Mt. Mancelona owner responds to recent state charge

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Shown is a sampling of promotional material for Mt. Mancelona, which ran into trouble last week when owner Sam Porter was issued a "cease and desist" order from the state for a t-bar ski lift used on the property. 

MANCELONA – Saying that a "cease and desist" letter sent by the State of Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) regarding the operation of a t-bar lift on his property is "simply a request to meet state standards for future operation," Mt. Mancelona owner Sam Porter openly responded to charges made since last Friday about his operations at the 72-acre former ski resort east of Mancelona. 

"We still are left in awe as to why this became a huge story since we are not a public ski area or why it deserved negative press, but we will keep on truckin'," Porter said in a public Facebook post made Monday, referring to local media coverage over the weekend following last Friday’s news release from LARA regarding the cease and desist letter.

The t-bar in question, Porter said, was inspected on March 7. On that day, Porter was given information as to how to go about licensing the t-bar for public operation, which he says he was in the process of doing. As part of the process in licensing, the letter was generated, he said.

"Mt. Mancelona welcomed the information LARA has provided and had been communicating before the complaint to the State that suddenly spearheaded a more urgent inspection," he said.

"The day spent with the inspector was very helpful and informative. The inspector was strictly professional in representing the state and very positive and supportive of our project, offering many ideas on how to get where our goals are aimed, offering some key insight to affordable options to consider."

Although the order from LARA noted that Mt. Mancelona was in violation of the Ski Area Safety Act, it did not clarify what it considers a "ski area," Porter noted.

"Although the t-bar has been operated in the past, even before our ownership, we have used it only for minimal family and friends and private land use," Porter insisted.

Michigan's ski lifts are officially permitted for operation by LARA to ensure compliance with national standards and the Michigan Ski Area Safety Act of 1962.

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