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If you’ve got about $3 million on hand, a treasured piece of Missoula history is for sale: the former Marshall Mountain ski area.
Situated just seven miles northeast of Missoula in Marshall Canyon, the ski area began operation in the winter of 1941. Night skiing by kerosene flames began in 1958, and more runs were cut over the decades as snow-making capabilities extended the season.
The little hill operated continuously until 2003, when financial complications – including a property seizure by the IRS – forced owners Bruce and Kim Doering to cease ski operations.
Since then, the area has hosted weddings and mountain bike races, but the iconic pink chairlifts have been idle for more than a decade.
The lower 156 acres of the area, including the old ski school/rental building and the main lodge, are listed by Jeremy Williams of Windermere Real Estate for $2.95 million. It has been listed for about 30 days.
The property is a popular access site for hunters, horseback riders, hikers, backcountry skiers and snowboarders. It’s zoned C-A1 Open and Resource Lands, and permitted uses include commercial recreation like country clubs, campgrounds, riding stables and, of course, ski areas.
The long list of potential uses are what Williams hopes will capture the imagination of some plucky entrepreneur.
“It’s a great property,” he said. “The reality is that this mountain has been such a focal point and such a part of the community for so long. A lot of people learned to ski at Marshall Mountain, and there’s a large mountain biking community there.
“In an ideal world, if we had something similar there moving forward, it would be ideal. Who knows what’s going to happen next, but we would love to see it stay in the community’s hands. That’s going to be the continual focus. That would be important.”
Bruce Doering has said in the past he would rather see the site used for recreational purposes rather than “just a rich person building a house.”
The road up to the site is nearly all paved.
“It’s not too far away, and it’s just beautiful land,” Williams said. “So many people are familiar with it and it’s an iconic piece of Missoula. It’s really been encouraging the amount of interest we’ve had in a short amount of time and the potential ideas for uses.”
The top 480 acres of runs and ski lifts are owned by Five Valleys Land Trust and the Lolo National Forest.
Because Marshall Mountain historically leased the top section from Plum Creek Timber Co., that portion of the mountain was divested and acquired by Five Valleys Land Trust last year.
That organization has said it is committed to working with a new buyer and is open to discussing possible lease options to facilitate similar, non-motorized use of the land, including a ski area.
According to county information, the two buildings on the site were constructed in 1958 and 1975, but both have undergone extensive renovations over time, including construction of metal roofs to mitigate wildfire threats.
The property comes with water rights and piping for snow making.
Williams said Marshall Mountain is suitable for athletic events, corporate outings, family gatherings, holiday parties, company picnics, community and charity events, and weddings.
The area has a varied topography, including flat and gently sloped areas near the base of the hill and mountainous terrain farther up.
With a down payment of $590,000, a credit score of more than 740 and a 30-year fixed mortgage, a buyer could own the property for a monthly payment of $12,668.99, according to Windermere Real Estate’s online listing for the property.
Full Report of Missoula Liquor License value:
In the last two years we have seen a dramatic change in the landscape of Missoula’s restaurant industry. Several years of stagnate growth finally let loose to fast change. New breweries such as Tamarack, Lakeside, and Draught Works paved the way for the Top Hat, Plunk and others. In the last two years, new life has been restored to Missoula’s downtown with expansion heading south.
Much of the growth can be attributed to the cost of getting into business. Coupled with real estate being at an all-time low and liquor license values being half of what they were at the high, entrepreneurs captured an opportunity – an opportunity that gives them a chance of success when typical cost are so high it is hard to make it past the second year.
So what is the true value of a Missoula city all beverage and gaming license?
There are several things to consider when looking at historical values for a Missoula license:
- Was real estate transferred with the sale? If the license was transferred with real estate, the buyer and seller can allocate values to each asset. When the value is allocated by the buyer, the recorded sales price of the license can be skewed.
- What type of license was purchased? There are several types of liquor licenses available from cabaret to full liquor and gaming.
- Can the license be transferred or is it attached to a property?
For the purpose of discussion we are going to focus on the City of Missoula all-liquor and gaming license. Like many markets, Missoula liquor license values are directly related to supply and demand.
The graph illustrates how high demand for Missoula liquor license starting in 2007- 2008 drove down the inventory and pushed the price to a high of $1,000,000 in September of 2008. A changing market opened up the supply in 2010 and slowly reduced the prices. Today’s average price is around $625,000. 2013 had the highest volume of sales out of any year in the last 8 years.
Average sales prices indicate that the values of Missoula liquor license are rebounding from a low in 2010. This year is showing low inventory so look for this trend to continue.
This graph shows the sales prices for liquor licenses sold since 2006. The low price of $300,000 is an example of how values can be allocated to reflect different prices. In this situation it may not reflect a true sales price and should be considered an outlier.
Overview: The value of a Missoula liquor license is established because it is a scarce commodity and they are not issuing any more. Even when prices were pressured down due to supply in 2010, there were only 5-6 available at any given time. So when prices are down it only takes 1,2 or 3 sales before they become scarce again. At the high in 2009, buyers most likely had to convince a seller to sell because there were none on the market. Any time you are dealing with scarce resources with small numbers of supply there can be a big upside.
Our Recommendation: BUY
Call for more information on available liquor licenses not currently on the market.Jeremy Williams Windermere Commercial Department 406-532-7919
Montana Steak House For Sale!
Premiere Montana Steakhouse! Lolo Creek Steakhouse has a reputation both locally and nationally as one of Montana’s premier steakhouses. The log cabin-style restaurant is conveniently located on US Highway 12, approximately ¼ mile east of the center of town on approximately 1.38 acres. Family owned and operated, years of hard work and dedication to the perfect dining experience has led to exceptional growth in business over the last seven years, making Lolo Creek Steakhouse THE place to go for true Montana fare enjoyed in true Montana style. A shining example of what a Montana steakhouse should be, the restaurant has been featured on the Food Network as a top steakhouse in the country and recently won the 2013 Missoula’s Choice Award for best steak. The restaurant has a full liquor license and furniture, fixtures, and equipment are included in the sale, including its legendary wood-fired grill.
Lolo Creek Steakhouse is an excellent opportunity if you’re looking for an investment that has a long-standing, loyal local and national customer base with a far-reaching reputation for quality that generates strong cash flow that support the investment. Financing options are available so please call listing agent for additional details.
Windermere Real Estate / Williams & Associates