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Sat, Sept. 26

Williams Ski Area may face changes soon<br>

Left are some of the Pawlicki family members who are entering into a partnership with the Williams Ski Area’s current operators — Laird and Tora Moody — to run the facility. Back row, from left to right, is Aaron Pawlicki, Josh Buchmoyer, Tim Jacobs, Richard Pawlicki, and Michael Pawlicki. In front are Sadie Blood, Chenin Sullivan, Michael Garrett Pawlicki, and Jocelyn Pawlicki. All are employees of the facility in some fashion, except Richard — who is heading up the Pawlicki end of the partnership — and Michael Garrett.

The land the ski area sits on is owned by the United States Forest Service, which in turn contracts out the operation of the business via permits. Those permits have been held for many years by Williams residents Laird and Tora Moody.

Back in June, Richard Pawlicki who, with his family, operates the Twin Mountain Ranch and sawmill in Spring Valley, began milling several hundred trees in the immediate area as part of a deal set up with the Forest Service.

At around the same time, according to Pawlicki, he met with Laird Moody who asked him if he was interested in the operation of the facility.

According to city officials, Pawlicki’s original plan was to purchase the operations of the facility from the Moodys. However, this would have involved securing all-new permits and going through quite a few hoops. The two families then decided a mutual partnership was more efficient.

“It was pretty evident we’d be able to work together,” Pawlicki said, adding that four of his sons — Danny, Aaron, Michael, and Brian — are already working there or had worked there at one time.

Pawlicki says most of the negotiations are complete, contracts have been submitted, and that the two parties are waiting for the results of an Environmental Impact Study the Forest Service is doing for the Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff. Those results will determine how easy or difficult it may be for the Williams Ski Area to have its own EIS completed in regards to future upgrades.

Changes ski lovers may see in the next few years include artificial snow and the addition of actual chair lifts for the facility, which currently uses a tow rope for beginners and a poma lift for more advanced skiers.

“That’s our purpose is to improve the ski area,” Pawlicki said.

All-day lift tickets are $27 for adults, $20 for juniors and those who just want to romp around in the snow can make use of the facility’s large tubing hill for $7. Innertubes are provided free of charge.

Lessons are available for $19 per person in 10:30 a.m. and1:30 p.m. group sessions, or individuals can get ski/snowboard lesson packages for anywhere from $45-$55.

The Williams Ski Area also serves up hot food from their kitchen with everything from hot chocolate to grilled cheese sandwiches.

In past years, the ski area has only been able to remain open for a few weeks during the winter months due to drought conditions. In a season of “normal” precipitation — meaning 75-150 inches of snowfall — the facility may be able to operate all the way into March or April, and since weather experts are predicting increased moisture for the winter, people might be able to ski right into spring.

For more information or current ski conditions, contact the Williams Ski Area at 635-9330.

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