Mt. Mancelona sold to Traverse City event promoter

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Mt. Mancelona is pictured from above during its heyday in the 1960s.

MANCELONA – An iconic Antrim County landmark has been sold to a Traverse City event promoter who says he will hold concerts and similar events on the property.

Located on the east side of the village of Mancelona, the 70-acre property known to most as Mt. Mancelona was a popular local downhill ski area for many years.

Closed to the public since the mid-1980s, Mt. Mancelona was listed for $495,000 in April of 2016 by local philanthropists Richard and Diana Milock, who purchased the property from the family of the late Joe Omness after his sudden death in 2012.

Omness had held hopes of returning the property to its former glory by opening it as a snowboarding destination, but was never able make his dream work. The property was originally developed by Harold and Pauline Axelman, who owned the ski hill for more than 20 years. Several others owned the property after the Axelmans, but, like Omness, were never successful in rejuvenating the area.

New Mt. Mancelona owners Sam and Abby Porter, of Traverse City's Porterhouse Presents and Tent Venues, said they were looking for a change of pace and a new chapter in life by purchasing the property, where the couple says they will hold music events and offer the area as a rental for "one-of-a-kind" lodging, weddings, corporate and nonprofit retreats, sporting events, recreation opportunities and other events.

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