Pottawattamie County buys western Iowa ski business
CRESCENT — A 60-year-old ski and sledding attraction in western Iowa has been sold to Pottawattamie County for $3.5 million.
The county’s purchase of Mt. Crescent Ski Area, which sits adjacent to Hitchcock Nature Center, was finalized on Dec. 30, the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported Wednesday. The money for the purchase came from a $1.4 million Iowa West Foundation grant and federal pandemic stimulus funds.
Pottawattamie County Supervisor Justin Schultz said the purchase is part of a long-term plan to acquire the entire bluff in the Hitchcock Nature Center area. The county plans to explore further recreational development of the area to make it a year-round destination.
Former owners Korby and Samantha Fleischer will manage the attraction through the remainder of the current season and have the option to continue managing for at least two years. Korby Fleisher said he and his wife would like to work with the county to see plans for a four-season attraction come to fruition.
“We want to help out more than 100% to make this a little Disneyland in the Midwest,” he said.
Mt. Crescent is about 8 miles (12.9 kilometers) north of Council Bluffs.
Pottawattamie County’s private-to-public conversion of the attraction is reminiscent of a similar deal earlier in 2021 when Polk County announced it was buying Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in Des Moines, a popular central Iowa park known for winter sledding and tubing.