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File photo/The Herald-Dispatch The family-owned Timberline Four Seasons Resort in Davis, W.Va., temporarily closed Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in order "to continue snowmaking when possible," according to a notice on its website. In the notice, resort officials said they hoped to "reopen soon."

The owners of Tucker County's Timberline Four Seasons Resort in northern West Virginia plan to sell the ski resort portion of their holdings and are seeking permission from federal bankruptcy court to sell snowmaking gear to begin repaying some of the $2.8 million reportedly owed to creditors.

In a petition filed last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern Pennsylvania, the attorney representing Timberline Four Seasons Resort Management Company, Inc., sought approval to sell 17 PoleCat snow-making towers and five carriages used to move the towers. The snowmaking gear, owned free and clear by Timberline, was described as being at least 15 years old.

According to documents filed with the petition, Timberline has reached a tentative agreement to sell the gear as-is to the company that manufactured it, SMI Snow Makers, for $72,000.

"The equipment is no longer needed by the debtor because the debtor is selling the ski resort operation and believes a new buyer will install new equipment," David Siedman, Timberline's bankruptcy attorney, wrote in the filing.

Timberline abruptly closed its ski operation for the season in late February, after operating for more than a week with only four to six of its 38 slopes and trails covered with enough snow to accommodate skiing.

In March, Timberline's water and sewer system was placed in receivership by the Public Service Commission and is now operated by Canaan Valley Public Service District. A hearing on whether Timberline's ski area should also be placed in receivership was later sought by Tucker County Prosecutor Raymond Lamota and scheduled for an April date, but has since been continued.

Timberline, then owned by David Downs and two partners, opened its ski operation in 1982 with a T-bar surface lift and a day lodge. Two years later, Philadelphia area heart surgeon Frederick Reichle and members of his family bought the property and added four chairlifts, providing access to the top of Cabin Mountain and providing nearly 1,000 feet of vertical drop.

Reichle's nephew and Timberline's co-owner and managing partner, Fred Herz, cited "relentless and malicious criminal prosecution to gain both receivership and government forfeiture status" among reasons for liquidating Timberline's ski assets in a recent notice to Timberline homeowners.

In December, Herz was arrested by Tucker County Sheriff's deputies for allegedly failing to pay two years worth of county hotel and motel taxes valued at $4,258. In February, Reichle was among 14 Philadelphia-area health care professionals indicted for allegedly selling opioid prescriptions for cash.

Timberline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 30. Subsequent filings listed total assets of $1.19 million and debts totaling more than $2.8 million to nearly 50 creditors.

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