HONEY CREEK, Iowa. (KMTV) — For years, the county has been trying to make it a bigger park. Now Pottawattamie County is finally gaining ownership of Mt. Crescent Ski Area as part of a plan to expand Hitchcock Nature Center.
To make up for the losses the area has faced in tourism, Pottawattamie County Supervisor Justin Schultz says this transition is their way of compensating for that.
"Draw people back to our small community especially with the town of Crescent just south of here in the county areas, this is a huge opportunity to make amends with that," Schultz said.
Previous co-owner Korby Fleischer will continue to help manage and run Mt. Crescent during the 2022 ski season, with the county taking full responsibility during the summer.
"My kids are now in skiing and snowboarding competitions that actually are in Colorado. They have races and competitions this coming Friday, so we've been spending more time in Colorado," Fleischer said.
The goal is to make this an event center space appropriate for all four seasons, such as for family reunions or weddings.
"Maybe looking at a year-round rental facility you could do out here, adding an RV park, adding some more cabins and cottages, potentially an Airbnb out here. I think there's a great opportunity to do some economic development," Executive Director for Pottawattamie Conservation Board Mark Shoemaker said.
It's a big vision that started with humble, familial beginnings.
"My kids learned how to ski here at two years old, and now they are like one of the top skiers and snowboarders in the nation, came from a small little hill, just up and onward," Fleischer said.
This was a $3.5 million dollar acquisition supported by the Iowa West Foundation and the American Rescue Plan. The county will also explore the feasibility of future development in the area.