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Umatilla National Forest Requests Expressions of Interest to Operate Spout Springs Ski Area

PENDLETON  — The Umatilla National Forest is seeking proposals from interested entities to operate and manage the Spout Springs Ski Area, located near Tollgate at milepost 22 along State Highway 204 between Weston and Elgin. Responses received will help Forest staff consider options to ultimately reopen the ski area to the public.

The Forest is looking for an operator who will provide professional management and operational oversight at Spout Springs Ski Area. The operator will be responsible for all aspects of resort management, including but not limited to hiring staff and ski patrol, inspection and maintenance of chairlifts, maintenance of groomer fleet, bar and restaurant operation, facility upkeep, and maintenance tasks. 

While the infrastructure is currently under federal ownership, Forest staff ultimately intend to sell the infrastructure to an individual or entities that have interest in (and capability of) operating and managing a ski area. The request for expressions of interest (RFEI) is not intended as a formal offering for the award of a contract or future solicitation, but to gauge competitive interest from individuals or entities in the opportunity. The RFEI is the first step in a process that may also involve subsequently releasing a prospectus. A prospectus would allow Forest staff to further gauge competitive interest through a closer examination of a respondent’s technical capabilities.

Interested parties are encouraged to consider a full spectrum of potential operations for year-round use when responding to this request. Prospective applicants are also strongly encouraged to inspect the infrastructure in person prior to submitting a response to the RFEI. Umatilla National Forest staff will facilitate site visits to allow qualified respondents or entities to inspect the infrastructure. To schedule a site visit, please contact Andy Steele at andrew.steele@usda.gov with “Spout Springs Site Visit” in the subject line. 

Additional information about the requirements for the RFEI submission, including instructions, is available on the Forest website. 

Spout Springs Ski Area is located at an elevation of approximately 4,920 feet and has a long history as a destination location. The ski area permit boundary includes 1,413 acres and 13 downhill runs that are accessed via two fixed-grip double chairlifts. A portion of these runs are illuminated for night skiing. The nordic system within the permit area includes more than 20 miles of trails that range from beginner to advanced difficulty. The base area features two large chalet-style buildings that serve as the main lodge and rental shop. Although skiing is the focus at Spout Springs, past owners have also promoted mountain biking, hiking, and other forms of summer recreation as well.

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