Hermitage to go into Receivership

"Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
Greg Stump
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Comments

  • I was wondering why it took so long. 
  • Seems to have worked for Jay/Burke....hope Haystack can survive.
  • What are the pros/cons of Haystack versus Burke/Jay? 
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • Good! This is the only way Club members will get their playground back. Barnes had literally no idea what he was doing, his HR director was a train wreck for 3 years having no idea how to hire or fire people, so much so that she's named in the lawsuit for wrongful termination by the gay couple that Barnes decided he was going to torment like a grade school bully. Meanwhile the Inn was borderline Motel 6ing it in the kitchen for two years because the guys who knew how to cook were at the Clubhouse or fired.

    It was just a place that Barnes decided I'm going to hire all my friends and their friends and give em a job in management doing something, I just don't know what yet. Then the money starts to disappear, rumors spread like wildfire(the people I work with now, in a 30-45 minute drive from the Club, knew nothing about the Club except for three things... 1) the rumor about Barnes and a girl 2) that when the Club was opening they called looking not to work with but to get free stuff 3) some bastard from Connecticut bought the mountain and made a private ski area for the rich taking it away from us normal folk! So that's a peak into the reputation the operation has amongst some Southern Vermonters.
  • bmwskier said:

    What are the pros/cons of Haystack versus Burke/Jay? 

    Don't know the financial specifics, but my guess is that without the EB-5 piece, Haystack would be a simpler one to settle. Will defer to folks who know better. 
    Also: one entity to manage, plus an upscale inn that (I believe) does ok. 
    Con is that it is still a small ski area (cue defenders here), pro it is closer to large segments of well-heeled civilization (cue people who will remind us that Montreal is close to Jay). 
    Con is that the club aspect may act much in the way the EB-5 gig works and Jay/Burke. Many investors will need to be dealt with.
    The local knowledge is good to know. Makes you appreciate even more the ski area operators/owners out there who do a great job at maintaining good relationships in the area. 
  • Lotsoskiing said: "Con is that it is still a small ski area (cue defenders here)"

    Really? Small?
    Bromley 1334'
    Haystack 1400'
    Mount Snow 1700'

    and if you don't count the flat land down to Rte. 4, Killington is only 1700'.
  • Lotsoskiing said: "Con is that it is still a small ski area (cue defenders here)"


    Really? Small?
    Bromley 1334'
    Haystack 1400'
    Mount Snow 1700'

    and if you don't count the flat land down to Rte. 4, Killington is only 1700'.
    Whatever. It's not a big area when you compare with Burke/Jay or other major resorts. IMO Bromley is a small area. Not just talking about vertical, but now this discussion will go off the rails...
    Small does not mean bad, just not splashy for possible investor. You are entitled to your own interpretation.
  • bmwskier said:

    What are the pros/cons of Haystack versus Burke/Jay? 

    Ahhhh Haystack might be kinda sorta maybe like Burke a little bit, kinda sorta not really. Haystack has almost nothing at all in common with Jay. Each mountain is in a different kind of sitaution with Jay/Burke being EB-5 and state corruption at the tippy top being the problem while at Haystack it was one man running a tiny ponzi-esque scheme for the richest. The clientele could not be more different too.

    Haystack will be easier to settle because everyone involved does want the mountain to succeed and the overall financial aspect is much much smaller. Also I personally think that Jay will bring in a kind of bidding war amongst buyers with a pretty high selling price for the whole resort. Meanwhile Hermitage Club members may need to step up in order for them to find a good buyer. The club aspect does not work like EB-5 for most members, there are a select few that are part of the ownership I believe. 

    It is more than just one Inn and the ski area however. The Inn does not do all that well, it succeeds now as a part of the Club with the direct lift access in the backyard. Without the ski area or the lift it will close almost very fast. I cannot see it reopening without the ski area except maybe Mount Snow's busiest weekends. There are a few other properties, some of which are not in this foreclosure, but going through their own tax sale process at the moment(Vermont House and White House). There is also the complicated relationship with the couple that owns the airport land now, that "airport" still served as the main offices of the Club until the shutdown.
  • For rich people who like Mt. Snow-like skiing without lift lines, that's an easy drive from the greater NYC metropolitan area, it's the only option!

    I skied there a bunch of time in the late '60s/early 70s and thought it provided a very nice day's skiing.

    Jay has better terrain, but it appeals more to the Montreal crowd; Burke tends to draw the east-of-the-CT-River crowd.
  • edited May 20
    Whoa Joshua coming in HOTTT like your cousin Steven much?(i kid, i kid) Chilllllll man, you must be involved in some capacity to be saying silly things like this. Don't lie like that, I've skied Haystack/Hermitage more than 20 days the last three years and you and I both know Haystack is NOT Mount Snow terrain wise and the vert does not compare so just stop it. The vert number you listed is very misleading, but you knew that when you wrote it. Barnstormer(how much does that name last lmfao) comes in at 1180 vert and that is the real ski area. It takes a bit of work not to even ski down to the lower mountain to ride that last 250 or so feet down there.

    Then there is the gigantic problem of the mid mountain bump/flat spot that borderline requires skating on half of the trails on the main face and really hurts the mountain. It is so obvious they built a freaking house up there! Add in the fact that only Witches and the very very top of Oh No offer any excitement or pitch and Bromley skis much much larger than Haystack does and if Witches is not open then it is not even close. Haystack is a great little mountain for what it is, but in reality it is not the only option as you claim nor does it ski Mount Snow or bigger than Bromley. 

    PS... You seriously brought up Killington to compare in literally ANY category at all??? DUDE you gotta be on something this morning cause usually you are spot on, but yikes
  • I'm thinking more along the lines of what would attract someone to buy it. Jay has the whole Canadian crowd/waterpark/hockey arena thing going for it to create more revenue. Burke has the Kingdom Trails in the summer and it's quirky, off piste vibe so it has a dedicated group of skiers. 

    What does Haystack have that separates it from every other area in Southern Vermont? How would a new buyer have to market it/invest in order to make it a viable place to buy and then run as business? 

    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • edited May 20
    What he said, was for the rich to ski without any lift lines who like Mt Snowish terrain, it is the option.
    My 2nd interpretation: For the super rich who like intermediate skiing with no lift lines in southern Vermont it WAS the only option.

    But don’t forget Plymouth..
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • bmwskier said:

    I'm thinking more along the lines of what would attract someone to buy it. Jay has the whole Canadian crowd/waterpark/hockey arena thing going for it to create more revenue. Burke has the Kingdom Trails in the summer and it's quirky, off piste vibe so it has a dedicated group of skiers. 


    What does Haystack have that separates it from every other area in Southern Vermont? How would a new buyer have to market it/invest in order to make it a viable place to buy and then run as business? 

    It has the nicest base lodge in New England and probably the best lift infrastructure as well with the new Skytrac Quads, the sexy heated bubble 6 pack, and two very well cared for refurbed Poma triples from the mid-80's. Keep in mind they also have some of the lowest operating hour counts in the country for primary lifts because of the operating schedule of the club. Also the snowmaking and grooming is the absolute best of the best that money could buy from Prinoth and Techno Alpin. I really think, sadly, that if you sold every single thing on mountain and were able to find a buyer for the clubhouse as almost like a private home with a big backyard, they would have some work to do but you could easily remake the building into a private home with the right architect looking at it, you would make almost as much that way than you would running the mountain for 5 or 10 years. This is the mountains third or fourth shut down since opening way back when. 

    The best business plan for someone that wants to open the mountain and run a ski area would be trying to catch the growing crowds at Mount Snow and run a bare bones operation with a big summer business maybe trying to be the ultimate downhill mountain bike park like over at Highland because that operation has been very succesful for over ten years now.
  • To Sully:

    As I suggested, I last skied Haystack in 1973.

    The truth is: Most skiers prefer well groomed intermediate terrain to the the steeps and the gnarl.  That's why Loon and Waterville consistently outdraw Cannon.

    And one of the reason Mt. Snow is so popular is because of its wide and expansive intermediate terrain.  The key thing: no lift lines.  I don't think you'll find that to be the case on any decent weekend at Mt. Snow.
  • Hmmm.   

    Wonder if Peak might be interested at the right price? 

    They are in the neighborhood and looking to grow, think of the possibilities, maybe a win-win for the valley, the real estate owners and skiers:

    • The Hermitage base lodge could be repurposed to a Mt Snow Club (like Stratton Club).
    • More options for skiing, maybe eventually connecting the 2 mountains like Sunday River (Long legal lead time), a lot more variety in the Blue trail class without having to drive.
    • Mt. Snow has the water supply to keep mirror lake full from West Lake, pipe in the street already.
    • Advantage of scale for mechanical support, grooming, food service, seasonal events, staff etc..
    • More control of lodging, no new competitors (for skier visits and for labor in the valley).
    • 2 golf courses and they could probably pick up the airport as well.
    • Compliments their ability to pursue events & conventions.  
    .. and the new condo EB-5 is on hold due to vagaries in Washington so they may even have some extra staff available.
  • It would be fantastic if Peak did this after getting Mount Snow on the run they are on with West Lake, Carinthia, beating K early season and pushing late. However, as many are probably about to yell about, Peak seems to have exactly zero interest in Haystack. Rumor has it they've done their due diligence, seen what needs to be seen, and we're satisfied staying away. I have argued for the same idea that you are here over on AZ and it wasnt received very well by the realistic crowd, but I still think it could work. When ASC sold Haystack it was a very different world.
  • Lotsoskiing said: "Con is that it is still a small ski area (cue defenders here)"


    Really? Small?
    Bromley 1334'
    Haystack 1400'
    Mount Snow 1700'

    and if you don't count the flat land down to Rte. 4, Killington is only 1700'.
    That '1400 vert for the Hermitage needs a MASSIVE asterisks next to it, since the lower roughly 350 feet of it requires traversing what is easily a 1/4 mile flat to even slightly uphill section to access it from the upper mountain, and even the upper mountain's vert requires negotiating a couple hundred yard flattish area mid mountain...

    As for Mount Snow's 1700.... Unless one is skiing to the base of the tubing hill, the actual vertical, based on the literally thousands of runs I've taken on the hill with my Trace Snow App running is 1600ft...

    Bromley I'll agree (as does my Trace laps there) at that a bit over 1300 listing...

  • NELSBEER said:

    Hmmm.   

    Wonder if Peak might be interested at the right price? 

    They are in the neighborhood and looking to grow, think of the possibilities, maybe a win-win for the valley, the real estate owners and skiers:

    • The Hermitage base lodge could be repurposed to a Mt Snow Club (like Stratton Club).
    • More options for skiing, maybe eventually connecting the 2 mountains like Sunday River (Long legal lead time), a lot more variety in the Blue trail class without having to drive.
    • Mt. Snow has the water supply to keep mirror lake full from West Lake, pipe in the street already.
    • Advantage of scale for mechanical support, grooming, food service, seasonal events, staff etc..
    • More control of lodging, no new competitors (for skier visits and for labor in the valley).
    • 2 golf courses and they could probably pick up the airport as well.
    • Compliments their ability to pursue events & conventions.  
    .. and the new condo EB-5 is on hold due to vagaries in Washington so they may even have some extra staff available.
    My honest guess, given the bank numbers we're seeing now, is that if Peak pursued it, and I highly, highly, highly doubt they will. That to connect the 2, they'd be looking at a cost *if* the could get approval (and that's NOT a given) between permitting and legal fees and construction costs of a number similar, if not greater than what they'd be paying for the club at auction.... Just don't see how that's worth a likely 40 to 50 million dollar cost.....

  • I think they will probably be gutted and sold off which would be a huge waste. Or  I see a Brody coming here.  Which would super irritate me.

    I hope Mt Snow peak buys it puts in a Stratton like club and permits the general public to come in some way.  Really hope they connect the two it really isnt that far.  Especially considering a condo run already goes nearly half way.

    I agree it does not ski as big as Bromely but cannot remember the mid mountain flat people are talking about maybe I had more speed going in to it than most. I have not skied the new haystack but yeah going to the true bottom was a chore and only something i did once a day just because.  
    I love the mountain though had a lot of charracter and I used to ski it Just for the fact it had less traffic than snow.

    If it turn into a connected mt snow south tey will have to adjust parking cause it was at least 10 fifteen minutes closer especially going home back route
  • skizilla said:

    I think they will probably be gutted and sold off which would be a huge waste. Or  I see a Brody coming here.  Which would super irritate me.


    I hope Mt Snow peak buys it puts in a Stratton like club and permits the general public to come in some way.  Really hope they connect the two it really isnt that far.  Especially considering a condo run already goes nearly half way.

    I agree it does not ski as big as Bromely but cannot remember the mid mountain flat people are talking about maybe I had more speed going in to it than most. I have not skied the new haystack but yeah going to the true bottom was a chore and only something i did once a day just because.  
    I love the mountain though had a lot of charracter and I used to ski it Just for the fact it had less traffic than snow.

    If it turn into a connected mt snow south tey will have to adjust parking cause it was at least 10 fifteen minutes closer especially going home back route

    While you could likely cut a trail from Snow to Haystack at the Hermitage Inn via the Cold Brook ravine, I don't see how a return trail could be cut from Haystack to Snow.
    - Sam
  • skizilla said:

    I think they will probably be gutted and sold off which would be a huge waste. Or  I see a Brody coming here.  Which would super irritate me.


    I hope Mt Snow peak buys it puts in a Stratton like club and permits the general public to come in some way.  Really hope they connect the two it really isnt that far.  Especially considering a condo run already goes nearly half way.

    I agree it does not ski as big as Bromely but cannot remember the mid mountain flat people are talking about maybe I had more speed going in to it than most. I have not skied the new haystack but yeah going to the true bottom was a chore and only something i did once a day just because.  
    I love the mountain though had a lot of charracter and I used to ski it Just for the fact it had less traffic than snow.

    If it turn into a connected mt snow south tey will have to adjust parking cause it was at least 10 fifteen minutes closer especially going home back route

    While you could likely cut a trail from Snow to Haystack at the Hermitage Inn via the Cold Brook ravine, I don't see how a return trail could be cut from Haystack to Snow.
    Would need a lift.

    I vaguely recall seeing a map of proposed interconnect. Anyone have it? Might have been one of the fabled "design challenges" ....love those things...
  • edited May 21
    skizilla said:

    I agree it does not ski as big as Bromely but cannot remember the mid mountain flat people are talking about maybe I had more speed going in to it than most. I have not skied the new haystack but yeah going to the true bottom was a chore and only something i did once a day just because.  

    I love the mountain though had a lot of charracter and I used to ski it Just for the fact it had less traffic than snow.

    If it turn into a connected mt snow south tey will have to adjust parking cause it was at least 10 fifteen minutes closer especially going home back route
    Really? Too much speed to notice a flat spot you dink? Lmfao the things ppl say. Anyways, there is already a plan drawn up with two lifts and trails working to connect Sunbrook and Haystack. It is still available over on Newenglandskihistory under Mount Snow. Once you see the plans you'll want it more. Sadly though I agree with you, it is most likely to be sold off piecemeal, much more value in the 3 mint lifts($11 million maybe?), 2 refurbed Poma fixed grip triple(Snow Bowl just sold for a mil so we'll call this $2 million), groomers(if they own and didnt lease maybe  $1 million for the 3 or 4 Prinoths and Cattillac), and then the land itself.
  • edited May 21
    The map is on skimap.org, trail from ms to haystack is possible but probably so flat that it wouldn't be reasonable. There is an xc trail from the bottom of sunbrook to the Hermitage. Also super flat.

  • jaytrem said:

    The map is on skimap.org, trail from ms to haystack is possible but probably so flat that it wouldn't be reasonable. There is an xc trail from the bottom of sunbrook to the Hermitage. Also super flat.

    Linky: http://www.newenglandskihistory.com/skiareaexpansions/Vermont/mtsnow/deerfieldridge.php

    Looks cool...don't know who owns that land. If state, it will be a big issue...
  • The deed says that lift tickets can never be sold to the general public
  • edited May 21
    Bondman said:

    The deed says that lift tickets can never be sold to the general public

    Words that I also lived by on this subject until it was suggested to me that that "rule" ASC put in the deed was only valid for ten years. If that is not true then you just have to find a really good lawyer(don't forget you are asking local authorities to enforce this and thereby hurt the local economy, not gonna happen in these small little town). Also if Mount Snow bought it back, seeing as ASC is no longer, the issue would probably be wiped away quickly.

    Oh and they can currently sell tickets to the general public. You need to be a resident of Wilmington or Dover though to do so.
  • Until proven otherwise we must asume tix cant be sold to general public. If they could, Mt. Snow would be more interested. As it stands there is no reason for Mt. Snow to buy it and you can be sure their legal dpt. will make sure that the rule is well understood by any third party buyer.
     
  • edited May 21
    Bondman said:

    Until proven otherwise we must asume tix cant be sold to general public. If they could, Mt. Snow would be more interested. As it stands there is no reason for Mt. Snow to buy it and you can be sure their legal dpt. will make sure that the rule is well understood by any third party buyer.

     
    In addition to the legalities of a never ending "no public ski area" clause on a deed being a little sketchy, the 10 year clause was proven elsewhere on the interwebs, the small northeast ski forum world to be more exact, in the recent past. And again, if there is enough will between the new owners then local and state government would be very eager to help any and all development in this region, especially now that Barnes has been exposed as a fraud leaving some of the recent development in limbo.

    Peak is not interested in Haystack, end of story. The terrain is not that great and they have more than enough going on four miles up the street with Carinthia's base area being completely transformed with luxury condos that will attract the CT and NY crowds. It is slightly more likely that Stratton would buy in seeing as they at least looked at it recently and higher ups from Aspen have been around. They already have the exact clientele that Hermitage was gunning for and a lot of the middle management guys came over from Stratton and Stratton Club. It would serve as an extension of the Stratton Club, exactly what they need to keep growing that group.
  • edited May 21
    Can/has someone pulled the deed for the specific language?  edit: ouch, VT does it through the towns and you have to pay -- so backwards! if anyone is curious it's Town of Wilmington Map 2, Block 1, Parcels "HAYSTACK.SKI", "HERMITGE.SKI", and "HAYSTACK.BSL"

    Regardless, if Peak ended up getting Hermitage, releasing the restriction would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Edit 2:  even if Peak didn't get it, enforcement of deed restrictions is a private matter.  It would be up to Peak (or some pissed off local upset about "traffic" to sue the eventual owners and let that work its way years through court in order for it to be enforced.  They can always be a good neighbor and just let it slide.
  • Or they could just use the old Utah drinking club loop hole. Gotta be a member to ski here, $1 please. I wonder how that would fly. Or if they do rfid, call the purchase of the card a membership purchase.

    I also wonder if the receivership has any (or feels they have any) obligation to the current members. From what I've heard a lot of the member were good with something like a $5000 per year club. not a $10,000 per year club. So should be interesting to see what kind of plan they come up with.
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