Oil company sues Whaleback ski area

The Whaleback Mountain ski area in Enfield is behind on its fuel bills, according to a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Concord.

Irving Oil says the facility, which reopened last year after being closed for four years, owes it nearly $85,000 and has filed a real estate attachment of $90,000 to account for interest and legal costs.

Irving alleges that it delivered thousands of gallons of oil between October 2005 and February 2006, but despite repeated requests, Whaleback has yet to pay what it owes.

The resort won’t comment on the suit, but the ski area lost money last year after “one of the worst winters in history,” said Frank Sparrow, a managing member. “It’s been very challenging, with the weather being paramount.” he said. “We are in the process of working through these issues with our creditors. We want to keep the operation moving forward, but we are having a difficult time.”

The climate this December hasn’t been very favorable either. The resort has some 30 trails, but hasn’t been able to open any thus far, even with snowmaking. It is hoping for some cold weather before Christmas with a target opening date of Dec. 23.

Sparrow has said that the mountain is being marketed as a year-round action sports resort, with summer camps and educational programs. But without a strong ski season, the financial results as a whole “have been very disappointing.” – BOB SANDERS

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