Thought I'd put some info in about a ski area in upstate NY, 40 mi south of Rochester, that closed after the 1999 season. It was called Ski Valley and was a reasonably large semi-private club area with an old hydraulic driven 2 person chairlift and a T-bar. There have been a few recent pics of the chairlift posted elsewhere. This area was about 700 ft vertical and a nice place, but succumbed to the competition from two nearby areas (Bristol Mt - a large commercial area and Hunt Hollow - a more upscale private club area) both of which had higher vertical, more trails, and a much better infrastructure. It was a slow painful descent into bankruptcy for Ski Valley. The finishing event was two consecutive massive chairlift failures, followed by NY state condemning the lift. Quite a few of the patrollers from Ski Valley are now on the Hunt Hollow patrol and some of the equipment from Ski Valley (lights, etc) was purchased by Hunt Hollow. The site was finally sold to a private owner who has no intent to ever reopen it as a ski area. I was the patrol director at Hunt Hollow while all this was happening.
sweet! Someone has information on Ski Valley. I was down that way in November 2003 and took a bunch of pictures for NELSAP. If you want to, maybe we could coordinate something and get a story and some photos for the site. Let me know.
Yep, that's it. If you scroll due north a bit on Topozone, you'll see Bristol Mt. Hunt Hollow is south and west of Ski Valley a bit. The 700 ft vertical I mentioned is from the old Ski Valley promo material. Hunt is around 825-850 ft and Bristol claims 1200 ft vertical (but some of locals suspect the mountain has "grown" a bit!).
Hi Extremepat, sure, good idea. Since I patrol at Hunt Hollow, I'm in that area fairly often and expect to be down there quite a bit this summer as the Hunt Hollow patrol has purchased the old Ski Valley summit patrol building and will be moving it during the summer so opportunities for digital Ski Valley pictures will be good. And we have 6-8 former Ski Valley patrollers with us now, so there's a lot of knowledge. I never patrolled there, but have skied there maybe a dozen times in the past.
nypatroller, do you know Ron Fulle? He is one of my Professors at RIT. I sent a bunch of pictures to Jeremy Davis (runs NELSAP) so all he needs is a story on the place and maybe some pictures from Ski Valley's past. Its sad to see such a nice place like that have troubles. It had some great trails. If you guys need an extra hand this summer moving some stuff, let me know. I'm always up for a trip to a ski area...even in the summer.
And the text...
As noted in the Spring edition of Valley Views, the Board of
Directors of Ski Valley decided in April to close the hill,
allow their lender to declare a default under their mortgage
agreement and ultimately force the lender to either
foreclose or sell their debt to an interested buyer. To date
there have been no further developments and therefore it
appears unlikely that Ski Valley, or some semblance
thereof, will be open this coming winter
It was not a moment too soon for the Ski Valley Ski Patrol.
A pesky, weight sensing, overload safety on the graying
chair, gave the intrepid evac team lots of practice this
winter. The first evacuation of the season, (yes Virginia, he said
the FIRST evacuation), was made more sporting as the
temperature was 5° F, with a brisk wind. As luck would
have it, the lift was fully loaded, the club having sponsored
a race day with lots of athletes in speed suits. [Note:
(Lycra) + (-15° F wind chill) = damn cold skiers]. The
team worked well together and delivered all safely to the
snow, with a few skiers narrowly avoiding hypothermia.
After a careful examination of the lift and minor
adjustments, (plus some crossed fingers, incense burning
and a chicken sacrifice, ‘er, barbecue) the lift was
restarted. It ran smoothly until a week later, nearly to the
minute, when the patrol was provided with yet another
opportunity to hone their lift evacuation skills. Any wrinkles
had been ironed out in the previous week’s practice, the
weather was more cooperative, and all went well. By the
end of the second event, the skiing public showed a
renewed interest in the surface lifts. Mountain management,
along with the help of the patrol, dug deeper and found a drive
train component which appeared physically sound, but, in bench
tests, had lost it’s punch. Adequate safety backups existed
to prevent a catastrophic failure, but a lift evacuation is
clearly not the exercise of choice for any patrol. Both
evacuations were executed with professionalism and
efficiency giving the patrol a lot to be proud of.
wow, two lift problems in one week. any idea on when ski valley first opened? I thought someone said maybe in 1939 but I could be way wrong. Seeing those pictures makes me wish I could still take a few more runs there. Those bumps look nice!
After discovering the NELSAP website and the associated NYS LSA project site, I made a point to drive by Ski Valley last week on 3/25.
Yep, it's still there with a big "for lease" sign on the old Ski Valley sign-I assume it's for the lodge. The T bar and chair are still there looking quite forlorn. I never skied there, but know quite a few people who were members.
It sure does seem a shame to let it go "back to nature", but apparently, no one is willing to take the financial risk to try to revive it.
Sounds like the old joke-"How do you make a little money in the ski resort busness?-Start with a lot!" A couple of rumors I heard-the initial sale price of the property after the foreclosure was $250-300 K and it could be bought today for $4-500K. I remember talking to someone on the lift at Bristol this year who had a friend do the due diligence on it and the determination was that it wouldn't work as a profitable business.