SBD/Issue 89/Facilities & Venues

Skiing Uphill: Xanadu Still Without Deal For Indoor Mountain

Xanadu Developers Still In
Talks For Indoor Ski Mountain

Over a year after winning the bid to develop Xanadu, Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty “still don’t have an agreement to build” an indoor ski mountain and “have missed several payment and contract deadlines with the company that currently controls the snowmaking technology,” according to Matthew Futterman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The “Snow Dome” was a “key element of the developers’ winning bid.” Xanadu spokesperson Bob Sommer said Mills/Mack-Cali failed to come to an agreement with New Hampshire-based M-O-H Enterprises Principal Mark Hildonen, whose company holds the U.S. license for Acer Snowmec, a U.K.-based company that invented the indoor-snow making technology. Sommer added that the developers now are “attempting to work out a deal with Acer Snowmec executives in England.” However, Acer Snowmec Dir of North American Operations Nick Chappell noted that Hildonen would “control the company’s technology in North America for at least two more years.” NJSEA Chair Carl Goldberg said that he “was ‘hugely concerned’ with the developers’ failure to come up with a deal for the Snow Dome,” and added that the NJSEA “would not allow Xanadu to open without the indoor mountain.” NJSEA President & CEO George Zoffinger spoke to Acer Snowmec execs and Mills and Mack-Cali principals and said that he “felt confident Mills would be able to deliver the Snow Dome” (STAR-LEDGER, 1/26).

SUIT OVER BALLPARK: In New Jersey, John Brennan reports Steve Kalafer, owner of the rights to the proposed independent Atlantic League Bergen Cliff Hawks, filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court yesterday claiming Mills and Mack-Cali “reneged on a deal to build” a minor league ballpark at Xanadu. The suit seeks an injunction “preventing the developers from following through on a vow to seek other baseball suitors if Kalafer has not agreed to a deal by March 1.” Kalafer is asking for “unspecified compensatory and punitive damages” (Bergen RECORD, 1/26).

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