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Marquette Mountain sold

Skiing and lift activity at Marquette Mountain is pictured. (Journal file photo

By CHRISTIE BLECK

Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — Marquette Mountain and its surrounding 330 acres have been sold by Peter and Lois O’Dovero to Eric and Sarah Jorgensen.

Eric Jorgensen is president and CEO of JX Enterprises Inc., a second-generation family business celebrating its 50th anniversary. Based in Hartland, Wisconsin, JX serves the heavy- and medium-duty truck transportation industry in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois.

Marquette Mountain opened in 1957 as Cliffs Ridge, operating under different ownership entities until the O’Doveros bought the business assets and surrounding property out of receivership in 1987.

The O’Doveros recently invested in infrastructure and equipment to expand snow-making and improving overall capabilities.

According to its website at marquettemountain.com, a new system can provide water to the pump house and through an inline filtration system designed to make snow. Two pumps can boost pressure to provide all hydrants on the hill with the proper pressure required for the snow guns.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity that Marquette Mountain brings to the community and outdoor enthusiasts,” Eric Jorgensen said in a news release. “I am especially thankful to the O’Doveros for working with me positively in this transfer including their fortitude over the last 33 years and recent improvements.”

Plans are expected to unfold over the next few years to cultivate the ski hill’s diverse environment while strengthening ties to Northern Michigan University and the city of Marquette, officials said.

“I truly believe this is a dream come true for Eric,” said Andrew Farron, Marquette Mountain general manager, in a news release. “He’s even quoted in his high school yearbook as wanting to own a ski area someday. He’s worked tirelessly to become a successful Midwestern businessman, always putting integrity and compassion first.

“As an avid skier and mountain biker, he is well aware of industry standards and expectations, something that I believe will lead to very strong leadership. His entire marketing approach is based on the ‘Marquette experience’ — focusing on the college, restaurants, hotels, trails, campgrounds and sights that make Marquette special. He believes this is fundamentally what makes Marquette Mountain so special.”

Eric Jorgensen expressed his gratitude to Dave Mingay and Fran Sevegney at RE/MAX 1st Realty; Joe Havican and Boris Martysz at mBank; and Adrianne Wolf, his company’s local counsel from McDonald & Wolf, PLLC, for their “tireless support.”

“Without them, this opportunity would not have become reality,” he said in a news release.

NMU President Fritz Erickson called Marquette Mountain an important part of the Marquette community, and noted NMU is excited to forge a strong partnership with the new owners.

“A vibrant ski operation is an important part of recruiting students and employees to NMU,” Erickson said in a news release.

NMU recently announced the addition of varsity men’s and women’s alpine ski teams that will compete in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association. Skiers will use Marquette Mountain as their home training site.

“The news that the Marquette Mountain ski hill has been purchased is very exciting and something that I see as only positive for the city of Marquette and the Marquette community,” Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli said in a news release. “My time with Eric Jorgensen has convinced me that their vision for the ski hill will truly benefit the Marquette area and that Eric is the person to get the job done. The city of Marquette looks forward to working with him as we move forward.”

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.