Dale Stancil, the South's busiest ski entrepreneur, is adding the region's most popular resort, Sugar Mountain at Banner Elk, N.C., to his holdings.
Stancil is president of Massanutten Village Inc., the ski and second home development here on Massanutten Mountain that he purchased last summer from the Del. E. Webb Corp.
He is also president of Blue Knob Recreation Inc., which owns and operates the Blue Knob ski area near Claysburg, Pa. The company is in its second year of operating the ski facilities at Sugar Mountain.
In addition, Stancil is president of Bryce Mountain Resort Inc., which owns the land development companies at Blue Knob and at the Bryce Mt. ski area in Basye, Va.
His bid to purchase Sugar Mountain was accepted in late January by the Bankruptcy Court in Charlotte, N.C. The sale is expected to be consumated after the current rental lease expires on March 31.
The Sugar Mountain Co., with debts totalling nearly $10 million, went into Chapter XI bankruptcy procedings several years ago. Stancil and a partner, Ray Costin of Charlotte, put up $2.6 million for the ski area and part of the land development.
Stancil, 38, has a home here at Massanutten and maintains a permanent residence in Winston Salem. N.C.
He entered the ski business in 1969 when a fraternity brother from Wake Forest, Joseph W. Luter III, purchased the Bryce Mt. resort and brought him in as vice president and general manager.
Stancil negotiated the purchase of Blue Knob for Luter in 1972 and then returned to Winston Salem to develop a lakeside resort (which failed to develop) and to sell real estate. In 1975, Luter called him back to beef up lot sales at Blue Knob. He ended up buying the ski facilities.
Meanwhile, Luter sold the recreation and restaurant operations at Bryce to a group of property owners there. He then decided to return to the family business of packing Smithfield hams and sold the land companies at Bryce and Blue Knob to Stancil.
Stancil foresees no immediate changes at Sugar Mountain, which drew 125,000 patrons last winter, well ahead of any other ski area in the South.
"If the weather and crowds continue as they have been," he says, "we should set new records this year at Sugar, Blue Knob and Massanutten."