Hermitage Club "Downhill slide continues"

Unfortunately, the bad news continues as the Hermitage Club appears to be in meltdown. Several storise in Brattleboro Reformer and Deerfield Valley News. Check out the links:
http://www.dvalnews.com/view/full_story/27547385/article-Bank-files-for-foreclosure-on-Hermitage-properties?instance=secondary_story

What does the future hold for club and it's facilities?

Comments

  • Some nice equipment could be going up for auction. That 6 pack could go nice on Sunbrook or Northface.
  • Facing foreclosure http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=660

    IDK if this can be blamed on the private market like the previous attempt to revive Haystack.  I think this is yet another example of a ski area taking too much debt too quickly.  Much like how LBO absorbed S-K-I's massive debt with the formation of ASC which directly led to its downfall.
  • edited February 25
    From what I’ve been reading many of the members are looking to make a purchase of the club. If the club goes into a bankruptcy filing perhaps this might make sense to save the club, keep the facility and lifts intact, and give it a fresh start under the eyes and management of those who take fiscally responsible seriously.
  • Most private golf clubs are member equity. Would you rather put thousands of dollars a year into a place run by someone with poor financial and regulatory control, or some place you have some say and control over? Latter for me if I had that money.
  • Ooh I like the way u think Newman
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • edited February 25
    Facing foreclosure http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=660

    IDK if this can be blamed on the private market like the previous attempt to revive Haystack.  I think this is yet another example of a ski area taking too much debt too quickly.  Much like how LBO absorbed S-K-I's massive debt with the formation of ASC which directly led to its downfall.
    SKI didn't have massive debt, they where operating in the black when Often purchased them in 1996. I was a SKI shareholder for 6 years up to that point. Otten just made poor business decisions after that time and the late 90's winter's where crappy.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • Facing foreclosure http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=660

    IDK if this can be blamed on the private market like the previous attempt to revive Haystack.  I think this is yet another example of a ski area taking too much debt too quickly.  Much like how LBO absorbed S-K-I's massive debt with the formation of ASC which directly led to its downfall.
    SKI didn't have massive debt, they where operating in the black when Often purchased them in 1996. I was a SKI shareholder for 6 years up to that point. Otten just made poor business decisions after that time and the late 90's winter's where crappy.

    I'm not a big fan of Otten, but in his attempt to resurrect the Balsams, he learned from his mistakes.  He has all the permits lined up.  

    Remember: Sugarbush was supposed to be the crown jewel of his empire and he expected the citizens of Waitsfield to rubber stamp his plan.  To his surprise, they said "no" repeatedly.  Without the debt servicing for the amount he sunk into Sugarbush/Glen Ellen, I'm not sure that ASC wouldn't have survived.
  • Per New England Ski History's page on ASC, ASC assumed $58.5M in S-K-I debt with the merger.
  • Rumor today while talking with a member at a race our kids were at at Pico is that the doors get locked on Wednesday....
  • edited February 26
    obienick said:

    Per New England Ski History's page on ASC, ASC assumed $58.5M in S-K-I debt with the merger.

    That does not seem seem correct, SKI was in the black for more than 30 years including the years I was a shareholder.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • edited February 26
    One thing I can say is that dumb dumb Otten offered $18.00 a share for SKI stock trading at $12.00. I owned 1000 shares, so I was happy.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • edited February 26
    sugarloaf said:

    Per New England Ski History's page on ASC, ASC assumed $58.5M in S-K-I debt with the merger.
    The two aren't mutually exclusive. Just like anyone with a mortgage. They might be making plenty of money each year, but they still have debt.

    If i recall correctly everything Les did in the east is small potatoes compared to overpaying for Steamboat and Heavenly.
  • What's Haystack like to ski? The trail map on the website looks interesting in terms of layout but that doesn't do much for what it's like on the ground. I've been there once-- but not to ski. We did a SAR on the back side looking for a missing kid in 1986. 
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • edited February 26
    .
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Facing foreclosure http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=660

    IDK if this can be blamed on the private market like the previous attempt to revive Haystack.  I think this is yet another example of a ski area taking too much debt too quickly.  Much like how LBO absorbed S-K-I's massive debt with the formation of ASC which directly led to its downfall.
    SKI didn't have massive debt, they where operating in the black when Often purchased them in 1996. I was a SKI shareholder for 6 years up to that point. Otten just made poor business decisions after that time and the late 90's winter's where crappy.



    I'm not a big fan of Otten, but in his attempt to resurrect the Balsams, he learned from his mistakes.  He has all the permits lined up.  

    Remember: Sugarbush was supposed to be the crown jewel of his empire and he expected the citizens of Waitsfield to rubber stamp his plan.  To his surprise, they said "no" repeatedly.  Without the debt servicing for the amount he sunk into Sugarbush/Glen Ellen, I'm not sure that ASC wouldn't have survived.


    Warren said no. Lincoln Peak lodge all located in Warren. Waitsfield had nothing to do with the lodge failure.

    Interesting how Win has been able to do so much development where LBO lost out on one hotel.
  • edited February 26

    Facing foreclosure http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=660

    IDK if this can be blamed on the private market like the previous attempt to revive Haystack.  I think this is yet another example of a ski area taking too much debt too quickly.  Much like how LBO absorbed S-K-I's massive debt with the formation of ASC which directly led to its downfall.
    SKI didn't have massive debt, they where operating in the black when Often purchased them in 1996. I was a SKI shareholder for 6 years up to that point. Otten just made poor business decisions after that time and the late 90's winter's where crappy.

    I'm not a big fan of Otten, but in his attempt to resurrect the Balsams, he learned from his mistakes.  He has all the permits lined up.  

    Remember: Sugarbush was supposed to be the crown jewel of his empire and he expected the citizens of Waitsfield to rubber stamp his plan.  To his surprise, they said "no" repeatedly.  Without the debt servicing for the amount he sunk into Sugarbush/Glen Ellen, I'm not sure that ASC wouldn't have survived.


    Warren said no. Lincoln Peak lodge all located in Warren. Waitsfield had nothing to do with the lodge failure.

    Interesting how Win has been able to do so much development where LBO lost out on one hotel.

    Joshua Segal's comment to lotsoskiing's comment above:


    Win courted the town with tact and diplomacy as opposed to the "heavy hand" of ASC.  Of course you are correct about Warren vs. Waitsfield.
  • Facing foreclosure http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=660

    IDK if this can be blamed on the private market like the previous attempt to revive Haystack.  I think this is yet another example of a ski area taking too much debt too quickly.  Much like how LBO absorbed S-K-I's massive debt with the formation of ASC which directly led to its downfall.
    SKI didn't have massive debt, they where operating in the black when Often purchased them in 1996. I was a SKI shareholder for 6 years up to that point. Otten just made poor business decisions after that time and the late 90's winter's where crappy.

    I'm not a big fan of Otten, but in his attempt to resurrect the Balsams, he learned from his mistakes.  He has all the permits lined up.  

    Remember: Sugarbush was supposed to be the crown jewel of his empire and he expected the citizens of Waitsfield to rubber stamp his plan.  To his surprise, they said "no" repeatedly.  Without the debt servicing for the amount he sunk into Sugarbush/Glen Ellen, I'm not sure that ASC wouldn't have survived.
    Warren said no. Lincoln Peak lodge all located in Warren. Waitsfield had nothing to do with the lodge failure.

    Interesting how Win has been able to do so much development where LBO lost out on one hotel.


    Win courted the town with tact and diplomacy as opposed to the "heavy hand" of ASC.  Of course you are correct about Warren vs. Waitsfield.



    Agreed- Win has certainly done a much better job of connecting to the community. 
  • I always thought it was what Otten did after he took over SKI that did ASC in. They not only purchased many resorts in a short time, but he then borrowed lots to instsll all of those new lifts and his Grand Summit Hotels. Too much debt too quickly. Too bad our President and the ruling GOP didn't learn from Otten's mistakes.
  • edited February 26
    All the big on-mountain development at x-LBO resorts were done before the merger. The Bear Peak expansion, Cranmore's HSQ, the massive lift replacement at Sugarbush, Sunday River's growth. The x-SKI reaorts got nearly nothing on-mountain:

    Haystack - operations slashed

    Killington - K1, Needles Eye, Northbrook, & Ramshead & hotel ... Pico was purchased and ops slashed

    Mount Snow - Canyon & Carinthia upgrades, parts formed Discovery & Tumbleweed, & hotel

    Sugarloaf - Wifffletree upgrade, parts formed Timberline & hotel

    Waterville Valley - nothing, sold quickly due to DOJ

    To this day, the x-SKI resorts are struggling with crumbling lift infrastructure while the x-LBO ones are in far better shape.

    These few lifts that were installed were done in an era with much stronger competition among ski lift manufacturers and a HSQ cost ~36% of what it is today while inflation only accounts for ~29% of that cost increase. Where was the DOJ during the manufacturer consolidation?

    That $15M or so in lift upgrades were not the downfall of ASC. Remember they assumed nearly 4x in existing debt from S-K-I.
  • Having lived in Waitsfield from 1994 to 1999 and witnessing the Sugarbush transformation, it was welcomed but most people always questioned what it was he was trying to do. With far worse highway access than it's neighboring resorts (that he was trying to compete with) and the population centers. The consensus that I remember was it was too much investment too fast to be financially recovered in any reasonable amount of time.

    I typically skied at either North or South (as we called them in that era) 6 days a week and other than the weekends, the place was a ghost town. All the lifts were running, all the lodges open. Even on the weekends North was not very busy. They also made a hell of a lot more snow than they do now. I can imagine now how much they were bleeding.
  • edited February 26

    Remember: Sugarbush was supposed to be the crown jewel of his empire and he expected the citizens of Waitsfield to rubber stamp his plan.  To his surprise, they said "no" repeatedly.  Without the debt servicing for the amount he sunk into Sugarbush/Glen Ellen, I'm not sure that ASC wouldn't have survived.
    Warren said no. Lincoln Peak lodge all located in Warren. Waitsfield had nothing to do with the lodge failure.

    Interesting how Win has been able to do so much development where LBO lost out on one hotel.
    Win courted the town with tact and diplomacy as opposed to the "heavy hand" of ASC.  Of course you are correct about Warren vs. Waitsfield.



    Agreed- Win has certainly done a much better job of connecting to the community. 



    I seem to remember it was a rough start for Win as well. The Pitcher Inn took forever to get reopened, and the town seemed to be opposed to anything Smith proposed. he jumped thru a lot of hoops for them, so I think he earned their trust. That's what helped him be able to move forward with purchasing the mountain, and developing it, when others had failed.

    I do think Les Otten does deserve some credit with that one year of upgrades, snowmaking, new lifts, Slide Brook connection/compromise. He was able to do what others couldn't. Not saying it was done in a fiscally responsible way, but I would have to believe everyone was happy with the upgraded mountain.  

  • edited February 26
    obienick said:

    All the big on-mountain development at x-LBO resorts were done before the merger. The Bear Peak expansion, Cranmore's HSQ, the massive lift replacement at Sugarbush, Sunday River's growth. The x-SKI reaorts got nearly nothing on-mountain:

    Haystack - operations slashed

    Killington - K1, Needles Eye, Northbrook, & Ramshead & hotel ... Pico was purchased and ops slashed

    Mount Snow - Canyon & Carinthia upgrades, parts formed Discovery & Tumbleweed, & hotel

    Sugarloaf - Wifffletree upgrade, parts formed Timberline & hotel

    Waterville Valley - nothing, sold quickly due to DOJ

    To this day, the x-SKI resorts are struggling with crumbling lift infrastructure while the x-LBO ones are in far better shape.

    These few lifts that were installed were done in an era with much stronger competition among ski lift manufacturers and a HSQ cost ~36% of what it is today while inflation only accounts for ~29% of that cost increase. Where was the DOJ during the manufacturer consolidation?

    That $15M or so in lift upgrades were not the downfall of ASC. Remember they assumed nearly 4x in existing debt from S-K-I.

    The Superquad at Sugarloaf was done by SKI with 51% ownership in 1994. The hotel is from the 1980's.
    How are the ex SKI resorts struggling with crumbling lift infrastructure? SKI hasn't owned those resorts in 22 years. Powdr/SP Land do the bare minimum for Killington with 1 new lift in 10 years.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • I was never a shareholder with ASC, to me Otten / ASC just expanded way too fast, spending money he didn't have.
    The late 90's winters where also fairly awful, which didn't help.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • edited February 26
    bmwskier said:

    What's Haystack like to ski? The trail map on the website looks interesting in terms of layout but that doesn't do much for what it's like on the ground. I've been there once-- but not to ski. We did a SAR on the back side looking for a missing kid in 1986. 

    I skied it twice before the Bubble chair was installed or the new lodge completed. I found it to be very enjoyable. No doubt the lack of people on the mountain and lack of payment to ski had something to do with that feeling. I found it to be a solid intermediate mountain with some short expert runs thrown in for good measure. The lower section of the mountain below the lodge would be wasted on most skiers as it is pretty green with a mid station unloading from a quad. But I made good use of one narrow trail down there the greenies didn't want to try on a semi powder day. The Witches pod on the upper left (south) side of the mountain has some decent runs albeit short. There's also some nice glade skiing up there. Then straight down off the summit are 3 good expert pitches. Oh-No comes to mind. Again they aren't too long and turn into blues a third of the way down. I know JD has been there and can probably add more. 
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • It has been about 20 years I think since I've skied Haystack - but I agree with ski_it's assessment. It is a decent mid-sized mountain, with enough variety for a weekend. The Witches pod had some nice expert terrain. There were a lot of nooks and crannies to explore.

    We have the former summit triple over here at West Mountain. The pads on the chairs still say "Hermitage Club" on it!
  • bmwskier said:

    What's Haystack like to ski? The trail map on the website looks interesting in terms of layout but that doesn't do much for what it's like on the ground. I've been there once-- but not to ski. We did a SAR on the back side looking for a missing kid in 1986. 

    I recall Haystack being a bit of a PITA to ski. The main lift wasn't installed going straight up the fall line (Oh No was I think, but that lift was removed). So the trails are a bit chopped up by the main two lifts. There is a massive upper mountain flat spot so taking the upper mountain lift required some skating and poling after the first pitch ended.

    Witches was a solid trail pod, the rest of the mountain was pretty meh. Looks like they renamed most of the trails with kinda lame names, especially the Witches. When I skied there, the lower mountain beginner terrain was not serviced so it was intermediates and above only. 

    Not a bad place to go on the cheap. A solid mid-sized plus mountain. Great option for something less crowded, less expensive, and off the beaten path, especially for those that preferred mostly groomed terrain with just a few somewhat challenging options. Bromley would be the closest analog for an area still in operation. 
  • riverc0il said:

    bmwskier said:

     Looks like they renamed most of the trails with kinda lame names, especially the Witches.  

    Yes, they renamed a bunch of trails after songs from artists that played there.  Some pretty big names, doubt they pulled a profit with those events, but I have no clue.
  • It's hard to see how The Hermitage Club doesn't end up with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing very soon.
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