OLD FORGE, Pa. — Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Jonathan Kelley of Old Forge, Pa., will enjoy local support and a hometown title sponsor when he kicks off the 2022 Elite season in Florida. Montage Mountain Ski Resort & Waterpark, home to one of Pennsylvania’s steepest slopes White Lightning, views their sponsorship of Kelley as a win for the entire community.
“It’s great to see someone from our area doing so well and being passionate about something they work hard at,” said Montage Mountain Resort General Manager Mark Verrastro. “Jonathan is a perfect example, he’s talented, grounded and dedicated and we’re excited to see how well he’s going to perform. Having someone like Jonathan representing our area on such a big stage is not only cool for him, but something special for our community too, and we’re happy to be part of it.”
Kelley grew up skiing the slopes at Montage Mountain and made sure to hit the resort on breaks from South Carolina’s Coastal Carolina University, where he earned an MBA.
“My parents have been season pass holders since the mountain opened in 1984,” said Kelley. “My younger brother Jordan and I have been skiing at Montage Mountain since we were three years old. During my visits back from college, my friends and I would meet up to have our annual day on the slopes and then head to the Slocum Hollow Bar & Restaurant.
“(After qualifying for the Elites) I reached out to Charles Jefferson, owner of Montage Mountain Resorts, and his General Manager, Mark Verrastro, and presented my vision for partnering with Montage and the value we can collectively add by working together as a team.”
Jonathan Kelley 2.jpgKelley earned his Elite Series invitation by claiming the 2021 Bassmaster Northern Opens Angler of the Year title, capturing two Top 10s along the way. This 25-year-old angler is looking forward to taking his fishing career to the next level on sportfishing’s biggest stage.
“When I qualified for the 2022 Elites last fall my world changed. Family, friends and supporters reached out to congratulate (me) on receiving a berth into the most prestigious level of competitive bass fishing.”
Kelley joins the Elite Series field as interest in the sport is at an all-time high. After a successful first season where nearly 14 million viewers watched Bassmaster LIVE programming, once more all nine 2022 Elite events, the storied Bassmaster Classic and Championship Saturday of each of the division final tournaments for the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens will feature live television coverage on FS1 and the FOX Sports platforms.
“What better way to introduce Pennsylvania’s tourism and hospitality than through the Bassmaster Elite Series platform,” said Kelley. “An all-year-round resort for those who enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, concerts and nature, Montage Mountain Resorts is a fantastic place to visit.”
Located off of I-81 in Moosic, Pa., Montage Mountain Resort is a convenient stop for anglers and fans as they travel to the Bassmaster Elite and B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional at St. Lawrence River, Bassmaster Northern Open at Oneida Lake or while heading out on their own fishing adventure on Lake Champlain.
For more information on the fun, festivals and restaurants at Montage Mountain, visit Montagemountainresorts.com. Fans can also follow Kelley’s rookie campaign at Facebook.com/JTKFishing.