Ski Blandford Announces Closure

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Citing continued losses and economic uncertainty, the owner of Ski Blandford is pulling the plug on one of the oldest ski areas in Massachusetts.  Owner Jef Murdock, who also operates Ski Butternut, purchased the closed Blandford in 2017 and invested significant dollars to upgrade the mountain’s lift and snowmaking systems in advance of the 2018-19 season.  Prior to that, the nonprofit Springfield Ski Club ran the area for 80 years.  “Our goal was to keep the ski area operational and to grow the sport of skiing and riding,” reads a letter to passholders from Murdock and general manager Ronald Crozier.  “However, after all of this hard work, we are still losing money.  Unfortunately, Butternut cannot continue to support the losses we have experienced at Blandford.  When you add present economic uncertainties to the mix, we are forced to make a very hard business decision.  With much disappointment, we are announcing the closure of Ski Blandford.”

Ski Blandford featured three Hall chairlifts built in 1969, 1971 and 1978.  Two of them recently received new control systems and other upgrades.

15 thoughts on “Ski Blandford Announces Closure

  1. Mason Schade March 26, 2020 / 1:28 pm

    Is Jef going to try to sell Blandford?

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    • sullivanq March 26, 2020 / 1:30 pm

      Well maybe, but who would want ot buy it. Dying industry, warming climate. Plus it’s quite small.

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  2. sullivanq March 26, 2020 / 1:29 pm

    Question I have is; what will become of the three lifts?

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    • Meir K. March 26, 2020 / 2:17 pm

      Smugglers’ Notch might need yet another Hall double…

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      • reaperskier March 26, 2020 / 2:32 pm

        But where?

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        • Somebody March 26, 2020 / 3:29 pm

          Upper morse mountain (above village chair)

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      • sullivanq March 26, 2020 / 4:38 pm

        I don’t think it would be long enough their longest chair is no more than 2600 feet long. Besides these chairs are ancient

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        • Meir K. March 26, 2020 / 5:19 pm

          Can’t they combine parts if they need to? Also, they have older lifts…

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  3. Mason Schade March 26, 2020 / 2:11 pm

    Don’t know but hopefully either it reopens or the chairs go somewhere nicer and more caring.

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  4. Tom s. March 26, 2020 / 5:12 pm

    Maybe Berkshire East/catamount folks will buy it and add it to their season pass.

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  5. Nahms March 27, 2020 / 6:39 am

    Butternut also has an ownership stake in Otis Ridge, nearby. I can’t imagine that hill makes any money either. But it just runs one double chair, so it may be much less to run the little hill. If Butternut doesn’t sell Blandford, they will likely harvest all of the usable equipment from lifts, snowmaking, machines, etc. and bring it to the home base.

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  6. sullivanq March 27, 2020 / 8:08 am

    They never ran the north chair. It hasn’t been loaded since 2014, although they’ve run it on the Diesel engine a couple of times just to keep the cobwebs off the gears. Otis didn’t close for a season like blandford did when butternut bought them, so they kept most of their skier base, unlike blandford. At blandford, The parking lot was the same every weekend. They didn’t advertise the reopening well enough. I guess butternut could take the polecats and tower guns they bought for them and install them at Otis or take them for themself.

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  7. Justin March 27, 2020 / 9:18 am

    I wonder what’s going to become of the old Wonderama triple chair sitting in Butternut’s parking lot… I noticed they started removing trees and creating another parking lot, maybe new base area to the right of overbrook?

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    • sullivanq March 27, 2020 / 1:11 pm

      Yeah at first when i heard about that I got my hopes up and hoped they would replace one of the ancient halls at blandford, but i guess that will not happen. Replacing any of their quads would not make sense, and wonderama is older than all their quads. The only replacement that would make sense would be overbrook, but still its not like wonderama is much younger than that, about 10 years. The only thing that would make sense for them to do would be some sort of expansion, maybe the long-ago-shelved west area?

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      • Justin March 27, 2020 / 2:44 pm

        Overbrook had just the metal backrests replaced for last season so I have a feeling it’s not going anywhere. Hoping it’s the west area!

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