robyn.
Blackburn and Katie Lane, general manager at White Pine, will continue to manage operations at the resort through the end of the current ski season, as well as through the process of obtaining U.S. Forest Service approvals associated with the transfer and issuance of permits.
Lane, who has increased her role over the past three seasons at White Pine, is slated to stay on after the change in management.
“We are particularly excited to retain Katie as general manager,” Odermann said. “From the start of our analysis, it was clear that she would be a key asset in the ongoing success of the operations. Katie has a proven track record in managing the ski operations and we look forward to her being a part of our team as we explore ways to grow the summer operations.”
Odermann said preliminary plans are being brainstormed to increase summer activities at White Pine. Some of those would include larger weddings and corporate retreats as obvious extensions of what is already offered at Lakeside Lodge. She said the new owners are excited to work with the forest service to maximize services White Pine can offer through a U.S. Forest Service permit.
Lack of precipitation this winter caused a delayed opening to White Pine, as well as nearly every other ski resort in Wyoming. The resort typically hosts events on New Year’s Eve, including the torchlight parade, which was delayed this season.
Ongoing construction on the White Pine lodge, a complete rebuilding from the fire that destroyed the previous lodge years ago, is scheduled for completion this spring before the sale’s closing.
“Alan and Robyn and his team have built a wonderful business – and persevered through a devastating fire that destroyed much of the operations,” Odermann said. “It is a labor of love for him and his team as they have rebuilt the operation, remaining open in a very challenging time and continuing to offer an amazing recreational experience for the community.”
She said those efforts, and the White Pine community, has been an inspiration over the past several seasons.
The Blackburns said finding a potential buyer that appreciated the importance of White Pine to the community was among the top priorities. They entertained multiple buyers over several months but it was the Odermanns that made them feel the most comfortable.
“Having watched Audrey operate Lakeside the last few years, I am confident that we found the perfect partner and am excited to see what the future holds for White Pine as she executes her strategic plan,” Alan Blackburn said.
This story was originally published at 5:17 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 10. It will be updated.