Magic updates?

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  • slathamslatham intermediate
    Posts: 96

    Not much new news to those following closely, but great to see consistent (and good) press on Magic.


    http://vermontjournal.com/featured-articles/magic-mountain-is-bringing-the-magic-back

  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 981
    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!
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,622

    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!

    That's probably true about apres-ski at Magic in the late 60s.  I have fond memories of Dostals as well as the other places suggested by Bill29.
  • Bill29Bill29 advanced
    Posts: 212
    ski it
    It'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.  
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,559
    Bill29 I do not doubt either fact. I was just trying to find a date for the tornado for you. I also can't believe how out of date some of these guides are. I know they do not want to count people out too soon, but it's been more than a decade that Pine Ridge has been closed.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,622
    Bill29 said:

    ski it

    It'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.  
    If I remember right,  Pine Ridge's closing had to do with a burned up T-Bar, not a tornado.  The tornado seriously damaged Butternut.  Its not a place I ski at often, but I wanted to see the damage and skied there in 1996.  My guess is the tornado was in 1995. (Don't know what happened to Laurie P., but I notice that her web site is gone.)
  • skipro77skipro77 intermediate
    Posts: 42
    I do recall that a tornado hit NW Conn./ SW Mass in the fall of 1989.  That's the one that did so much damage to Mohawk.
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited May 10 Posts: 1,559

    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.

    http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/tornado/Massachusetts




    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    edited May 11 Posts: 746

    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.

  • bobbuttsbobbutts intermediate
    Posts: 86
    Stowe had a pretty extreme microburst a couple years back.  Made a mess of lower goat area.
  • Bill29Bill29 advanced
    Posts: 212
    mapnut, a lot of those trees came down in the state forest next to Mohawk, as you know. Some people wanted them cleaned up, but the state said let 'em decay and return to the soil. It was kind of a mess for a while, but the state was letting nature take its course. That's a pretty area. I get there occasionally to see my grand nieces race for Mohawk. They do pretty well.
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 383

    Project and Season Pass Updates  5/10/17

    We are pushing ahead on several
    fronts to "make better Magic"--all designed to give our customers
    better and more access to our special mountain. And, as a reminder, there's
    only a few days left to get your Early Bird priced passes.

    Green Chair: This new lift
    project is underway already. We just received a shipment of sheave trains for
    all the lift towers and are obtaining other equipment soon we hope from Suicide
    Six. The haul cable will be inspected on Sunday to determine its status. 107
    chairs have been set aside for work (new paint and wood slats for all as we
    just removed all the old slats from the chairs). A lot more work to come to get
    the lift finished over the next 6 months in time for the new ski season. Adding
    the mid-mountain access lift up to "Sunshine Corner" will make it
    easier for beginners/intermediates to enjoy skiing here; provides a means for
    Magic to open earlier than ever with a smaller footprint for early season
    (November) snowmaking; makes running youth races and race/freeride programs
    better for the athletes and customers in general by taking liftline pressure
    off the summit chairs; and, finally, creates an off-season lift for special
    events, like Weddings, at picturesque Sunshine Corner.

     

    New Learn-to-Ski Beginner
    Conveyor Lift: We met this week with Starlifts out of NH to walk the area for
    the "magic-carpet" style lift in the "old", but now new,
    beginner area to the right of the Black Chair (Little Dipper). It will take
    about 12 weeks to build, but the approximately 170 foot conveyor lift will
    provide state-of-the-art transportation for beginners to learn how to ski
    and ride at Magic. Tucked away from heavy downhill traffic and on a nicely
    pitched beginner slope, our Nelson Famly Snowsports Learning Center will become
    THE place for families to have their kids learn the skills to take them
    eventually up the new Green Chair and then finally on to the summit to tackle
    some of the most challenging terrain in the East.



















    Snowmaking Pond: Engineering
    plans have been submitted and we will be meeting next week with the State of
    Vermont on a huge project to take our pond "off-stream" as
    desired by the State, while providing the necessary volume of water for Magic
    to cover about 80 acres of its trails and base area with man-made snow. This
    will allow us to more than double the typical amount of trails covered by
    snowmaking so we have a broad variety of trails on both East and West Side
    guaranteed to be open during the ski season no matter what mother-nature
    delivers in terms of natural snowfall.


    p.1

  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 383
    5/10/17 p.2

    Snowmaking
    Efficiency: Great strides were made this season in terms of dramatically
    improving the amount of snow that could be made more quickly utilizing less
    energy and fossil fuels. Beyond the HKD low-e guns we purchased, the next phase
    focuses on new pipe work in the base area. Aging (and leaky) pipes out of the
    pump house immediately lessens the pressure in the system (especially at the
    top) and means we are not maxmizing efficiency of our water and air at the
    start. Therefore we have identified and measured the piping (much of it
    underground) that needs to be replaced and have already received a quote for
    the steel (made in the USA quality steel). By our mathematical calculations,
    completion of this project over the summer should allow us to obtain the
    necessary pressures to utilize low-energy HKD guns top to bottom. This
    will significantly improve the efficiency of the system and further drive down
    our carbon footprint. We will again be partnering with Efficiency Vermont on
    this project.

    With even more projects
    planned than highlighted here, please stay tuned here and on social media
    for updates. We are making Magic better with significant capital expenditures
    (~$1 million this off season), so we can better serve our customers while
    putting in place a more efficient operating infrastructure for a sustainable
    long-term future for Magic. The road can be winding and sometimes bumpy,
    but then again, aren't the most interesting drives off the crowded
    highways?

     

  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 383
    The writer is very wordy and I didn't see reference to the Green chair. I had to split the article. I put two Act 250 links in at of p.2.

    NEW OWNERS PLAN
    UPGRADES AT MAGIC MOUNTAIN RESORT

    JUN.
    4, 2017, 3:56 PM
     BY MIKE FAHER 3 COMMENTS

    Magic Mountain

    Ski Magic LLC President Geoff
    Hatheway at Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry. Ski Magic, which purchased
    the 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 marketing
    slogan for the property’s new owners: They’re trying to differentiate Magic
    Mountain from much larger competitors by emphasizing a less-crowded,
    “throwback” ski experience.

    But they are also hoping a
    lot more people see that sign in the years to come. To that end, they’ve
    submitted state Act 250 applications for major upgrades to snow-making operations,
    lifts and other projects aimed at boosting skier visit numbers as soon as
    possible.

    Magic Mountain just
    completed its first season after last year’s change of ownership, but Ski Magic
    LLC President Geoff Hatheway expects skiers will “see a lot of differences”
    when they return for the second season.

    “We’re doing a lot in a
    very short amount of time,” Hatheway said.

    Magic Mountain dates to
    1960, when it was founded by Switzerland native Hans Thorner. Known for its
    terrain, its Swiss ski instructors and nightlife, the Londonderry resort
    flourished.

    “When New England skiing
    really started to take off in the ’60s and ’70s, Magic was an integral part of
    it,” Hatheway said.

    But Magic Mountain
    eventually fell on hard times and closed after the 1991 season. The ski area
    reopened six years later and has stayed open since then, but that run
    apparently was set to end in 2016.

    “Magic would have not
    opened (for the 2016-17 season) if we hadn’t come along and bought it,”
    Hatheway said.

    Magic Mountain

    The new owners of Magic
    Mountain Ski Area immediately undertook repairs of the “Black Chair” lift
    before opening for the 2016-17 season. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger

    The new
    ownership group is called Ski Magic LLC, and the sale officially closed in late November. While a
    purchase agreement signed several months before had allowed some important
    repair work to begin, Hatheway acknowledged in November that “the late closing
    of the purchase puts us a bit behind the eight ball prepping for the new season.”

    That turned out to be an
    understatement, as administrators found additional work that had to be done.
    Repairs to the “Black Chair” summit lift, for example, extended deep into the
    ski season.

  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 383

    The new owners also
    replaced 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 the
    end 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 in
    terms of skier visits and revenues,” he added. One day, administrators had to
    stop selling tickets because the ski area was so busy.

    “Obviously, we want to have
    more days like that,” Hatheway said. “But to have that so early … was really a
    nice response from the public and the customer.”

    Magic Mountain has been
    attracting about 20,000 skier visits in a good year. But Hatheway wants to see
    a big increase, believing the property can comfortably host 36,000 skier visits
    a year on its approximately 195 skiable acres.

    That’s where the planned
    improvement projects come in.

    Ski Magic LLC has submitted
    two applications under the state’s Act 250 land use regulations: one for
    snow-making upgrades and another for
    general improvements.

    Cost estimates in those two
    documents add up to $875,000, though that price could rise.

    For snow-making, Ski Magic
    wants to boost the capacity of its reservoir from 4.7 million gallons to 8.7
    million gallons. Documents say administrators expect to use about 30 million
    gallons of water in any given season to consistently make snow on about 80
    acres of terrain.

    Hatheway said Magic
    Mountain still will rely heavily on natural snow. But he believes that “to make
    this ski area economically viable for the region, we needed access to more
    water than currently is in that pond.”

    Other planned snow-making
    improvements involve reconstruction of the reservoir’s dam and installation of
    5,100 feet of pipe.

    The other Act 250
    application includes refurbishing the mountain’s “Green Chair” lift. While
    equipment for that lift was purchased under previous ownership, “it was never
    completed, and it’s basically lay dormant there for a decade.”

    The green lift will be an
    important project for Ski Magic, as it’s designed to be a base- to mid-mountain
    lift catering to those who don’t want to go all the way to the top.

    That opens up more
    intermediate and beginner terrain. It also “creates a smaller footprint for us
    to make snow on, so that we can open earlier,” Hatheway said.

    Ski Magic also wants to add
    a 240-foot surface lift in the property’s beginner area.

    Magic Mountain

    The base lodge at Magic
    Mountain Ski Area. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger

    Additional
    projects proposed in the application include upgraded lighting for snow-tubing;
    replacement of an exterior deck at the base lodge; and installation of a new
    ski patrol building and a guest services yurt.

    It’s a fair amount of work
    for a new ownership group, but Hatheway said there are now 16 investors
    involved in the Ski Magic effort.

    “We didn’t start this
    without the capital already set aside,” he said.

    That’s not to say those
    investors are simply throwing money at the mountain. There are no plans, for
    example, to install a high-speed lift or to cover the majority of the property
    with snow-making.

    Instead, Ski Magic is
    looking at “investments that are going to count long-term in terms of
    sustainability,” Hatheway said.

    “We’re not looking to change
    Magic’s character to something else that would require tens of millions of
    dollars,” he said. “We’re looking to keep Magic’s character, but broaden its
    appeal.”

    Ski Magic administrators
    believe that appeal lies in the mountain’s challenging terrain and in their
    back-to-basics approach that emphasizes skiing rather than retail or real
    estate development.

    Magic Mountain was one of several Vermont ski areas to change hands last
    year. But a key difference is that the Magic Mountain deal didn’t involve
    multiresort conglomerates.

    “We are taking a different
    approach to the ski market, but it’s one we think is incredibly viable in part
    because of what’s going on in the ski industry,” Hatheway said. “The ski
    industry has definitely homogenized itself.”

    https://vtdigger.org/2017/06/04/new-owners-plan-upgrades-magic-mountain-resort/

    https://anrweb.vt.gov/PubDocs/ANR/Planning/2W0524-23/Application%20Documents/Exhibit%20001%20-%20Act%20250%20Application%20and%20Signed%20Pages.pdf

     

    https://anrweb.vt.gov/PubDocs/ANR/Planning/2W0524-22/Application Documents/Exhibit 001 - Act 250 Application and Signed Pages.pdf

  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 383
    Two Act 250 summaries:

    GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT (Include number and size
    of buildings/lots, use of buildings, number of lots, length of roads, etc.)
    Multiple facilities projects contained in Ski Magic, LLC's 5-year capital
    improvement plan. These projects include: 1) refurbishment and placing into
    service 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 summit
    of 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 size
    of buildings/lots, use of buildings, number of lots, length of roads, etc.)
    Multiple projects contained in Ski Magic, LLC's 5-year capital improvement
    plan. These projects include: 1) Approval of updated Conservation Flows for the
    existing unnamed tributary stream and Thompsonburg Brook feeds into the
    existing snowmaking reservoir; 2) two runs of snowmaking pipe installations on
    the low mountain/base area totaling 5,100 ft., including 2,500ft. of underground
    line (2W0524-2C, 11, 12); 3) reconstruction of the snowmaking reservoir dam
    with disconnection of a tributary stream from the snowmaking dam, refurbishment
    and reuse of Thompsonburg Brook weir intake (2W0524-14, -14A, -14B); and 4)
    increase in storage capacity of snowmaking reservoir from existing volume of
    4.7 MG to 8.7 MG (2W0524-14, -14A, -14B). CONSTRUCTION DURATION (Months to
    complete) 36

  • Posts: 1,835
    There are three paragraphs about the Green Chair in your second post.
    - Sam
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 383

    There are three paragraphs about the Green Chair in your second post.

    Oops, thanks.
  • slathamslatham intermediate
    Posts: 96

    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!


    - Geoff

    SKI MAGIC LLC

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