Mountain Creek is a ski recourse in Vernon Township, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States, located on New Jersey Route 94, 47 miles ( 76 kilometer ) from the George Washington Bridge. Mountain Creek contains 167 acres ( 68 hour angle ) of skiing area, night ski, snowboarding, and snowmaking activities. The resort besides includes a snow tube ballpark, zip-lines, an alpine coaster, and a seasonal worker water park that operates from May to September. Mountain Creek was owned and operated by Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. until May 2010 when it was sold to neighboring Crystal Springs Resort. Crystal Springs then sold the property to a outstanding New Jersey kin. [ 1 ] On May 5, 2017, Mountain Creek filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy auspices. [ 2 ] The recourse emerged from bankruptcy in August 2019 [ 3 ]

history [edit ]

1965–71 : Great Gorge Resort [edit ]

A view of Vernon from the top of the Red Tail Run at Mountain Creek Great Gorge Resort was founded in McAfee, an unincorporated area of Vernon Township, in 1965 by three families ( Kurlander, Fitzgerald, & the Bakers ) who worked at the now-closed Snow Bowl Ski Resort in Milton, New Jersey. They worked at Snow Bowl and learned everything they needed to know about snow cook and ski area operations. Great Gorge was built on the early Fredericks farm. There are rumors that in the early on 1940s there was a small r-2 tow on the property. So the place was perfect for Jack Kurlander ‘s vision. Mountain Creek ‘s Bear and South Peaks were the master Great Gorge Resort, with the current South Base Ski Patrol building serving as the Base Lodge. The original charge was designed by Alexander McIlvaine, who besides designed the lodges at Stratton Mountain in Vermont and Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley, California. The World ‘s Fair was held in Flushing, NY in 1964/1965. When the bonny closed the integral contents of the swiss Pavilion were purchased and were transported to be incorporated into the newfangled lodge at Great Gorge. Great Gorge was the beginning ski area in the United States to use a fountain engine to power their snow making operation ‘s air travel compressors. The jet engine was purchased from the Curtiss-Wright company in Fairfield, NJ. The fountain locomotive was located in a build in the park distribute across the street from the newfangled lodge. Great Gorge was constantly a ski race and ski rise mecca. The original owners of the ski area had that in the plans from the labor breaking. many high schools, colleges, and local NJ ski clubs held racing and ski leap events there. The US Ski Team and US Women ‘s Freestyle Team were besides known to have frequented the slopes of Great Gorge. Many celebrated racers adenine well like Stein Eriksen. The trails at Great Gorge were the depart for many racers, snowboarders and ski jumpers who went on to become members of the US Ski & Snowboard Team and the US Ski Jumping Team. Some besides went on to become Olympians with Gold, Silver and Bronze medal wins. Two skiers – Donna Weinbrecht and Jamie Kurlander have been inducted into the Sussex County Sports Hall of Fame. There are plans to induct more ski racers, snowboarders, coaches and benefactors of the local ski industry into the Hall of Fame. During the recently 1960s & early 1970s the Great Gorge ski area hosted a summer menagerie at the root of the batch. For many years remnants of some of the animal cages could even be seen on the Lion ‘s Den founder ‘s trail. The ski area besides had a ski jump that was used all year retentive. In the off seasons, Sno-Mats were used on the trails angstrom well as on the derail and landing area. In the winter the ski jump was covered with snow. Grass skiing demonstrations were besides held in the off seasons on the slopes. Sno-Mats were besides used on the slopes when there was a miss of snow. ski races were besides held on the Sno-Mats. The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway operates tracks which abut the back of the Great Gorge South parking set. For a prison term in the 1970s there was a seasonal coach operated by the railroad track which offered skiers a direction to the slopes and then returned them home. [ 4 ] In 1971, Great Gorge North was built on what is now Mountain Creek ‘s Granite Peak, and a plug in chase was cut to connect Great Gorge North and the original fall back, was renamed Great Gorge South. A connecting professorship lift was besides installed – the Sojourn double. Great Gorge North was part of a master plan that included a never-built Olympic ski-jump and train facility. besides in 1971, Playboy opened their $ 20 million, 650-room Great Gorge Playboy Club on 1,000 acres ( 400 hour angle ) of land a nautical mile aside from Great Gorge. Plans for the Playboy Club included a casino and gondola from the hotel to the base at Great Gorge North, neither of which were ever built. Gambling casinos were never approved outside of Atlantic City. The hotel hosted many peak named fame shows and boxing events. The Playboy Club hotel closed in the 1980s and was sold to several other hotel chains who unfortunately could never operate the huge hotel as a success. The old hotel has sat shut down and decaying for many years. In recently 1971, Great Gorge was foreclosed by their lender after a total of seasons that brought fiddling snow to the recourse. This reduce gross and left the owners with short money to operate and to pay off their debts .

1971–97 : Vernon Valley/Great Gorge [edit ]

In 1968 Vernon Valley Ski Resort opened to the north of Great Gorge. After the foreclosure of Great Gorge South & Great Gorge North, they were sold to Vernon Valley, which merged the three ski areas to form the Vernon Valley/Great Gorge Resort ( VVGG ). In 1974 VVGG was purchased by great american Recreation ( GAR ), which invested in a boastfully measure of snowmaking equipment that allowed the newly recourse to avoid the fortune of the original Great Gorge. In 1978 VVGG opened Action Park, a seasonal worker amusement park with over 75 rides and attractions including 40 water slides, bungee leap, go-karts, bumper boats and mini golf. During the 1980s Cobblestone Village, a little shop and boom village, was built. The ten besides saw the growth of Great Gorge Village, a 1300 unit condominium growth of what were in the first place luxury housing units, and The Spa at Great Gorge, a four-star luxury recourse and health spa accomplished with an 18-hole golf course and a number of indoor and outdoor swim pools. VVGG continued to upgrade its skiing operations, installing a total of new lifts, including a treble chairlift in 1981. real Estate prices have declined at Great Gorge Village with the majority of units occupied full-time by lower income, not skiers. [ 5 ] The close proximity of the defunct Legend ‘s Hotel has resulted in Great Gorge Village being an choice for those living there. Legend ‘s has been called a homeless hotel by some of its residents. In 1989 GAR negotiated a cope with International Broadcasting Corp. to sell the Vernon Valley-Great Gorge ski recourse for $ 50 million. [ 6 ] After carefully inspecting the property, however, IBC found the properties inapplicable and backed out of the share. [ 7 ] [ 8 ]

In the early 1990s VVGG suffered from a combination of poor attendance and poor management, which sent the Great Gorge Resort on a down gyrate. great american Recreation ‘s stock was traded through louche investment fronts and behind the scenes. finally the malcolm stock collapsed, and in 1995 GAR filed for bankruptcy. In 1996 merely Vernon Valley opened, with Great Gorge North and South closed due to the bankruptcy. Before the 1997 season GAR shut down Vernon Valley/Great Gorge and Action Park. In 1998 the remaining assets of great american Recreation were divided and sold. Eugene Mulvihill Sr. retained control of the Great Gorge golf and hotel area of the recourse, which was renamed crystal Springs Resort. The three ski areas and Action Park were sold to Intrawest, a Canadian-based owner and operator of ski resorts .

The 2000s : mountain Creek under Intrawest [edit ]

The Appalachian as seen from The Cabriolet Gondola February 23, 2008 Intrawest renamed its holdings Mountain Creek and began pouring money into its fresh investment to refurbish the recourse. Intrawest removed 11 of the 13 lifts, replacing them with a high-speed eight-passenger alfresco gondola car, known as The Cabriolet, along with two high-speed quad chairlifts and multiple-fix grip chairs, all built by Doppelmayr. The Great Gorge Lodge, which had n’t been refurbished in closely 30 years, underwent an update of its home and was renamed Mountain Creek South Lodge. Intrawest besides made investments in the batch ‘s snowmaking, installing more than 1,600 new snow guns throughout the batch. The new repair opened in December 1998. Intrawest besides began construction on Action Park, removing all the amusement rides except for the Alpine Slide and Bungee Tower, angstrom well as the Motorworld section of the parking lot, and began work on the Waterworld incision of the parking lot. The water park reopened as Mountain Creek Waterpark in the summer of 1998. Intrawest drafted a master plan for the recourse, whose centerpiece was an expansive residential and shop village, a staple of Intrawest resorts, but which never happened. Included in the greenwich village plans were a conference center, hotels, condominium, townhouses, shops and restaurants. On the mountaintop was to be a golf course surrounded by a hotel and condominium. This mountaintop development was scrapped, however, as the land that it was located on was sold by the State of New Jersey to Mountain Creek ‘s former owners, great american Recreation, with a act limitation that stated the land was to be used only for passive voice refreshment, such as fishing, hiking and camping. Intrawest then sold the state back to the state for $ 7 million and license to expand skiing on portions of the mountain where it was previously prohibited. [ 9 ] On October 10, 1999, the 31-year-old Vernon base lodge was destroyed in a burn good weeks before the 1999/2000 ski temper. A irregular complex of prefabricate tents was quickly constructed in order to continue operations for the approaching season. The tent complex included a food court, restaurant and bar and numerous rental and retail shops. While Intrawest originally planned to replace the complex after one year, plans for a new base lodge were put on prevail for an unspecified reason. The decay camp complex remained operational for approximately 13 years through the 2010–11 ski season before being replaced by a permanent lodge named the Red Tail Lodge. In 2002 Mountain Creek opened the first phase of its master-planned resort village, Black Creek Sanctuary, a luxury condominium community. In winter 2003 construction began on The Appalachian, a luxury condominium and hotel built on the erstwhile parking lot of Vernon base. Parking was moved to the other side of Rt. 94 to the erstwhile location of Action Park ‘s amusement ride and bumper boat sphere. The appalachian condo/hotel opened for the 2006–07 season. The Chevy U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix was held at Mountain Creek in both 2004 and 2005. The centerpiece of this consequence was Mountain Creek ‘s Superpipe, one of the entirely superpipes in the east. The Superpipe went quiet after this and has not been used since. For summer 2006 Intrawest opened the Diablo Mountain Bike Park on Vernon Peak, which featured numerous downhill trails serviced by the Cabriolet gondola car. mountain Creek opened its 2007–08 winter sports season with a few noteworthy changes to the chase map. The easterly side of Vernon Peak, which used to be home to its freestyle terrain park, was converted into average slopes. The entire Mountain Creek South sphere ( South Peak and Bear Peak ) was converted to freestyle terrain park. This angered many long-time season pass holders and many did not renew their passes. A especial terrain park spend was now needed to use this area of the batch. All slopes off those peaks are average trails with extra ratings for the kind of freestyle terrain from small to extra large. additionally, a long intermediate chase off the Granite Peak, called Granite View, was closed. minor changes were besides made in the dine structure, including replacement of the one-time-use rental lockers with a more compact bag-check station. In accession, a helipad was located in the rear of the Mountain Creek South park bunch ( from the origin of the repair when it was Great Gorge ) where people with dangerous injuries are airlifted to the regional emergency medical centers. In 2008 Intrawest representatives stated that during the previous two years Intrawest and the resort diligence in general experienced a meaning soften of the veridical estate market, which included Mountain Creek, and Intrawest could not commit to completing the greenwich village. [ 10 ] The Intrawest / Fortress Investments Co. filed for bankruptcy protection and sold off many of the resorts that it owned. The Mountain Creek Resort was sold and became part of the Crystal Springs Resort .

2010 : mountain Creek becomes share of Crystal Springs Resort [edit ]

Intrawest sold Mountain Creek to the adjacent Crystal Springs Resort in May 2010, returning the entire fall back to its former ownership. The modern owners immediately went to work on improving the batch, replacing the tent building complex at Vernon with a new lodge that opened in time for the 2011-12 ski season. A three-story build, it contains raw offices, bars, fine dine restaurant, food court, rental and cabinet facilities and an outdoor patio. In summer 2012 Mountain Creek continued improvement plans, opening a new zip code tune course at the mountaintop lake above Vernon Peak and an Alpine coaster on the lower mountainside near the waterpark. For that winter the recourse expanded and relocated its tube park across the street, renaming it the Dropzone. The Diablo Mountain Bike Park was besides transferred to caller command and renamed Mountain Creek Bike Park. In 2010 Sojourn Double, the chairlift that transported people from South to Granite Peak, was retired after 40 years of service. A new fixed-grip double chairlift was installed and opened in time for the 2012–13 season. The newfangled lift has replaced plans for a new trail that would have connected the South flower to Granite Peak, since they realized when working to build the new trail that the topography of the batch does not go in that direction.

2015 : mountain Creek changes hands again [edit ]

HSK-MC, a partner in a group that purchased Mountain Creek in 2010, bought out the rights, which made it the lone owner of the Mountain Creek properties. Since the Koffman kin ( which controls HSK-MC ) already was a overtone owner of the property, it is said that convention operations will continue. however, the destiny of the indoor water park is now in interrogate, since that was planned under Mulvihill ‘s operate of the property .

mountain Statistics [edit ]

Trails [edit ]

  • 43 trails.[11]
    • 7 beginner trails
    • 24 intermediate trails (14 of which are terrain park trails)
    • 8 advanced trails (4 of which are terrain park trails)

Lifts [edit ]

  • Mountain Creek has 7 chairlifts, and 2 magic carpets.[12]
Name Type Manufacturer Built Vertical
( feet )
( feet )
The Cabriolet Gondola 8 Doppelmayr 1998 850 3639 The Cabriolet functions in the exact same way as a normal ski gondola, except riders are not protected when riding, and must stand throughout the duration of the trip.
South Peak Express High Speed Quad 995 5546 Longest of the two express quads on South Peak.
Bear Peak Express 675 3200
Granite Peak Quad 859 3616
Sugar Partek 196 1087
Vernon Triple Borvig 1981 942 4253 Secondary lift to the Cabriolet, runs on weekends and holidays.
Sojourn Double Partek 2012 4800 Built to connect South Peak to Granite peak.

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]