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Not much new news to those following closely, but great to see consistent (and good) press on Magic.
Bill29 said:O.K. George, here's some history that probably won't be repeated.From an old "Ski Talk" column from the Worcester Evening Gazette, circa late 1960s or early 1970s, by guess who and that I just found:[edited]"Thorner also said he will have night skiing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Thorner said he wants to create a little more atmosphere in the area and give people a place to go. He said it will also give local residents who work all day a chance to ski. There will be torchlight parades Thursday and Saturday nights and NASTAR races Friday nights, he said. For those who don't want to ski, there will be dancing in the base lodge each night in the Abracadabra Lounge."(Magic was a happening place in those days.)
O.K. George, here's some history that probably won't be repeated.
rickbolger said: Bill29 said:O.K. George, here's some history that probably won't be repeated.From an old "Ski Talk" column from the Worcester Evening Gazette, circa late 1960s or early 1970s, by guess who and that I just found:[edited]"Thorner also said he will have night skiing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Thorner said he wants to create a little more atmosphere in the area and give people a place to go. He said it will also give local residents who work all day a chance to ski. There will be torchlight parades Thursday and Saturday nights and NASTAR races Friday nights, he said. For those who don't want to ski, there will be dancing in the base lodge each night in the Abracadabra Lounge."(Magic was a happening place in those days.)
Thanks for posting that!The guidebooks, magazines etc. I have from that era all point to Magic as the place to be for Apres-Ski as you said...never really knew if that was true or just carefully planned P.R. since Thorner lagged so far behind in addressing the need for snowmaking. Thanks for confirming -- maybe someday they can get that part going again! Since they're reanimating that green chair, I wouldn't rule anything out!
Bill29 said:ski itIt's closed. NELSAP has a history written by Laurie P. I haven't been passed it in about 6 months (no pressing need to go to South Barre) but the last time I went by it was closed. I don't know about the plots, but Bob Anderson was there and he called it a tornado. Central Massachusetts gets small twisters (and some big ones, too) from time to time.
I guess we should have made a Pine Ridge page...
Yes the fire in 2006 was the last straw, but if Bill has an article quoting Bob Anderson about a tornado then it had to happen well before 1982 as NESH speculates because of Anderson's failing health it closed about then until 1990 when his wife & the O'Connors reopened it. So I assume the tornado happened 1970-80 and the damage was repaired to continue operating the area.
No mention of the tornado on NESH or NELSAP that I noticed.
Not every micro burst or tornado gets confirmed as a tornado, or necessarily in this database either.
There was another tornado that went right through the base area of Mohawk, CT in 1989, damaging the lift and the lodge and knocking down every pine tree within hundreds of yards. I skied there the following year; everything was in order but many of the fallen trees could still be seen. It's all nicely re-grown now.
That's three ski areas impacted by tornadoes in 30 years. I hope they don't have a special attraction.
Somehow I forgot to mention that this was at the Mohawk ski area.
Project and Season Pass Updates 5/10/17
We are pushing ahead on severalfronts to "make better Magic"--all designed to give our customersbetter and more access to our special mountain. And, as a reminder, there'sonly a few days left to get your Early Bird priced passes.
Green Chair: This new liftproject is underway already. We just received a shipment of sheave trains forall the lift towers and are obtaining other equipment soon we hope from SuicideSix. The haul cable will be inspected on Sunday to determine its status. 107chairs have been set aside for work (new paint and wood slats for all as wejust removed all the old slats from the chairs). A lot more work to come to getthe lift finished over the next 6 months in time for the new ski season. Addingthe mid-mountain access lift up to "Sunshine Corner" will make iteasier for beginners/intermediates to enjoy skiing here; provides a means forMagic to open earlier than ever with a smaller footprint for early season(November) snowmaking; makes running youth races and race/freeride programsbetter for the athletes and customers in general by taking liftline pressureoff the summit chairs; and, finally, creates an off-season lift for specialevents, like Weddings, at picturesque Sunshine Corner.
New Learn-to-Ski BeginnerConveyor Lift: We met this week with Starlifts out of NH to walk the area forthe "magic-carpet" style lift in the "old", but now new,beginner area to the right of the Black Chair (Little Dipper). It will takeabout 12 weeks to build, but the approximately 170 foot conveyor lift willprovide state-of-the-art transportation for beginners to learn how to skiand ride at Magic. Tucked away from heavy downhill traffic and on a nicelypitched beginner slope, our Nelson Famly Snowsports Learning Center will becomeTHE place for families to have their kids learn the skills to take themeventually up the new Green Chair and then finally on to the summit to tacklesome of the most challenging terrain in the East.
Snowmaking Pond: Engineeringplans have been submitted and we will be meeting next week with the State ofVermont on a huge project to take our pond "off-stream" asdesired by the State, while providing the necessary volume of water for Magicto cover about 80 acres of its trails and base area with man-made snow. Thiswill allow us to more than double the typical amount of trails covered bysnowmaking so we have a broad variety of trails on both East and West Sideguaranteed to be open during the ski season no matter what mother-naturedelivers in terms of natural snowfall.
SnowmakingEfficiency: Great strides were made this season in terms of dramaticallyimproving the amount of snow that could be made more quickly utilizing lessenergy and fossil fuels. Beyond the HKD low-e guns we purchased, the next phasefocuses on new pipe work in the base area. Aging (and leaky) pipes out of thepump house immediately lessens the pressure in the system (especially at thetop) and means we are not maxmizing efficiency of our water and air at thestart. Therefore we have identified and measured the piping (much of itunderground) that needs to be replaced and have already received a quote forthe steel (made in the USA quality steel). By our mathematical calculations,completion of this project over the summer should allow us to obtain thenecessary pressures to utilize low-energy HKD guns top to bottom. Thiswill significantly improve the efficiency of the system and further drive downour carbon footprint. We will again be partnering with Efficiency Vermont onthis project.
With even more projectsplanned than highlighted here, please stay tuned here and on social mediafor updates. We are making Magic better with significant capital expenditures(~$1 million this off season), so we can better serve our customers whileputting in place a more efficient operating infrastructure for a sustainablelong-term future for Magic. The road can be winding and sometimes bumpy,but then again, aren't the most interesting drives off the crowdedhighways?
NEW OWNERS PLANUPGRADES AT MAGIC MOUNTAIN RESORT
JUN.4, 2017, 3:56 PM BY MIKE FAHER 3 COMMENTS
Ski Magic LLC President GeoffHatheway at Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry. Ski Magic, which purchasedthe 700-acre property last fall, has applied for snow-making and lift upgrades.Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
LONDONDERRY– On the way into Magic Mountain Ski Area, drivers pass a sign declaring that“You’ve now officially taken the road less traveled.”
That’s a key marketingslogan for the property’s new owners: They’re trying to differentiate MagicMountain from much larger competitors by emphasizing a less-crowded,“throwback” ski experience.
But they are also hoping alot more people see that sign in the years to come. To that end, they’vesubmitted state Act 250 applications for major upgrades to snow-making operations,lifts and other projects aimed at boosting skier visit numbers as soon aspossible.
Magic Mountain justcompleted its first season after last year’s change of ownership, but Ski MagicLLC President Geoff Hatheway expects skiers will “see a lot of differences”when they return for the second season.
“We’re doing a lot in avery short amount of time,” Hatheway said.
Magic Mountain dates to1960, when it was founded by Switzerland native Hans Thorner. Known for itsterrain, its Swiss ski instructors and nightlife, the Londonderry resortflourished.
“When New England skiingreally started to take off in the ’60s and ’70s, Magic was an integral part ofit,” Hatheway said.
But Magic Mountaineventually fell on hard times and closed after the 1991 season. The ski areareopened six years later and has stayed open since then, but that runapparently was set to end in 2016.
“Magic would have notopened (for the 2016-17 season) if we hadn’t come along and bought it,”Hatheway said.
The new owners of MagicMountain Ski Area immediately undertook repairs of the “Black Chair” liftbefore opening for the 2016-17 season. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
The newownership group is called Ski Magic LLC, and the sale officially closed in late November. While apurchase agreement signed several months before had allowed some importantrepair work to begin, Hatheway acknowledged in November that “the late closingof the purchase puts us a bit behind the eight ball prepping for the new season.”
That turned out to be anunderstatement, as administrators found additional work that had to be done.Repairs to the “Black Chair” summit lift, for example, extended deep into theski season.
The new owners alsoreplaced the leaky base lodge roof and undertook critical snow-making repairs.
Despite those challenges,Magic Mountain’s tubing park opened in mid-December, with skiing opening by theend of that month.
“Given all the obstacles,the season went very well,” Hatheway said.
In fact, February was“probably the biggest month Magic has ever had since it reopened in 1997 interms of skier visits and revenues,” he added. One day, administrators had tostop selling tickets because the ski area was so busy.
“Obviously, we want to havemore days like that,” Hatheway said. “But to have that so early … was really anice response from the public and the customer.”
Magic Mountain has beenattracting about 20,000 skier visits in a good year. But Hatheway wants to seea big increase, believing the property can comfortably host 36,000 skier visitsa year on its approximately 195 skiable acres.
That’s where the plannedimprovement projects come in.
Ski Magic LLC has submittedtwo applications under the state’s Act 250 land use regulations: one forsnow-making upgrades and another forgeneral improvements.
Cost estimates in those twodocuments add up to $875,000, though that price could rise.
For snow-making, Ski Magicwants to boost the capacity of its reservoir from 4.7 million gallons to 8.7million gallons. Documents say administrators expect to use about 30 milliongallons of water in any given season to consistently make snow on about 80acres of terrain.
Hatheway said MagicMountain still will rely heavily on natural snow. But he believes that “to makethis ski area economically viable for the region, we needed access to morewater than currently is in that pond.”
Other planned snow-makingimprovements involve reconstruction of the reservoir’s dam and installation of5,100 feet of pipe.
The other Act 250application includes refurbishing the mountain’s “Green Chair” lift. Whileequipment for that lift was purchased under previous ownership, “it was nevercompleted, and it’s basically lay dormant there for a decade.”
The green lift will be animportant project for Ski Magic, as it’s designed to be a base- to mid-mountainlift catering to those who don’t want to go all the way to the top.
That opens up moreintermediate and beginner terrain. It also “creates a smaller footprint for usto make snow on, so that we can open earlier,” Hatheway said.
Ski Magic also wants to adda 240-foot surface lift in the property’s beginner area.
The base lodge at MagicMountain Ski Area. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger
Additionalprojects proposed in the application include upgraded lighting for snow-tubing;replacement of an exterior deck at the base lodge; and installation of a newski patrol building and a guest services yurt.
It’s a fair amount of workfor a new ownership group, but Hatheway said there are now 16 investorsinvolved in the Ski Magic effort.
“We didn’t start thiswithout the capital already set aside,” he said.
That’s not to say thoseinvestors are simply throwing money at the mountain. There are no plans, forexample, to install a high-speed lift or to cover the majority of the propertywith snow-making.
Instead, Ski Magic islooking at “investments that are going to count long-term in terms ofsustainability,” Hatheway said.
“We’re not looking to changeMagic’s character to something else that would require tens of millions ofdollars,” he said. “We’re looking to keep Magic’s character, but broaden itsappeal.”
Ski Magic administratorsbelieve that appeal lies in the mountain’s challenging terrain and in theirback-to-basics approach that emphasizes skiing rather than retail or realestate development.
Magic Mountain was one of several Vermont ski areas to change hands lastyear. But a key difference is that the Magic Mountain deal didn’t involvemultiresort conglomerates.
“We are taking a differentapproach to the ski market, but it’s one we think is incredibly viable in partbecause of what’s going on in the ski industry,” Hatheway said. “The skiindustry has definitely homogenized itself.”
https://anrweb.vt.gov/PubDocs/ANR/Planning/2W0524-22/Application Documents/Exhibit 001 - Act 250 Application and Signed Pages.pdf
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT (Include number and sizeof buildings/lots, use of buildings, number of lots, length of roads, etc.)Multiple facilities projects contained in Ski Magic, LLC's 5-year capitalimprovement plan. These projects include: 1) refurbishment and placing intoservice of a mid-mountain chairlift - the Green Chair (2W0524-12, -16, -17); 2)installation of a 240 ft. beginner area surface lift, aka magic carpet(2W0524-12, -16, -17); 3) upgrade of lighting for the snow tubing area,replacement of three existing lights and the addition of one - all LED(2W0524-16A); 4) replacement of the 30' x 80' base lodge exterior deck(2W0524-14, -14A); 5) installation of a new ski patrol building at the summitof the Red Chairlift; and 6) installation of a guest services yurt mid-mountain(Sunshine Corner), purchased kit. CONSTRUCTION DURATION (Months to complete) 36
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT (Include number and sizeof buildings/lots, use of buildings, number of lots, length of roads, etc.)Multiple projects contained in Ski Magic, LLC's 5-year capital improvementplan. These projects include: 1) Approval of updated Conservation Flows for theexisting unnamed tributary stream and Thompsonburg Brook feeds into theexisting snowmaking reservoir; 2) two runs of snowmaking pipe installations onthe low mountain/base area totaling 5,100 ft., including 2,500ft. of undergroundline (2W0524-2C, 11, 12); 3) reconstruction of the snowmaking reservoir damwith disconnection of a tributary stream from the snowmaking dam, refurbishmentand reuse of Thompsonburg Brook weir intake (2W0524-14, -14A, -14B); and 4)increase in storage capacity of snowmaking reservoir from existing volume of4.7 MG to 8.7 MG (2W0524-14, -14A, -14B). CONSTRUCTION DURATION (Months tocomplete) 36
NewEnglandSkier13 said:There are three paragraphs about the Green Chair in your second post.
There are three paragraphs about the Green Chair in your second post.
Summer has arrived!
This week we're seeing record warmth with temperatures in the 90s before we cool off a bit later. That's going to make for some sweaty ops crew working up high on the Red Chair today as they repair tower assemblies as part of our annual maintenance checks.
We've also received a lengthy "to do" list of work needed toward eventual certification next fall from the state lift engineer as we continue to tackle the new Green Chair mid-mountain project. The operations crew and Ski Lifts Unlimited will be meeting this week to project plan all these items.
Last week we met with Green Mountain Power and Efficency Vermont to explore the feasibility of a possible switch from diesel compressors to electric compressors to generate our snowmaking air supply. This investment has the potential to save money, burn cleaner fuel, and be more efficient and reliable in order to create a more sustainable snowmaking product long-term for Magic. It is our hope that we can make this transition for the 17/18 ski season.
While there is much going on outside this week, we've also started to work inside to improve energy efficiency by creating a new insulation barrier at the roof line of the upper lodge. While we do this, our thought is to improve the ambience of the lodge space next to the Black Line Tavern by removing the low hung tile ceiling and leaving the rafters and duct work above exposed to create an airier feel for skiers, diners, and wedding guests. Lighting will also be improved. (Did I mention Magic is going to be a great place to have weddings, rehearsal dinners and parties year-round???)
Besides all the work at the mountain, we will also be attending the annual Vermont Ski Area Association meeting at Killington this week to reach out to our fellow ski areas and resorts to see how we can work together.
Speaking of working together, we had an impromptu Volunteer Day recently to help clear some brush over by Green Line--a big thank you to all who braved the huge June bugs to get Magic looking and skiing better! We really can't do all if this with our small crew, so the help of our community is really appreciated.
Magic has been in the news a lot lately because this special ski community and our investor group is taking on a lot of projects designed to make Magic a real throwback alternative to the mega-resort world--one with the best skiing and riding variety, challenge and community atmosphere in the East. Your help in spreading the word makes a difference with our limited marketing budgets versus the big guys. So, thank you!
Hope everyone enjoys the summer weather and gets to spend time with family for Father's Day this weekend!
SKI MAGIC LLC
slatham said:Act 250 application approved and final. Green light for some huge improvements for this upcoming season and beyond.
Act 250 application approved and final. Green light for some huge improvements for this upcoming season and beyond.
obienick said:What was the 250 permit for, the pond or something else?
What was the 250 permit for, the pond or something else?
Per the At 250 database, the permit was issued for:
multiple facilities projects contained in Ski Magic, LLC's 5-year capital improvement plan including: 1) refurbishing and placing into service a mid-mountain chairlift (the Green Chair); 2) installing a 240-foot beginner area surface lift; 3) upgrading the snow tubing area lighting and replacing the lighted main entrance sign; 4) replacing the 30-foot by 80-foot base lodge exterior deck; 5) installing a 12-foot by 20-foot, pre-fabricated ski patrol building at the summit of the Red Chairlift; 6) installing a 24-foot diameter, guest services yurt at mid-mountain (Sunshine Corner); 7) installing an 18-hole disc golf course; and 8) replacing/upgrading approximately 1,500 linear feet of underground snowmaking pipeline (two segments) in the base area.
Note that the Pond work was not included. As I look through the application I think that all the relevant agencies need to approve the project and then the Act 250 permit is issued as the last step. A bit of guessing but makes sense.
Good article on recent 250 Act Approval.
obienick said:I didn't know things like replacing pipe required a filing?
I didn't know things like replacing pipe required a filing?