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Moosehead Lake ski developer says construction won't start until next summer

In this February 2019 file photo, young skiers hit the slopes on a beautiful day at Big Moose Mountain in Greenville.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Bangor Daily News
In this February 2019 file photo, young skiers hit the slopes on a beautiful day at Big Moose Mountain in Greenville.

The developer behind the Moosehead Lake ski area revitalization proposal says construction isn't likely to start until at least next summer.

Building plans from Big Lake Development call for a new hotel, ski and surface lifts, brew pub and other infrastructure upgrades on the mountain. An additional 400 residential units could be part of the project's second phase.

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission approved a request for a public hearing on the project but hasn't yet set a date. Developer Perry Williams said the hearing will delay his ability to secure the property.

Even if he does secure permits for the land, Williams says there's a waiting list for the steel and wire needed to build a new ski lift.

"Time kills deals," Williams told the Piscataquis County commissioners at a meeting Tuesday. "We're pushing everything we can to get it done and get it open, but even this delay will probably cause an entire ski season."

Members of the Moosehead Region Futures Committee, a citizens group that describes itself as a watchdog over development projects in the area, say they support upgrades to the ski area. But they still have questions about the project's financing and potential impacts on Greenville.

Development organizations for the Moosehead Lake region and Piscataquis County say they believe a full-season resort will revitalize the Greenville economy.

"We're very supportive of this project and we think it's a once-in a generation development opportunity for the county," John Shea, executive director for the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, told the commissioners. "It's not just going to impact, of course, Greenville and the surrounding communities. I think it's going to have benefits throughout all of Piscataquis County."

Williams, the project's developer, said his team will eventually prepare plans for building workforce housing on or near Big Moose Mountain.