Mt. Mancelona owner facing Oct. 13 foreclosure redemption deadline

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Photo by Linda Gallagher

Current Mt. Mancelona owner Sam Porter is pictured with his friend "Joe." Porter is attempting to create a four season "outdoor paradise" at the once-popular ski hill, offering events, live music concerts, camping, and other ventures in addition to skiing and snowboarding, but is currently facing foreclosure.


MANCELONA – Sam Porter has had a lot of ideas and dreams in his life, all of which he's been passionate about.

As a result, many of those ideas and dreams have come true, like the numerous Traverse City festivals Porter has organized and promoted through his Porterhouse Productions company.

But the dream that he has been, and remains, most passionate about – the rebirth of Mt. Mancelona – may not happen if Porter is unable to redeem the 75-acre property, now in the final stages of foreclosure, before Saturday, Oct. 13.

Originally opened as a downhill ski hill in 1954, the once popular property closed to the public in the mid-‘80s and has seen a number of owners since then.

Porter and his wife Abby, who are residents of Traverse City along with their three young daughters, bought the long-shuttered ski resort in September 2017.

"I was raised on a farm in Rapid City, so I knew Mt. Mancelona's story," said Porter, who stated he first learned that the ski hill was once again for sale when he read the listing on a Facebook post.

Porter contacted the realtor and began "scrambling," as he said, to find financing.

"The owners had a cash offer that would have privatized the whole property," said Porter about Mt. Mancelona, which went up for sale in 2016 after the death of former owner Joe Omness.

"I had to move quickly," he recalled.

As his own personal assets were already "fully leveraged," as Porter put it, traditional financing through area banking institutions and mortgage companies was not an option.

But through a Montague-based real estate company called Antler Bar Real Estate, Porter and his wife were able to acquire the $450,000 property, mortgaging a total of $375,000.

In May of this year, foreclosure proceedings began, leading to an auction of the property at the Antrim County courthouse on April 13. The mortgage was sold to the highest bidder – Antler Bar Real Estate, the mortgage holder – for $360,000, according to a sheriff’s deed filed with the Antrim County Register of Deeds office.

Porter now has until Oct. 13, just three weeks away, to redeem the property at a cost of $360,000 plus a very high interest rate of 25 percent.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at:


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