Berkshire Bank’s foreclosure on the largest private ski resort in New England is moving forward, Vermont Public Radio reports. A judge sided with the lender yesterday allowing a receiver to soon take over operations of Haystack Mountain, a golf course and associated properties. The Massachusetts-based bank says the Hermitage owes $16.3 million in principal plus penalties and interest on three loans initially worth $17.1 million. In his decision, Judge John Treadwell wrote the Club “lacks sufficient resources to adequately protect and preserve the subject property.” The news comes a week after Hermitage management said two buyers were interested in purchasing the resort.
Earlier in the week, the same court ruled in favor of a man owed $1,373,693 on a $1.4 million loan for a nearby inn the Hermitage bought. Club founder Jim Barnes has 30 days in which he can reclaim that property, which currently sits empty with no insurance. Judge Treadwell also signed off on an Iowa company’s request to repossess 74 golf vehicles with help from the local sheriff. The court then ruled in favor of a New York couple who paid nearly a million dollars for a slopeside townhouse that was never delivered. A local excavation contractor also filed suit this week seeking $450,000 plus interest for work allegedly completed but not paid for.
The exclusive ski resort near Mt. Snow includes five chairlifts, three of which are just a few years old. The flagship is one of the first lifts with heated seats and bubbles in the United States and cost $6.9 million. There are also two newSkytracs which could prove valuable in an auction. The ski mountain last operated on March 25th, after which it was shut down by the Vermont Department of Taxes for the second time in a month. The Hermitage Club reportedly owed the state more than $1 million in sales, meals and rooms taxes plus property taxes to the towns of Dover and Wilmington. Berkshire Bank says it paid many of them to avoid a tax sale.
The proposed receiver, FTI Consulting, is the same outfit that assisted during the Yellowstone Club bankruptcy and reorganization. The Hermitage will become the third Vermont ski resort currently in receivership. Back in 2016, a federal court appointed a Florida law firm to temporarily take over Jay Peak and Burke Mountain following emergency action by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hopefully all three mountains will find capable new buyers in the year to come.
Jackson, Wyoming stakeholders mostly agree to site a new gondola in a public park at the base of Snow King Mountain.
Loveland will hold a lottery for season passholders to win purchase rights for Lift 1 chairs.
The final last chair for the Norway lift at A-Basin is Sunday.
We're sad to say goodbye to this legendary lift that's been sending us to the summit since 1978. Alas, it's time for Norway Lift to retire on Sun., May 13. Celebrate her final day of operation with one last ride up, and share your favorite Norway Lift stories with us! #ABasinpic.twitter.com/5oagNspkhU
They call it “the road less traveled,” a classic Vermont mountain situated about half way between Stratton and Okemo. Now in its second year of new ownership, Magic Mountain has carved a successful niche offering top quality, affordable skiing despite a competitive landscape. Ski Magic LLC added a new carpet lift and restarted work on a new double chair to service intermediate terrain soon after taking over operations in late 2016. Fresh off a successful 2017-18 season with increased skier visits, investors plan to spend an impressive $1.6 million on key infrastructure this summer including two important new chairlifts.
In addition to completing the Green Chair project by early summer, Magic announced today that a Poma quad chair will replace the Black lift, which dates back to the middle of last century. The 1962 Pohlig double was once converted to a triple with Yan chairs before being turned back into a double in recent years. Today it sports towers from Pohlig, Hall and possibly Poma and the time has finally come to retire it.
The new Black Line quad is a 1986 Poma Alpha model which is being removed from Stratton this month to make way for the Snow Bowl Express. The predecessor will find a new home less than 15 miles away, becoming the workhorse base-to-summit machine at Magic. The incoming Green Chair is also from Stratton, a Borvig removed in 1995 called Betwixed. “When we heard Stratton was replacing their Snow Bowl lift with a new high-speed detachable, four-passenger lift, our investor group jumped on the opportunity to try and purchase their Poma fixed-grip quad”, said Geoff Hatheway, President of Ski Magic. “For our ski community, this lift is a huge upgrade that meets and manages our current and future growth expectations, better fulfills customer desires for quality, reliable lift service at Magic, and sustains our reputation as an area with both minimal lift lines and low on-slope skier density.” He went on to thank Stratton President and COO Bill Nupp for his help securing the lift’s future in Southern Vermont.
Black Line capacity will more than triple from 620 skiers per hour to 2,000 with the new lift unloading slightly higher to service all of Magic’s trails. The 148 chair lift will be over 5,000 feet long with approximately 1,500 feet of vertical rise. Magic’s 1971 Heron-Poma double will stay in the rotation and operate at peak times, meaning the Black quad, Red double, and Green double are all slated for service in the 2018/19 season. With Magic’s plans, at least seven new lifts will debut in Vermont next season, the most since 1995.
SE Group and the White River National Forest test an interactive storyboard as a public engagement tool for Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park Expansion. Comments are due May 29th and a decision is expected in September.
The Forest Service proposes quickly approving the replacement of Arizona Snowbowl’s Agassiz triple with a 6,100 foot combination lift utilizing gondola cabins between every three or four chairs. Capacity would be only 1,200 passengers per hour.
Magic Mountain commits to finishing the Green lift and weighs the future of its nearby Pohlig-Hall-Yan contraption.
The supremely-talented James Niehues is painting an all-new map of Copper Mountain to debut next winter along with two new lifts.
This month’s Poma Link spotlights good stuff from Europe…a new brand platform, details on Diamond Evo cabins and new sheave liners coming in 2019.
The Leitner Ropeways 2017 annual report is packed full of photographs and drawings for 32 new lifts the company completed last year.
The world’s tallest tubular lift tower goes up in La Paz at 194 feet!
A man who said he was stuck on a Gore Mountain chairlift the night of April Fool’s Day is charged with making false statements.
Two hackers say they were able to access the Doppelmayr Connect control system for an Austrian gondola in March, raising cyber security concerns. Doppelmayr says the issue has been fixed and no riders were ever at risk.
Each spring, the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group compiles its accomplishments from the prior year to create a brochure like no other with stellar photography and statistics called Worldwide. The 2018 book, which went live for download yesterday, features 104 installations in 21 countries including an impressive seven aerial tramways and 33 gondolas. Standouts among the 2017 class include:
The Stoosbahn in Switzerland, the steepest ever funicular ever built with round passenger pods that self-level.
A 120 passenger tramway on the Zugspitze in Germany with the world’s tallest lattice tower and a stunning vertical ascent of 6,381 feet.
The Trump Administration’s proposed tariffs target goods from China including “teleferics, chair lifts, ski draglines; and traction mechanisms for funiculars.” Outside contacted both Doppelmayr and Leitner-Poma for comment with interesting results.
More contractors and employees say the Hermitage Club didn’t fully pay them and the Town of Wilmington may hold a tax sale in June.
A man claims he was left to spend a cold night on one of Gore Mountain’s chairlifts and wasn’t found until the next morning, April Fool’s Day.
A bullwheel bearing issue on Nob Hill at Sugar Bowl throws a major wrench in the end of the season.
We regret to inform you, Nob Hill lift is closed for the remainder of the season. The repairs will take several days to accomplish & cannot begin until after the upcoming storm. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Tomorrow all resort services via Judah portal only.
I started this blog three years ago this week as an off season project. It now sees 215,000 page views each month from 40,000+ unique visitors. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make Lift Blog a success!
Crystal Mountain owner John Kircher revives the idea of a second gondola to Campbell Basin, which would be around 7,800′ long and closely follow the one time path of an SLI double chair.
Vermont shuts down the Hermitage Club for a third time as morelawsuits are filed against the business and its founder. One by a food service company argues, “The dire financial circumstances facing the defendants compel the plaintiff to press forward with alacrity…the collectible assets of the defendants appear to be dwindling.”
The New York City Economic Development Corporation is again studying a gondola to connect Lower Manhattan with a redeveloped Governors Island.
With 2,400 cabins headed out the door this year alone, CWA is expanding its production capabilities in Switzerland. Photos from the factory floor show new cabins bound for Montana, Hawaii and more.
Park City’s NPR station reports a chair slid into another chair on the Jupiter lift in January, resulting in an injury, three day closure and now litigation.
Approval of Woodward Park City is upheld, paving the way for construction of a fixed-grip quad.
A real estate development now under construction includes money for reopening New York’s Big Tupper with up to five lifts.
New owners at Owl’s Head, Quebec may spend up to $150 million on new lifts and other improvements. The mountain currently includes three 1980s-era detachables including the world’s first high-speed quad from Breckenridge.
Lift construction season is here! Thanks to Carleton G. for these photos of Waterville Valley’s new LST T-Bar.