Berkshire East and Catamount Plan Three New Lifts

Schaefer Resorts will invest heavily in its Massachusetts and New York mountains coming out of the pandemic. In a letter to guests dated yesterday, Jon Schaefer remarked on this season’s success and looked toward the future. “This year skiing got its groove back,” he noted. “This wasn’t just at our mountains, but across the board, skiing in the United States switched from something people did or went on vacation to do and became the wintertime covid escape mechanism. In November, I wondered how everyone would survive and worried about what the sport would lose, and in March, it’s obvious that at least on the mountain, people and the sport are thriving.”

As previously announced, Catamount’s Glade double will be replaced with a used fixed grip triple or quad. Although most of the ski area lies in Massachusetts, this new lift will be located entirely in New York State. A second used lift is planned to service unspecified new terrain. One used Poma lift has already been delivered to Catamount for installation.

Berkshire East will move forward with an eastward expansion “immediately,” including a new lift ending near the top of Mohawk with a base terminal located just above the Deerfield River. This project has been in the works for a number of years with permitting in place. Both Berkshire East and Catamount will also see major snowmaking upgrades.

16 thoughts on “Berkshire East and Catamount Plan Three New Lifts

  1. ne_skier March 10, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    Looks like the new lift announcements are rolling in right on schedule! Do we have any idea where the Glade lift is coming from? Perhaps a combination of leftover parts from West, NY and the Promenade lift, the two segments combined should be long enough

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  2. carletongebhardt March 10, 2021 / 2:59 pm

    I wonder if they are getting the Green Ridge from Okemo for one of these?

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    • ne_skier March 10, 2021 / 3:11 pm

      It’s about the perfect length for the Berkshire East lift. Doesn’t look like Vail or Okemo will have any use for it, so it’s definitely a possibility.

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      • ajjmw March 10, 2021 / 5:36 pm

        I think it’s possible that Vail could reuse Green Ridge at one of their other New England resorts rather than sell it to a different resort company. It might be kept in storage for a year or two then be reinstalled at either Mount Snow (to replace Heavy Metal), Crotched (to replace West), or even Hunter (to replace Lift E). But reinstallation at Berkshire East is certainly possible.

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      • sullivanq March 13, 2021 / 6:18 pm

        i think this new lift at berkshire east may be made of parts from the old summit triple. they obviously used parts of it for the promenade triple, which makes sense, but promenade was no where near the length of the full summit chair, as far as i know.

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  3. Kevin Ratcliffe March 10, 2021 / 3:13 pm

    Great seeing all this old steel getting re used
    I hope that, from a lift maintenance perspective, that all the parts are being “refurbished “
    That these lifts are basically being re installed like new. Much easier spending money when you have the parts in your parking lot then when you have guests on a holiday Saturday sitting in your broken Lifts

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    • James R Schaefer March 11, 2021 / 10:18 am

      One lift will be new. The others of course will be refurbished. Can’t imagine anyone doing otherwise

      Liked by 2 people

  4. meirk March 10, 2021 / 3:26 pm

    I remember spotting tower heads (and towers) in Catamount’s parking lot in January, wondered what they’re for but forgot to ask, would it be logical to assume that is it?

    Also, is there any more information about BE’s expansion (and where is it)?
    I was at BE last weekend and I don’t remember seeing any eastward facing unmarked trails, though likely I simply didn’t notice them.

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    • ne_skier March 10, 2021 / 3:43 pm

      The starting point for the new lift will be along the Deerfield River (Or rather, the road that runs adjacent to it) and about a mile away from the current base area, meaning the lift and potential expansion size could look something like this: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/505166307847700483/819338786370486272/unknown.png
      I don’t believe the runs were cut yet, but they did get permitting for the lift. Not sure about the terrain outside of the lifeline, and if they did get approval, how much they were approved to clear.

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    • Jeffrey Klotz March 11, 2021 / 9:38 am

      Look up to the left as you traverse “Thunder” and you can see plenty of pitch to service. Some of it quite steep for short stretches. It certainly will not be green slopes they cut there.

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    • James R Schaefer March 11, 2021 / 10:19 am

      Stand by. Pretty exceptional terrain

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sullivanq March 13, 2021 / 7:04 pm

    I find it a bit crazy that a southern New England ski area would want to expand their terrain right now. I am all for it, as i love the sport, but I dont see how after one exceptionally good winter (by todays standards) that they find it viable to cut more terrain. Look at blandford for example, they shut down (again) after an ok winter and then a terrible winter. they cant expect mother nature to comply like that. i wish luck to them, hopefully their improved snowmaking will help offset bad winters

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    • skitheeast March 13, 2021 / 8:38 pm

      This winter was below average in terms of snowfall, but above average in terms of not having rain (except for the really bad Christmas storm), which is perhaps more important for New England.

      As for expansion, it is an interesting conversation. Overall, annual skier visits nationally are flat over the past 20 years, which would go against expansion. However, the number of total ski resorts is slightly down over that same time period, so skiers are being consolidated to fewer mountains. Plus, in general, the larger ones are faring better than the smaller ones. There is no reason why there cannot be another mountain or two in the Berkshires that does well outside of Jiminy Peak, so perhaps this is the angle they are going for. If they could upgrade themselves enough to convince Long Islanders that they are worth saving drive time to Mount Snow, then they will do well.

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      • sullivanq March 14, 2021 / 9:33 am

        Thats a good point. Another thing is, BEast is so close to the vermont border, it could almost be considered a southern vermont ski area. They have good elevation as well. Hopefully mother nature will help them out a bit.

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