Warm up

Members of the Keene High School cross-country ski team warm up for a practice session at Granite Gorge Ski Area in Roxbury in December 2016 by playing a game with balls while on skis.

ROXBURY — A prominent local ski area has been scheduled for foreclosure auction, although the ski area said the auction will not happen.

Granite Gorge Ski Area is slated for sale by the mortgage holder, Hampshire First Bank, according to a listing via Epping-based James R. St. Jean Auctioneers. The public auction is planned for July 8 at 11 a.m. at the ski area off Route 9.

However, a post on Granite Gorge’s Facebook page roughly midday Friday says there will be no auction “as bank loan terms are being satisfied.

“Granite Gorge is looking forward to a great 2019-2020 season, our 17th consecutive season of providing safe, fun ski/tube/ride!” the statement continues.

As of Friday evening, the auction was still listed online as scheduled.

A representative from the auction company referred questions to the attorney who is handling the sale, Nicholas A. Kanakis of the Nashua-based firm Merra & Kanakis. Kanakis was not immediately reachable for comment Friday.

The 146-acre ski area, owned by Granite Gorge LLC, is worth $543,595, the auction site says, and has more than $13,000 in 2018 taxes associated with it. Granite Gorge LLC lists Fred Baybutt as a manager in its N.H. Secretary of State filings. Baybutt did not respond to email and phone interview requests Friday.

In response to a Facebook message Friday evening seeking comment, Baybutt referred The Sentinel to the statement on Granite Gorge’s Facebook page.

According to its website, Granite Gorge offered tubing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing last winter. The ski area previously offered downhill skiing, but its chairlift didn’t run last season. Baybutt said in February that there wasn’t enough snow and that he expected to add more equipment as the season progressed. The Tramway and Amusement Ride Safety department, which oversees the state’s ski industry, said at the end of March that Granite Gorge didn’t get the chairlift inspected in the 2019 season.

Granite Gorge has also hosted several community events over the years, including the East Coast Snowcross series’ Hillclimb, a 2015 benefit race for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and the Motor Mayhem drag race.

The auction listing says the property has 20 trails; a lodge with a lobby, a rental center, and a bar and grill; as well as a yurt and a maintenance building.

Granite Gorge also owned and operated a summer camp on the property for two years.

Last year, the N.H. Department of Environmental Services revoked the Granite Gorge Summer Adventure Camp’s license last July after parents alleged that children there were poorly supervised. A department inspection found 12 violations, including a lack of a certified lifeguard to supervise children while swimming in nearby Otter Brook. On June 4, the department proposed a fine of $24,000 for the 12 alleged violations.

Liora Engel-Smith can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or lsmith@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LEngelSmithKS.