MISSOULA — A Missouri doctor and his family are apparently giving up plans to buy the Marshall Mountain Ski Area but they're still seeking damages from the owners of the property.
MTN News reported last week Spencer and Colette Melby filed the breach of contract against Bruce and Kim Doering, who were moving to sell the 156-acre property at the head of Marshall Canyon.
The Melby's said they agreed to buy the shuttered resort for just over $2.1 million.
But they complained the deal ran into problems when the Doerings added exemptions allowing continued public access for mountain biking and backcountry skiing, which they've permitted for years.
The owners terminated the deal on May 22, promising to cover legal fees and reimbursements.
The Melby's were unable to get Missoula District Court to close the sale last week, and have now filed an amended complaint to seek damages at trial.
The Missoula Current reports additionally the new papers show Melby had been recruited as a doctor by Providence Health and were in the process of moving to Missoula.
That article in the Current had quoted attorneys as saying local businessman and promoter Nick Checota had made the backup offer.
But Checota tells MTN News he has "nothing to do with the Marshall Mountain transaction whatsoever", nor has he "considered a purchase on Marshall Mountain."
The above statement updates an earlier version of this article.
Thursday morning, Rick and Rika Wishcamper of Missoula confirmed to the Current they made that backup offer, and hope to close on the deal soon, working with local government to acquire the property and continue public access.