Vermont

20 thoughts on “Vermont

    • sullivanq March 26, 2020 / 11:53 am

      They withdrew their act 250 permit a little while ago. The borvig they had has been invaded by trees and is probalby very deteriorated. Would require great restoration, plus a new base lodge. Still possible, but will likely suffer the same fate as haystack.

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      • ne_skier February 7, 2021 / 4:27 pm

        Snow Valley was only really able to survive due to the then-lack of competition in the area. There was no Stratton or Magic, and Bromley was merely a J-Bar ski area when they opened. With the Golden Triangle already sporting just about every kind of Eastern terrain and doing a good job of it (Stratton has good groomers, glades, occasionally ungroomed stuff, a big village w/ amenities; Magic has perhaps the best ungroomed terrain in South VT; Bromley is good in terms of terrain diversity if you have skiers of far different levels in your group), there isn’t much of a place for it anymore. The double in my view sorta seems to be a last-ditch effort to bring skiers to the area, after they all flocked to the other 3 resorts in the area which were developing much faster (All 3 had chairlifts 15+ years before SV, despite two opening 20ish years after it), and it still didn’t help, the area closing in ’84

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      • Teddy's Lift World March 26, 2020 / 3:05 pm

        I’ve hiked around there and have seen the lower portion of the double chair. Give it 5 years and that chair will be done for. The only thing keeping any tension on the line is the fact that the bullwheel/tension carriage is resting against the end of the return terminal. It could easily collapse and several parts of the line have deroped from the sheave assemblies. It’s quite a surreal site so enjoy an intact abandoned double chair in the middle of the woods while you still can.

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        • Tyler Baroody March 24, 2021 / 3:37 pm

          Who owns it? I want to write them a letter about that. Something needs to be done!

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  1. Tyler Baroody March 24, 2021 / 3:39 pm

    Maple Valley is on the track to reopening!…and a brewery…(not Snow Valley, unfortunately).

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  2. Tyler Baroody March 24, 2021 / 3:40 pm

    At least Snow Valley is for sale.

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    • ne_skier March 24, 2021 / 6:26 pm

      As I said above, I sadly don’t think it has much of a future ahead of it. Bromley, Stratton, and Magic for the most part dominate the region. They could try “Keeping up with the joneses” of Bromley and Stratton (What Magic attempted to do a while back, flopped spectacularly) but I doubt they could attract any skiers who would ordinary ski at Stratton or Bromley. As for differentiation, it worked for Magic because there was no other resort at the time south of Killington that had serious, ungroomed expert terrain. With just about all bases covered in southern Vermont, I’m not sure what Snow Valley really has to differentiate itself with, and the fact that it would be the smallest chairlift-served ski area in the region isn’t doing it any favors. I’d love to see it succeed just as I would with any abandoned ski area, but I’m just not sure it can.

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  3. skitheeast November 9, 2021 / 2:15 pm

    For a state with ski resorts as spread out as Vermont, there is a lot of theoretical consolidation that could be done. Mt. Snow/Hermitage, Killington/Pico, Sugarbush/MRG, and Stowe/Smuggs all have varying levels of feasibility, plus Magic could always reopen Timber Ridge if they grow their business to a large enough size.

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    • ne_skier November 9, 2021 / 4:21 pm

      Of all of those possibilities, I’d say that Killington-Pico and Mt. Snow-Haystack are the most feasible. As for Killington-Pico, most of the framework is already there, and connecting the two mountains isn’t a new concept. Like all of these, it’s a matter of the mountain’s management to determine whether or not there’s any monetary benefit that comes with connecting the two.

      Honestly, I see little future for Haystack operating as an independent ski area. Haystack has always had a rivalry with Mount Snow since its inception and it has always been on the losing side of said rivalry, hence Haystack’s history of constant closures and reopenings. If Mount Snow saw some sort of benefit from it, I’m sure they could find a way to annex the two areas.

      The problem shared by both Sugarbush-MRG and Stowe-Smuggs, and no I am not an expert in this, is that there seem to be stark differences in the types of people who ski at the areas you’re proposing merging. Yeah, it sounds like a high school rivalry from a shitty 90s movie, but I wouldn’t be surprised if an SB-MRG merge resulted in a fair bit of outrage, particularly on the MRG side. There would also have to be some compromise on MRG’s part concerning the snowboarder ban.

      Smuggler’s Notch also markets itself vastly differently from Stowe. Stowe seems to advertise itself as a glitzy, glamorous “resort experience” while Smuggler’s Notch advertises itself as a challenging yet family-friendly mountain. There would probably be less outrage due to a Stowe-Smugglers merger than there would be due to a Sugarbush-MRG merger, so it’s probably a bit more feasible, just a matter of if each mountain’s audience would care much for the other resort.

      Magic re-expanding into Timberside is a concept that gets brought up a lot, and I get why. Just look at Google Earth, it’s practically a whole separate ski area sitting there waiting for Magic to claim it. I see success in Magic’s future, and it is feasible that they will someday have the funds for such an expansion. But all in all, why would Magic really want to do it? Magic found success under the Hatheway ownership once it started heavily marketing itself as a quiet, fun, challenging, bullshit-free ski experience. Although it’s nothing new for someone used to skiing challenging terrain out west, it probably has some of the best, if not the best ungroomed skiing south of Rutland. This gives it its own unique clientele, largely made up of expert skiers, and I’d be surprised if they found that annexing Timberside, a much more mellow face, would do them much good.

      Will be interesting to see if Killington-Pico and the interconnect come up again, along with future plans for Haystack.

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      • skitheeast November 9, 2021 / 8:02 pm

        Powdr’s position is that they need to increase their skier visits by about 20% in order to justify connecting Killington and Pico.

        I have no idea if Vail has any interest in expanding Mount Snow to the point of needing Haystack/Hermitage, but it will likely depend on their long-term northeast strategy (whether they truly see them as destinations or feeders).

        MRG is a co-op, so they really have no need for Sugarbush and like to remain fiercely independent, so this is probably the least likely one to occur.

        Vail has an eye for Smuggs and would like to bring it into the Stowe fold, but Smuggs’ owner Bill Stritzler is not interested in selling, so it will likely only occur once Stritzler gets too old to run the resort. I am not sure if he has kids, but if he has more than one then selling is often easier than splitting ownership.

        Magic needs to grow and succeed within its own footprint before looking towards Timber Ridge, and this will take a number of years given their capital constraints. However, it will eventually be necessary if they are able to continue their growth.

        I would like to see all of them occur, as I am definitely in the bigger is often better camp (especially after skiing Park City/Canyons before and after), but I would be surprised if more than three of them occur.

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        • Mike B November 10, 2021 / 2:27 pm

          I don’t see any of these happening outside of Killington/Pico. Different ownership of the two sides for the other mountains is a pretty big hurdle to overcome. Then let’s break them down individually:

          – MRG/SB: Never going to happen. MRG will be an independent Co-op indefinitely, with any sort of combination with corporate Alterra being truly a last resort if there is no other way to survive.

          – Magic/Timberside: Magic ownership isn’t all that deep pocketed, and you’d be looking at a minimum of $5M to bring Timberside back to life. It’s been difficult enough for them to get the current footprint and infrastructure back into working order after several years of trying. They certainly have momentum in the market place, but it’s hard for me to imagine that the investment required would pencil out or be worth the risk, even assuming they could come up with the capital.

          – Mt. Snow/Haystack: Pretty sure this concept is permanently dead due to environmental or regulatory hurdles. Regardless, Mt. Snow has the one thing they need from Haystack already – water rights for snowmaking. With ample developable land around the base and an ageing lift fleet, I can’t imagine that Vail’s priorities will include taking on a project of that magnitude in the next 20 years, if ever.

          – Stowe/Smuggs: With the relocation of the summit terminal on Spruce Peak, it’s a much more difficult connection to make physically – can’t glide over to Smuggs anymore (if you ever could). Without significant infrastructure investments to relocate summit terminals on both the Smuggs side and Stowe side this won’t be happening. And that’s before considering the practical reality that there are two different owners of these hills and Smuggs seems unlikely to sell to Vail – they’ve built a really distinct culture and brand.

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        • carletongebhardt January 15, 2022 / 9:07 am

          Vail typically buys mountains with a least a fairly modern infrastructure that they don’t have to pour money into off the bat. While I think they would want Smuggs, they’d be faced with upgrading just about every lift to bring it in line with the ‘Experience of a Lifetime” – so I don’t think they are in any hurry acquire it.

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  4. Matthew March 3, 2022 / 10:27 am

    Peter, is Roundtop on your list places. I believe vail now owns it

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    • Tijsen March 3, 2022 / 11:21 am

      If you are talking about Round Top Vt it is not owned by Vail it is still for sale for 6,500,000.

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    • Danny Bryant March 3, 2022 / 12:05 pm

      Roundtop Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania is owned by Vail.

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  5. skier72 November 5, 2022 / 10:18 pm

    If you’re being specific, there’s also a private poma-serviced ski area called Seaver Hill. The platter looks older than the one at Grill Hill though.

    https://newenglandskihistory.com/lifts/viewlift.php?id=980

    In addition to more private lift-served mountains, there’s one called Cosmic Hill that features a Mueller T-Bar. The owner has a YouTube channel featuring lots of videos of the t-bar in action.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/Stringsvibe1

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  6. Randy November 6, 2022 / 11:15 am

    What’s the latest on Oak Mountain’s T-Bar being installed at Farr’s Hill? Thought that was to be done this season.

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