AUBURN — One of the owners of Lost Valley Ski Area said Thursday that the resort and community volunteers were steadily pulling together a plan that may allow them to open for the 2014-15 winter.

Lincoln Hayes said a recent meeting with members of the Auburn Ski Association yielded some promising results, but final details of a plan for ski and snowboard operations this winter were still on ice.

“We’ve made some really good progress, but we just aren’t at a place where we are able to give a final answer,” Hayes said. 

In early June, the ski resort, which first opened in 1961, announced it was in financial trouble and would be unable to open for the winter.

But since then, with an outpouring of community support along with help from the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, other Maine ski area executives and state and local officials the resort may be able to open, Hayes said.

Hayes said an energy audit from Efficiency Maine has been completed and a business plan is coming together. He said he was encouraged by the outpouring of help but noted more support would be needed.

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“People really want to know what they can do to help and we are working on that, and I believe we are going to be able to tell them soon,” Hayes said.

Greg Sweetser, executive director of Ski Maine, a statewide industry association, said Thursday that he had no detailed knowledge of Lost Valley’s emerging plan but saw some positive signs.

“They have continued along with their summer activities and they remain active members of the association,” Sweetser said. He said Hayes had continued in his role as secretary for Ski Maine’s board of directors.

Hayes said a group that would be known as “Friends of Lost Valley” was forming, and they would possibly become a nonprofit organization.  

Sweetser confirmed that several ski areas in the Ski Maine Association operate as community-based, nonprofit organizations, and that model generally has been successful.

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