A long running dispute between Hilltop Ski area and the Municipality of Anchorage may be coming to a head. The nonprofit that runs Hilltop has asked a judge to decide whether the city violated a contract with the popular ski area that was signed in 2005 with then-Mayor Mark Begich.
“We would like to be treated fair and equitably and we don't believe that we are getting that from the current administration,” says Hilltop CEO Steve Remme.
Remme says under the lease agreement, Hilltop agreed to give the city its assets, including a million dollar ski chalet. In exchange, the municipality agreed to give Hilltop $94,000 a year so that it could continue operations. The agreement was to last till 2020, but in 2010 Mayor Dan Sullivan stopped making the payments.
Remme is calling that a breech of contract and has asked a judge to decide if Mayor Sullivan is legally bound to honor the agreement. He says the nonprofit is shouldering all the costs of operating the ski area, including building maintenance with no help from the city.
City officials aren’t commenting on the lawsuit. The judge has another month or so to make a ruling. He could side with Hilltop or the city, or he could decide to let the case go to trial.