Catamount to Build Fifth Chairlift

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The Schaefer family bought Catamount Ski Area just three months ago but already has grand plans for their second ski resort.  The co-owners hope to bring the same success to Catamount the group did to Berkshire East, now a year-round destination that saw two new lifts since 2007.  Catamount, which sits partly in Massachusetts and half way in New York, is eighty years old.  Previous owners Tom Gilbert and Rich Edwards became unable to make the capital investments they knew they needed to.  “To remain really competitive in the ski industry there’s many things that need to be done, and we’ve been trying over the years to raise some capital to do these projects,” Gilbert told the Berkshire Eagle in May following the sale announcement. “We realized we were not successful in raising capital and realized we needed to bring something in.”  Berkshire East paid $650,000 for the mountain and retired Catamount’s $1.6 million in outstanding debt.

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This Poma lift could find a third home on the Massachusetts-New York border.  Photo credit: chairlift.org

A new triple chair will soon improve the beginner experience on the Massachusetts side of the mountain.  The lift is likely to be a 1987 Poma Alpha model which began its life in Vermont as Magic Mountain’s Sun Corner lift.  Magic went dark only four years later and the triple flew south to Berkshire East, where it was the Summit lift.  Skytrac replaced it with a quad in 2014 and the Poma has sat awaiting a new home ever since.  Ironically, a used chairlift from Stratton will finally return lift service to Magic’s Sun Corner this fall after 27 years.

Catamount’s new 1,600′ lift will run up up the Esplanade trail.  I suspect this will be a 2019 project but there’s a chance it could happen sooner.  The triple will complement four existing lifts, which are two SLI doubles, a Thiokol triple from Solitude, Utah and a Garaventa CTEC quad relocated from Belleayre, New York.  Catamount also plans to add a brand new 7,600 square foot lodge.

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10 thoughts on “Catamount to Build Fifth Chairlift

  1. Collin August 22, 2018 / 6:46 am

    This lift looks like it will be primarily for the nearby terrain parks and will take a lot of load off the Meadows Triple which I’ve heard lines up a lot.

    The question is what Berkshire East uses for their expansion lift. They were originally intending to use this one, but now they’ll have to buy new or find another used lift. The only new lift this family has ever bought was the Skytrac at Berkshire East, which is their main lift running a ton of hours year round. If they were to buy used I could see them getting the Willoughby Quad from Burke which should be of sufficient length.

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    • Peter Landsman August 22, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Apparently Berkshire East bought another 1987 Poma triple from Talisman Mountain Resort in Ontario. So one could stay for the expansion with the other going to Catamount.

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      • reaperskier August 22, 2018 / 6:44 pm

        Would that lift be possibly the valley triple?

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      • Peter Landsman August 22, 2018 / 6:47 pm

        Bingo. All of Talisman’s chairlifts were sold a few years ago. Another went to Sunridge, Alberta.

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      • reaperskier August 23, 2018 / 5:51 pm

        Do you think the hall double from talisman is going anywhere or is it being scrapped?

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      • Andy August 24, 2018 / 5:31 am

        In answer to the question, all of talisman’s chairlifts were removed from the property a few years ago. If there wasa Hall double there , it is no longer standing or on the property. It was either scrapped or sold for parts / scrapped. The ski runs at Talisman in Ontario no longer have any lifts on them.

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  2. A.G. August 22, 2018 / 8:26 am

    So pleased to see some investment in our little Berkshire ski areas. Now the big question in our region is who buys Bousquet’s, and how long can they keep running that 1960’s C&S double?

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  3. Mike N August 22, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    Definitely a park lift… but they need to invest in their park!

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    • Collin August 22, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      Berkshire East has pretty good parks off the Wilderness Peak Quad (used Borvig from Berthoud Pass). I assume they’ll improve the ones at Catamount.

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