Magic updates?

marcskimarcski advanced
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 210
So, April 22 is just about 3 months ago, yet it is the last update on Magic's Facebook Page. The website doesn't have any additional information either.  Does anyone have any beta on whether the sale is going to go through this off-season?  Has there been any action on the mountain in the last few months? 
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Comments

  • SkizixSkizix advanced
    Posts: 154
    No news is good news? If there are negotiations in progress it is probably best to keep mum. There is a statement on the Magic Website that 2016/17 passes go on sale in Late August of this year. (I kind of miss the old Magic flaming posts of days gone by...they were sometimes entertaining.) 
    "I need a powder day"
  • ChuckstahChuckstah advanced
    Posts: 346
    Very brief update on Alpinezone today from the prospective buyer. (Jamaicaman)  Basically nothing new but they are still working at it.


  • djspookmandjspookman advanced
    Posts: 314
    A Deal has been reached!!

    http://magicmtn.com/alpineupdates.php
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 822

    Great! I might even get back to Magic myself, since the only time I went there was in the Wizard administration and I wasn't impressed.

    Even better, Geoff Hatheway said, "it was either Magic or Whistler/Blackcomb. I think we got the better deal." That means he must have access to $1.4 billion! Imagine the improvements!

  • trackbikertrackbiker intermediate
    Posts: 97
    I don't know about $1.4 billion but I hope their pockets are really deep. Small but continued improvements would be a plus but I think there may be some costly improvements required for the infrastructure just to maintain the status quo. In any case I hope they get a ton of snow this year.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,118

    "...maintain the status quo...."

    I hope they do better than that
  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 152
    I think Geoff has a well thought out plan. But do not expect any huge individual improvements (i.e. in the order of a new Black lift or millions in snowmaking), He must stay on the incremental path to avoid debt and keep reserves so that a repeat of 15/16 doesn't bankrupt the mountain. But those incremental improvements will ratchet up for sure, and be focused on getting Black running and making significantly more snow than previous years (probably a couple of shining new guns to aid the effort). I am sure he will fill in the blanks as the deal closes and the winter approaches, with one issue being the amount (or lack) of time left before the season starts.
  • SkizixSkizix advanced
    Posts: 154
    "I need a powder day"
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 934
    Serious question for anyone in the know...  About how much has been dumped into the Black Chair over the last few years?  It hasn't run in 2 years and it ran sporadically including failing to get inspected over the previous decade+.  At what point does it become feasible to admit you can't keep a 54-year-old lift made by a one-off manufacturer -- which was later overhauled by a long out-of-business manufacturer 31 years ago -- going?
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 562
    slatham said:

    I think Geoff has a well thought out plan. But do not expect any huge individual improvements (i.e. in the order of a new Black lift or millions in snowmaking), He must stay on the incremental path to avoid debt and keep reserves so that a repeat of 15/16 doesn't bankrupt the mountain. But those incremental improvements will ratchet up for sure, and be focused on getting Black running and making significantly more snow than previous years (probably a couple of shining new guns to aid the effort). I am sure he will fill in the blanks as the deal closes and the winter approaches, with one issue being the amount (or lack) of time left before the season starts.

    They already have a decent inventory of Arecos, Ratniks and HKD Spectrums so they really are fine in that department. What they need are deep enough pockets to use them. Covering that hill is not cheap especially in the acreage people are looking for.
  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 152
    newpylong said:

    slatham said:

    I think Geoff has a well thought out plan. But do not expect any huge individual improvements (i.e. in the order of a new Black lift or millions in snowmaking), He must stay on the incremental path to avoid debt and keep reserves so that a repeat of 15/16 doesn't bankrupt the mountain. But those incremental improvements will ratchet up for sure, and be focused on getting Black running and making significantly more snow than previous years (probably a couple of shining new guns to aid the effort). I am sure he will fill in the blanks as the deal closes and the winter approaches, with one issue being the amount (or lack) of time left before the season starts.

    They already have a decent inventory of Arecos, Ratniks and HKD Spectrums so they really are fine in that department. What they need are deep enough pockets to use them. Covering that hill is not cheap especially in the acreage people are looking for.
    Yes, good point that budget is key. And pipe repairs are also top of list. But I know they want to get some high efficiency portable towers to stretch out the limited air capacity. Can't speak to the Spectrums, but Ratniks, while a power house gun, use a bunch more CFM than the new energy efficient HKD guns.
  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 152
    obienick said:

    Serious question for anyone in the know...  About how much has been dumped into the Black Chair over the last few years?  It hasn't run in 2 years and it ran sporadically including failing to get inspected over the previous decade+.  At what point does it become feasible to admit you can't keep a 54-year-old lift made by a one-off manufacturer -- which was later overhauled by a long out-of-business manufacturer 31 years ago -- going?

    Good question but the key is how much more is needed (previous expenditures are not Geoff's problem). My understanding is that the work over the last year has Black on the edge of passing an inspection. If that is so, a few more bucks to push it over the edge is worth it. They need two lifts this winter, and they have no time to install a new one, even with the cash to do so.
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited August 2016 Posts: 934
    I love Ratniks, and at least at Greek Peak, they put out better snow than their fan guns.  But these days, the standard Snow Giant 2's are air hogs.  

    Incompetent management at Magic doomed them severely.  They should have jumped on the EfficiencyVT bandwagon a couple years ago.  They could have gotten half-off Baby Snow Giants or 3/4-off HKDs. While expanding their fleet by 25%.

    BSG's (50-280 cfm) use about half the air of SG2's (120-580 cfm).  The SG2, BSG2, and SV10 all have similar [publicly] reported water flows.  So for about $12k they could have cut air by about 38% while making 25% more snow with the new mid-E Ratniks (net 22% cost savings) or for $25k they could have cut air by about 68% while making 25% more snow (net 60% cost savings, assuming they get at least 200 psi at the top).  If their old financial documents are correct, they spend about $130k a year on snowmaking and grooming fuel and electricity.  That'd mean they would have saved money every winter.  It's financial incompetence to turn down a <1 year return.

    One upside for Magic this year is that oil is relatively cheap now, so they can save quite a bit on snowmaking this season. I also think they never could max out their water supply because they never could afford to rent and/or fuel more air compressors.  The EfficiencyVT program would have helped with that too.
  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    edited August 2016 Posts: 262
    I can't keep up with the history of this resort.  How many times has it changed hands?

    I skied there a couple times over the past 20 years.  One time maybe 12 or so years ago, I hopped on the Red Chair and my hind fell through the seat.  Thinking back, several years ago, Snowjournal v1.0, someone ranting and raving about "Donkey Lips" and this and that.  So much emotion about this place it seems redundant and futile to hypothesize about improvements.  

    That said, the terrain there needs no improvement now.   I would start with ensuring quality snowmaking and grooming capabilities on a variety of terrain.  I would get more snowmaking capacity on the advanced terrain in addition to the usual intermediate routes off the top.  This would keep my open trail counts beefy in tough snow times.  Everyone looks at the snow reports.  If you can tout 70+% of the mountain open for the majority of the winter, people will show up. 

    A used, fixed grip quad or triple would make a nice, cost effective replacement for the black chair.  Then, as a lower priority, a proper lower mountain lift is in order.  As a last priority, the Red Chair has to go.

  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited August 2016 Posts: 1,737

    Bubblecuffer that's kind of what they say their intentions are.

    http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=468

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 476
    Except for the opening paragraph this appears to be straight from Magic's article.

    New Ownership at Magic Mountain, Vt.

    AddThis Sharing Buttons

    SAM Magazine—Londonderry, Vt., Aug. 16, 2016—Magic Mountain, a classic New England ski area that has stuck to its roots—both out of preference and financial limitations—appears to finally have stable ownership taking the reigns.magicmountain emailsize

    Ski Magic, LLC has signed a purchase and sale agreement with current title-holder Magic Mountain Management, LLC to acquire the area, according to a press release. Now begins a six- to eight-week due diligence period before formally closing on the property and taking operational control.

    “This is an exciting opportunity for long-time fans of Magic, including myself, who want a better, stable and enduring future for such a special ski area and community," said Geoff Hatheway, president of Ski Magic, LLC.

    The agreement provides for prep work to begin immediately to ready the area for the 2016-17 season. This includes repairs to Magic’s second summit lift, the Black Triple Chair, which has not operated for the last two years. No maintenance work has been done at the area since April.

    Hatheway said the new ownership group has a five-year business plan that includes investing in snowmaking and lifts. “Magic will deliver a much better skiing product…not by changing what Magic’s about, but by making its truly fun throwback ski experience more reliable and accessible to customers over a longer season,” he said.

    Magic was founded in 1960. The mountain was shut down in the early ’90s and then re-opened in 1997-98. Consistently underfunded, it has remained in operation since, but has struggled to compete with nearby Okemo, Mount Snow, Bromley, and Stratton.

    But the new owners have no intention of changing the vibe of the ski area. “We think focusing on what matters—the ski product and the environment to enjoy it together … will essentially take people back to skiing’s golden era here. And that is where our future lies," concluded Hatheway.

  • djspookmandjspookman advanced
    Posts: 314

    I skied there a couple times over the past 20 years.  One time maybe 12 or so years ago, I hopped on the Red Chair and my hind fell through the seat.


    I can personally assure you your butt will not fall through the red chairs seats anytime soon.  I helped replace all of those seats when the chair was re-painted a few years back.  I slapped so much paint on the PT plywood seats it won't rot out till I'm 90! :)
  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    Posts: 262

    I can personally assure you your butt will not fall through the red chairs seats anytime soon.  I helped replace all of those seats when the chair was re-painted a few years back.  I slapped so much paint on the PT plywood seats it won't rot out till I'm 90! :)
    Thanks! That's the kind of quality statement that will get me back there.  Seriously, concern for personal safety on the slopes should be reserved for the downhill experience, not the lift.
  • Posts: 2,007
    SKI MAGIC LLC To Buy Vermont's Magic Mountain

    SKI MAGIC LLC announced it had concluded a signed purchase and sale agreement with current title holder Magic Mountain Management, LLC to purchase all the property and assets of the 709-acre Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry, Vermont for an undisclosed amount.

    With the signing of the purchase agreement, SKI MAGIC will begin its due diligence period before formally closing on the transaction and taking operational control, which is expected to take six to eight weeks. However, the purchase agreement has a provision for 2016-17 season preparatory work to begin immediately, including repair work to re-open Magic’s second summit lift (the 5000’ long Black Triple Chair) which has not operated for the last two years due to insufficient financial resources to complete the work required by the Vermont Passenger Tramway Board.

    Season passes are slated to go on sale at reduced “early bird” prices normally available in April once the sale has been officially completed.
    “This is an exciting opportunity for long-time fans of Magic, including myself, who want a better, stable and enduring future for such a special ski area and community," said Geoff Hatheway, President of SKI MAGIC LLC.

    “And, with the targeted investment our SKI MAGIC investors are committing to over our initial five-year business plan, Magic will deliver a much better skiing product to ski enthusiasts in our little corner of southern Vermont--not by changing what Magic’s about, but by making its truly fun throwback ski experience more reliable and accessible to customers over a longer season. That means an operational focus on lifts and more snow-making.”

    That five-year plan includes “an new beginner area, which is actually the old beginner area, a new beginner lift, and enhanced day care, so that we can update beginner access to the mountain,” Hatheway told SnoCountry.com. “We also plan to update and enhance the snow guns so that we can open quicker, with a longer season, and more coverage.”

    This summer and fall, all efforts will be focused on preparing the mountain for a December opening, working to bring the Black Summit Chair back to operation and repairing/expanding snow-making coverage. SKI MAGIC will also be tapping into Magic's legendary community of skiers and riders by hosting a number of "Volunteer Days" this fall to help clean-up glades and fix-up the lodge for the upcoming ski season.

    Source: "Snocountry.com"

    http://www.ropeways.net/rn/index.php?i=60&amp;wert=1&amp;news=5485&amp;titel=SKI MAGIC LLC To Buy Vermont
    - Sam
  • djspookmandjspookman advanced
    Posts: 314



    That five-year plan includes “an new beginner area, which is actually the old beginner area, a new beginner lift, and enhanced day care, so that we can update beginner access to the mountain,”

    This is SOO needed, and I'm glad to hear it's on the list!  How can you expect to train/ raise more business if you don't nurture the young?  :)  Unfortunately, my kids never experienced a beginner Magic, we just brought them right up to the top as soon as they could stand on skiis; but both my wife and I were ski instructors in the past, so we had that going for us. (RAISE 'EM MAGIC!)

    I'm super excited to hear about the beginner lift/ area though; to preserve/ ensure the future of the mountain!
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,118
    thanks for posting.  since the "undisclosed amount" involved a real estate transfer, won't that be a matter of public record? 
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited August 2016 Posts: 934
    I agree re beginner lift.  You can't go from a 500-ft long handle tow to a 1500' vertical drop fixed grip lift even with a green down.  This is/was far far more pressing than reinstalling a mid-mountain lift.

    I hope this is a new new-to-them lift.  Rocket alleges on his website that there was a 2nd used fixed grip purchased in the early 00s.  I wouldn't want to ride on any lift that's been in their parking lot as long as theirs is, especially when you consider that the bottom terminal of the half-built Green is in plain sight to the skiing public with all the components exposed to the weather.  If there is a 2nd lift in the parking lot, I can't imagine it's condition now.

    To start the rumor train going (haha), both Alpine and Easy Street Doubles have been purchased.  They were still marked available on resortboneyard.com a few months ago.  There are also 3 short lifts from Ontario listed there.
  • djspookmandjspookman advanced
    Posts: 314
    obienick said:



    To start the rumor train going (haha), both Alpine and Easy Street Doubles have been purchased.  They were still marked available on resortboneyard.com a few months ago.
    haha, I was thinking the same thing when I read this article.. thinking they should buy one of the Stowe lifts for a beginner lift, and use the other as a partial replacement for the Green/ Phoenix lift. (although I think both are not long enough)
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited August 2016 Posts: 934
    I think Easy Street would be too low to the ground to cross several ski trails so I don't think you can combine them.  It would be perfect to otherwise as their combined length is long enough.  One issue is the rope gages.  Does anyone know if Stowe had plans to possibly upgrade Alpine to a triple when it was installed in the 80s?  It has a wider gage than Easy Street.  Of course that is easily solved by new tower heads, but now the installation price is going up fast.

    Of those Ontario lifts I mentioned, two are B&M quads.  You should be able to combine them.  Their combined length would be enough to replace Black, let alone Green/Phoenix.  Issue is they have different carriers.  A low-capacity quad for Green/Phoenix using one set of carriers would work especially as it used to be a triple.

    I guess it's just hard to get a long used lift these days and very hard to combine lifts even by the same manufacturer.  Since most major lifts were upgraded to HS in the late 90s and early 00s, nothing's really on the market.  Which makes it very hard for Magic to deal with Black, which IMHO is more pressing than finishing Green/Phoenix.
  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 152

    I do not know their plans, but have heard from a reliable source two things:

    - A Magic Carpet to replace the handle tow as the beginner lift is a high priority but will not be done for 2016 given limited time.

    - There is hope that the Green/Phoenix lift can be brought online quicker/cheaper than originally thought. I think maybe the Lifts Unlimited people who are onsite have taken a look? And there are indications that spare parts might be accessible. Although not as mellow as a lift in the "Little Dipper" area, the beginner terrain off of Green/Phoenix is easier and more plentiful than off the top. It would also provide a much quicker way to open earlier in the season given less terrain to cover.

    But it wouldn't surprise me if a lift for Little Dipper were somewhere in the 5yr plan. If you imagine all three of those lifts - Carpet, Dipper, and Green/Phoenix - that would offer a great stepping stone set up for any beginner!

  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,118
    All this stuff is fantastic and good to see!  Except the parts about the black chairlift.  that thing belongs in Mordor.
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited September 2016 Posts: 934
    I don't think it's wise to pour a cent into the current Green/Phoenix.  It's been rusting away, with vital machinery parts exposed to the elements for 10 years... with the towers up longer. It's gotten one cheap paint job in that time that's already flaking off from rust spots.  It's been 21 years since it last ran at Stratton. And it's of faulty design:  the Borvig hanging sheaves.  I would not be comfortable riding Green/Phoenix if they continued working on that rust bucket.
  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 152
    obienick said:

    I don't think it's wise to pour a cent into the current Green/Phoenix.  It's been rusting away, with vital machinery parts exposed to the elements for 10 years... with the towers up longer. It's gotten one cheap paint job in that time that's already flaking off from rust spots.  It's been 21 years since it last ran at Stratton. And it's of faulty design:  the Borvig hanging sheaves.  I would not be comfortable riding Green/Phoenix if they continued working on that rust bucket.

    I'll leave it to the experts........
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited September 2016 Posts: 934
    Yup. This instills massive confidence:

    image
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