RUMFORD — A community ski area in western Maine has closed and is in jeopardy of not opening next winter.

The nonprofit Maine Winter Sports Center says it’s looking for someone to take over ownership and operations of Black Mountain ski area in Rumford.

Maine Winter Sports Center, with funding from The Libra Foundation, has invested $9 million in the mountain since it took ownership in 2003 with the aim of creating an affordable community ski area and promoting winter activities in rural Maine.

Rumford residents this month voted against contributing $51,000 toward the mountain’s expenses. Sports Center President Andy Shepard says the mountain needs strong local support to make the economics work.

He says he’s hopeful that somebody will step forward so the mountain can open next winter.

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