Just south of Mt. Snow in southern Vermont, $75 million is being spent to redevelop the former Haystack Mountain into the Yellowstone Club of the east. Jim Barnes, founder and CEO of the Hermitage Club, purchased 1,400 acres back in 2011 and has sold 250 memberships at $65,000 a pop (up to 250 residents of nearby towns can ski for $85 each day.)
The ski area last operated as a public mountain in 2009 when it was jointly owned with Mt. Snow. Both mountains were part of the American Skiing Company empire from 1991 until 2007. When Jim Barnes purchased the property, it had two Poma triples and a CTEC triple. The club expanded with two SkyTrac quad chairs serving the lower mountain built in 2012 and 2013. This summer, the Barnstormer triple (Poma) was removed and a Doppelmayr six pack with heated seats and bubbles will take its place.
The six pack is obviously a marketing play as there is no way a club with only a few hundred families as members needs such a large lift. Judging by the number of chairs in the parking lot it will have a very high hourly capacity right from the start. Marketers for the club are surely aware that two larger ski areas nearby already have similar lifts that serve much more terrain.
The replacement project is pretty far along with concrete poured and all parts for the lift onsite. The bottom terminal is finished and everything at the top is staged for a crane’s arrival. Tower heads are being assembled in the base area and the tubes are ready for a helicopter. The bottom terminal looks sharp in black and the top looks like it will be light gray. Chairs have already been delivered and are being stored under tarps for now.
The six pack will be 5,550 feet long and rise 800 vertical feet, taking less than six minutes to ride. It looks like it will have 90-degree loading but no loading carpet. This is one of two six packs Doppelmayr is building in the East this summer, the other being at Sugar Mountain in North Carolina.