Catamount Update

Catamount to Build Fifth Chairlift
August 21, 2018Peter Landsman

The Schaefer Family bought Catamount Ski Area just three months ago but already has grand plans for their second ski resort. Co-owner Jon Schaefer hopes to bring the same success to Catamount he did to Berkshire East, now a year-round destination that saw four new lifts in a recent twelve year stretch. Catamount, which sits partly in Massachusetts and half way in New York, is eighty years old. Previous owners Tom Gilbert and Don Edwards became unable to make the capital investments they knew they needed to. “To remain really competitive in the ski industry there’s many things that need to be done, and we’ve been trying over the years to raise some capital to do these projects,” Gilbert told the Berkshire Eagle in May following the sale announcement. “We realized we were not successful in raising capital and realized we needed to bring something in.” Berkshire East paid $650,000 for the mountain and retired Catamount’s $1.66 million in outstanding debt.

This Poma lift is slated for a third home on the Massachusetts-New York border. Photo credit: chairlift.org
A new triple chair will soon improve the beginner experience on the Massachusetts side of the mountain. The lift is a 1987 Poma Alpha model which began its life in Vermont as Magic Mountain’s Sun Corner lift. Magic went dark only four years later and the triple flew south to Berkshire East, where it was the Summit lift. Skytrac replaced it with a quad in 2014 and the Poma has sat awaiting a new home ever since. Ironically, a used chairlift from Stratton will finally return lift service to Magic’s Sun Corner this fall after 27 years.
Catamount’s new 1,600′ lift will run up up the Esplanade trail. I suspect this will be a 2019 project but there’s a chance it could happen sooner. The triple will complement four existing lifts, which are two SLI doubles, a Thiokol triple from Solitude, Utah and a Garaventa CTEC quad relocated from Belleayre, New York. Catamount also plans to add a brand new 7,600 square foot lodge as soon as possible.

Comments

  • The new ski lift will be installed near the Esplanade Trail in the section for beginner skiers. The 1987 Poma Triple ski lift will be 1,600 feet long. [Berkshire Eagle]

    This is to the left (east of, I believe) Meadows Triple.
  • edited August 22
    Just about where the T-bar used to be going way back. I always enjoyed Catamount and remember thinking the Meadows area would be great for learning with a lift back there.

    This new triple allows them to tear out the Mid Station on the triple next door.

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  • If they take out the mid station they will lose access to two trails. Unless they build a connector from top of the new lift over the mid station area? That would make sense and give them a pretty large beginner pod.
  • edited August 23
    Agreed, a connector from the top of the new lift to the midstation would make a couple of nice novice combos, though my guess is given the cost of reconfiguring the lift profile without the mid-station depression, they may just opt to stick another liftie there and call it a day.
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