Save Hidden Valley

20 Sep, 2008

Snowboarding in the midwest is in distress right now as one of their snow resorts might be closing.   I’ve never rode the midwest but hearing that a resort might be closing, limiting the opportunities for local shredders to ride is worth checking out and seeing what can be done to save another snow resort.

Ben Simon from the forums wrote up a piece about the possibility of this resort closing and what people can do to help.
“As a snowboarder currently living in St. Louis, Missouri, snowboarding is already difficult enough. Unfortunately, St. Louis’ local ski hill (Hidden Valley) is in danger of being shut down, leaving thousands of St. Louis skiers and snowboarders without a place to ride and hurting local outdoor sporting goods stores (take away the one place to ski and snowboard in St. Louis, and ski and snowboard sales plummet in St. Louis). For anyone living in the Midwest, you know how hard it is to be a skier or snowboarder. Unfortunately, skiing and snowboarding are in danger of becoming even more difficult to enjoy if St. Louis’ single resort (and the closest resort in a radius of 8 hours) closes its doors forever.
This all started when the newly formed city of Wildwood decided that it should start charging ridiculous taxes to the local ski resort that has been around years longer that the new city ordinance. The city is making it difficult for the owner of Hidden Valley to expand the resort, add tubing runs for children, and increase the size of the parking lot even though the resort is attempting to develop land it has owned for years! Basically, the city is making it impossible for the owner to improve his resort without paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city (They city wants $250,000 before they’ll give the resort permission to add 250 parking spots to its lot! A $1000 per parking spot?!).

Hidden Valley is becoming the least profitable ski resort owned by Peak Resorts simply because of the money being spent to appease the local city ordinance that is constantly looking for new ways to tax Hidden Valley. So Peak Resorts is thinking about closing Hidden Valley forever because of its struggle with the city of Wildwood, Missouri.

If you want to help out the skiers and snowboarders living in St. Louis, Missouri, please visit the link below and sign the petition to keep St. Louis’ ski resort open. There is also contact information if you want to call or email the heads of the city of Wildwood and tell them to leave Hidden Valley alone.

If you have any questions, I can try to answer them. This is the hill where I learned to snowboard, and it would be a shame to see it go.”

Ben Simon

Petition Link:
Informational Link:

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Lou G.
    September 21, 2008

    Man I heard about this. My friend is seeking safe passage to Colorado or he isn’t going snowboarding this season.

    Having a fully functional ski resort can be a major financial asset to a city. They should be welcoming expansion with open arms as they would surely turn a profit. Bad business.

    I signed that there petition, it took like ten seconds. Anyone reading should do the same. No shredder should be without slopes.

  2. Lauren
    September 21, 2008

    This really sucks!! Hidden Valley is my home mountain and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be living in Breckenridge. It is a HUGE financial assest to the city. We actually have a new kick ass snowboard shop 5 minutes away from HV but if they close… yeah, they’ll get hit hard. Yikes. There’s a council meeting tomorrow, I’m gonna go! (yeah I’m in STL right now visiting family.. good timing!!!)

  3. Anonymous
    September 21, 2008

    Ben and others,

    This from a 16 year Hidden Valley member close to the situation (i.e. me).

    You really should find out the facts before you start spreading false information. This has nothing to do with taxes and never has. The city does not get taxes from Hidden Valley. The Peak Resorts request has to do with the construction of the tubing run (not questioned by Wildwood), additional lighting (variances granted by Wildwood), additional snow machines (no issue), additional parking (code requirement for landscaped islands like any other development in Wildwood has been waived and not required), expanded operating hours against codes in this and many city's (can be waived by the City Council as it has been in the past), provision for dedicated public space (a requirement of any development and can easuily be worked around if Boyd follows the process given to him by the City). The fact are these: This is the least profitable resort for Boyd. His company now brings in $85 million annually. He is in debt for his purchase of Attitash and Mt. Snow last year, &73.5 million plus committments to spend at least $10 million to fix those places up. Etc., etc., etc. Boyd wants to leave and sell the land for up to $10 million. He's simply trying to save face and blame it on someone else. Please get the facts before you tarnish others, as Big Bad Tim Boyd, a well known bully in the community (putting it lightly), has done to the city of Wildwood, which is trying very hard to work with him.

    Now go Google "Peak Resorts" and do your homework! Willy

  4. Anonymous
    September 21, 2008

    Hidden Valley To Close

    (KTVI –

    A top St. Louis attraction for more than 25 years could soon be no more.

    The owner of the Hidden Valley Ski resort in Wildwood told Fox 2 he was being run out of town.

    As of Monday night, he said the upcoming ski and snowboarding season would be Hidden Valley’s last.

    He said he’d move the ski lifts and snow-making machines to one of the other 10 resorts he owns from Kansas City to New Hampshire; all as a result of trouble’s he’s having at Wildwood City Hall.

    “To me it’s blackmail,” said Hidden Valley owner, Tim Boyd.

    “This is a unique recreation thing that doesn’t exist within 350 miles of here…what in the world is the government’s responsibility now if places like this are run out of town.”

    “That’s not true, not true at all,” said Wildwood Mayor, Tim Woerther. “The city’s not running hidden valley out of town…it makes no sense that they say, well, because we didn’t get some points, we’re packing up our skis and going somewhere else, without even having a discussion.”

    Boyd said he needed to add “snow-tubing” to go with skiing and snowboarding activities to keep the business afloat.

    “The tubing operation gave us an ability to help hedge the weather a little bit,” he said. “We could handle more people in a shorter period of time. Our average season is only 70 days long.”

    He also needed to expand a parking lot to handle the larger crowds; about 250 spaces.

    The Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board informed the operators of Hidden Valley last week that the operators would have to pay a $251,000 “public space fee” to get permits for the project; that, or set aside about 3 of Hidden Valley’s 250 acres as “public space” for walking trail or viewing area along the resort’s border with Greensfelder Park. Boyd said he’d already spent $50,000 on engineering work required by the city, yet this was the first time anyone with the city had ever mentioned the “public space” requirement.

    “It basically comes out to over a thousand dollars per spot, just for the permit fee,” Boyd said. “The permit fee is 5 times the cost of what the parking lot is going to be.”

    Boyd said he was closing the resort after this season to pursue plans to develop the property as a new subdivision. He said it was already zoned for housing.


    A crowd at gathered at the Fox Creek Outfitters, a ski and snowboard supply store in Eureka Monday night. They talked about saving Hidden Valley. All said they felt Hidden Valley had already met any public space requirement: the entire resort is open to the public; only the slopes and lifts require tickets and admission fees for access; the resort is also accessible to the disabled.

    “They allow us to use their facilities,” said Pam Weber with the Gateway Disabled Ski Program. “They provide space to store our adaptive equipment… they only charge [disabled skiers] $50 for the entire season pass…I think [closing the resort] would be most unfortunate… for the disabled people in this area who want to enjoy our snow sports program.”

    “If most of the kids would have known about that meeting, there probably would have been about 3,000 people there, showed up there,” said snowboarder, Henry Tellini.

    “If they leave it’s not looking good for me,” said Scott Baker, the owner of Fox Creek Outfitters, who chose his location in Eureka because it was so close to Hidden Valley. “I don’t want to say it’s over, but it would be a brutal fizzle-out. It would probably crush me.”

    Maybe it says something that a fight to save St. Louis’s only ski slopes was taking shape,

    at a time of year when people are golfing at Hidden Valley, which doubles as a golf course in the Summer.

    “It wouldn’t be Eureka without Hidden Valley,” said Alex Kaemerlen of Eureka High School, who was at Hidden Valley at golf practice for the Eureka High girls’ golf team.

    “Last year, I learned how to snow board here. It was really fun. The whole course is really fun actually. They keep adding new things every year.”

    “Bad news – because this is the closest place to ski besides Colorado and Utah,” added her team mate, Lauren Dolniak.

    Boyd said city leaders also wanted to limit his overnight hours, which were critical for making snow and contouring the slopes.

    The mayor said that was not the case. He hoped the two sides could get together soon to work things out and keep Hidden Valley in Wildwood.

  5. Anonymous
    September 21, 2008

    I first learned to ski at Hidden Valley and I would hate to see it close down. I now live in Salt Lake City, Utah because of my love of winter sports. Hidden Valley seems small now but it is still important to have places in the mid west. Otherwise I would have never skied and boarded in the first place. Hidden Valley changed the entire course of my life. And made it better!

  6. Anonymous
    September 22, 2008

    The city of Wildwood is forcing him to donate part of his land for “public use.” Since when is the government allowed to tell people how to use land that they’ve owned for decades?

    September 26, 2008

    Anonymous wrote:

    “The city of Wildwood is forcing him to donate part of his land for “public use.” Since when is the government allowed to tell people how to use land that they’ve owned for decades?”

    Well, governments can and do tell people how to use land they have owned for decades. Consider the Endangered Species Act and zoning regulations. If you own a restaurant, government regulations may say that you can’t let your own customers smoke cigarettes if they want–another example. Google the term “Kelo” for a U.S. Supreme Court case in which the court said there is no federal barrier to local government taking your property from you and giving it to me because they think I’ll give them more tax revenues. (All they need is to have some sort of plan for doing this, and paying you some money.)

    I’m not saying that any of these examples are necessarily good, morally defensible, constitutional, or effective in achieving their stated aims.

    But they are examples of government telling people how to use their property. Again, whether or not this power is used properly is another question.

  8. gimmie
    September 30, 2008

    i wil buy hidden valley for 5.00 😛
    give me five bucks!