John and Christine Meier and their family, of Elmira, are now the sole owners of Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland, Central New York’s largest ski resort, and Toggenburg Mountain in Fabius, N.Y.
John Meier was 50 percent owner with a business partner for six years until the Meier family acquired the partner’s 50 percent interest in November to take controlling interest of the two popular Central New York mountains.
Greek Peak Mountain Resort, open year-round, and Toggenburg Mountain, opening during winter months, attract visitors from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the Syracuse area in Central New York, and Elmira, Binghamton and Ithaca in the Southern Tier.
John and Christine Meier, who have been skiing Greek Peak for more than 30 years, are excited about the future of the two ski areas.
“I think becoming the 100 percent equity owners of Greek Peak will give a unifying vision around the direction of the resort moving forward,” John said. “We are a family of skiers and snow sports are near and dear to our hearts. We live the brand.”
“Having raised our children as skiers at Greek Peak from the time they were toddlers, Greek Peak is a lifestyle for us – getting fresh air in the winter, doing outdoor activities year-round, unplugging and spending quality time together has been the best thing that we could do for our family and we’ve had a blast while doing it!” Christine said. “We were customers long before we were owners, so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to guide the future of the two mountains.”
The Meiers’ oldest daughter has taught at the ski school and their younger children, a boy and a girl, are active in the Greek Peak ski racing program.
John and his business partner have invested more than $10 million in the two businesses since 2013. They bought Greek Peak out of bankruptcy in 2013 and purchased Toggenburg, 30 minutes from Syracuse and Cortland in Onondaga County, in 2015. Greek Peak has 220 skiable acres with six ski lifts, 60 trails, night and cross-country skiing, and tubing. Toggenburg has 20 trails, five lifts, and a tubing center.
“We acquired Toggenburg because it is the go-to ski area in the Syracuse market and we offer reciprocal season passes between Greek Peak and Toggenburg,” John said.
The two ski areas are about 40 minutes apart by vehicle.
Greek Peak is a year-round, 1,400-acre resort with many attractions for all seasons – including Hope Lake Lodge, Cascades Indoor Water Park, Outdoor Adventure Center, and Waterfalls Spa. Since taking over as co-owner, John has focused on improving the ski side of the business.
“We have invested $10 million into Greek Peak in the last six years, with 95 percent of the improvements being on the ski side,” said John, President of Meier Industries in Elmira. “I believe in investing in the mountain. Snowmaking and grooming equipment, pumphouses, lifts, trails and all of the associated infrastructure, both above and below ground, are what separates us from any other ski area in the region.
“We invest in better conditions for skiers and boarders, we invest in more trails and more skiable acres, we invest in better experiences for our customers, and we invest in safety,” he said. “That is a differentiator for us and drives home the value of our lift ticket and season pass. We believe this is why skiers and boarders from Central New York and Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, as well as the destination skiers from New York City, New Jersey and cities in Pennsylvania, are choosing Greek Peak and Toggenburg in ever-increasing numbers.”
Greek Peak and Toggenburg had their earliest Opening Days ever on Nov. 15 because of the investments in snowmaking and the committed management and staff who provide the best value for our skiers and boarders.
“As a lifelong skier, I always have the voice of the customer in my head,” John said. “The best conversations happen on a chairlift with my family and our customers every single weekend. Whether I am in the lodge with my friends, in the water park with my 11-year-old son, on the mountain skiing with my younger daughter, zip-lining with my oldest daughter or in our restaurants with my wife, we are visiting with and among all of our skiers, customers and guests. That keeps us in touch, in tune and connected with our property.”
John Meier and business partner Marc Stemerman, also of Elmira, bought Greek Peak for about $7.5 million in 2013.