Ascutney T-bar

TomWhiteTomWhite expert
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 619
I glanced at 10 pages and didn't find the Ascutney thread.

Ascutney Gets New Ski Lift



By
Patrick O’Grady


Valley News Correspondent

Thursday, February 01, 2018

 

Brownsville
— A little more than three years after residents packed Town Hall to vote
overwhelmingly in favor of purchasing 470 acres of the former Mount Ascutney
ski resort, members of the nonprofit overseeing the development and operation
of the property said community support has allowed it to pursue their goals in
an accelerated fashion.

The
latest development has been the donation of a T-bar surface lift that could
make nine ski trails on the mountain accessible.

“It
really has been fast forward for me,” said Glenn Seward, an Ascutney Outdoors
board member. “It has exceeded my expectations. And it is all based on the
community support we have received.”

Steve
Crihfield, chairman of the Ascutney Outdoors board, said the nonprofit group’s
capital campaign has raised $600,000, leaving it just $100,000 short of the
goal. The bulk of the money has come from about 300 individual donors with
donations from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, Holiday Inn (the hotel at
the resort) and others, Crihfield said.

“Our
local partners believe in what we are doing and they came together really
well,” Crihfield said inside the warming hut where a 900-foot tow rope has been
servicing a small hill the last few years.

The
money has enabled Ascutney Outdoors, or AO, to undertake a number of major
projects. These include construction of the new Ascutney Outdoor Center this
winter, purchase of a 520-foot tubing lift with installation planned for the
spring and the possible installation this year of a donated T-bar that will add
skiable terrain.

Seward
said AO bought a “first-class” trail groomer from Stratton Mountain Resort,
ending an annual $5,000 rental fee for a groomer. AO also announced it has a
purchase and sales agreement to sell to the Holiday Inn owner, Orange Lake
Resort, the former Cunningham’s Ski Barn on Hotel Road that was donated to
Ascutney Outdoors by former ski resort owner Dan Purjes.

“While
the purchase price is nominal, it allows use of the property by AO under a
long-term license,” Crihfield said in a news release.

Seward
and Crihfield said that separate from the capital campaign, they have received
$50,000 in donations to add to a $34,000 grant for engineering, permitting and
installation of the T-bar. Crihfield said they still have about $15,000 to
raise and will try to have it operational next winter.

Seward
and his wife, Shelley, purchased the 2,600-foot T-bar from a resort in Quebec
and had it transported to Brownsville, where it now sits in a parking lot on
the ski area property.

“We had
been talking about something like this (to increase skiing) and put some
feelers out and this opportunity came up,” Seward said.

The
T-bar will allow skiing on about eight or nine trails, Seward said. It will
begin near the new Ascutney Outdoor Center, which should be open by late
summer.

The
4,000-square-foot, two-floor center is being constructed on the concrete
foundation of the former base lodge that was destroyed in a January 2015 fire.
At the lodge on Wednesday, Seward said they removed about two-thirds of the
foundation and recently completed the interior masonry work on the remaining
portion. He anticipates construction of the center will begin late next month.

Crihfield
said it is not a traditional “stick” construction but comes in premade sections
that can be assemble atop the foundation in just a few weeks.

Ascutney
Outdoors said the center will serve the recreational crowd that visits the
mountain and be a place for educational talks, musical events, private parties
and more.

“It is
really going to be multi-use and multi-season,” Crihfield said. “It will be a
nice place for the community.”

The
Ascutney Mountain Resort closed in 2010 because of financial problems and once
it became clear it would not reopen after most of the equipment was sold, town
officials and other began a concerted effort to buy the main ski area to
prevent it from being developed.

The
Trust for Public Land raised most of the roughly $900,000 and when it completed
the purchase, it transferred ownership to the town in December 2015. A
conservation easement came with the sale and when added to the town forest,
created nearly 1,600 acres of recreational property for skiing, hiking,
mountain biking and more.

Patrick O’Grady can be
reached at pogclmt@gmail.com

Comments

  • skizillaskizilla intermediate
    Posts: 21
    How high up will it go in reference to the old area trails. Will they mow and keep open the upper trails for people who skin up?
  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    Posts: 302
    There is a cool video on their web site that shows the path (roughly).  Probably about 1/2 way to the old triple mid-station.


    I would love to see something, someday, running all the way up to the old triple mid-station.
  • FlyingZFlyingZ intermediate
    Posts: 24
    Is a lift permitted to the old triple midstation area or is that part of the wildlife land? Does anyone know if a trail or 2 is cleared from the top,? skinning up should be good after today.
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 2,331
    Wow that is a cool video, so pretty
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